Gail L. Westover

Gail L. Westover: Attorney with Eversheds Sutherland (US) LLP
  • Partner at Eversheds Sutherland (US) LLP (436 Attorneys)
  • 700 Sixth Street NW, Suite 700, Washington, DC 20001-3980
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Gail Westover advocates for clients in federal and state court litigation and arbitration. In more than 19 years, she has gained experience in energy, employment, ERISA, insurance, financial services, intellectual property, construction and general commercial contract disputes.

Gail has extensive trial and pre-trial experience, including managing all aspects of discovery, pre-trial motions and preparing executives and experts for testimony in complex cases involving millions of dollars and potential criminal consequences. Gail was an integral part of the team representing an international drilling contractor in one of the most significant environmental liability cases in the history of the United States. Previously Gail secured a $38 million jury verdict for her client in a trade secret misappropriation case against a major pharmaceutical company. Understanding that success measures differ in every matter, she partners with clients to effectively and efficiently resolve disputes.

Gail has appeared in trials and hearings before state and federal courts in Alabama, California, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia. She has also conducted arbitrations in the District of Columbia, Pennsylvania and New York.


“Knowing the client means that oftentimes obtaining a favorable decision is only part of the victory. You have to be conscious not only of the expense, but also of the effect litigation can have on a client’s executives and the potential disruption to its business operations.”


Won summary judgment for a large, international paper manufacturing company in a case seeking in excess of $10 million for breach of contract and misappropriation of trade secrets.
Handles ERISA litigation for a Fortune 100 company, including claims involving individual disability or accidental death benefits and fiduciary obligations.
Won a $38 million verdict against a major pharmaceutical company and former employee in a misappropriation of trade secrets case.
Assisted in the BP oil spill litigation and guided the drilling contractor through crisis management and regulatory issues following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
Represented an international oil company in connection with a $100 million claim involving a long-term supply agreement.
Represented a global energy company in series of successful arbitrations concerning radiological contamination.
Represents and defends an international pharmaceutical company in a products liability action based on the theory of innovator liability.
Won summary judgment and defense costs on behalf of an insurance company in a complex declaratory action in Maryland.


Risk management and avoidance are an integral part of Eversheds Sutherland (US)’s counseling services. When litigation is unavoidable, the firm actively works with clients to plan litigation strategy and reduce or eliminate additional costs by exploring cost-effective options such as early settlement discussions, mediation or arbitration.

Legal Alerts

Legal Alert: Supreme Court strengthens enforceability of arbitration provisions (January 11, 2019)
In his first Supreme Court opinion, Justice Kavanaugh, writing for a unanimous court, held that when a contract delegates to arbitrators gateway questions regarding arbitrability of disputes, courts ...

Legal Alert: Monsanto verdict reduced but case highlights jury realities in products cases (October 25, 2018)
Recently, a jury in San Francisco was asked to determine whether “Roundup,” the world’s most popular and widely used herbicide, causes cancer-a question debated in hundreds of studies by oncologists, ...

Legal Alert: The impact of Langan v. Johnson & Johnson on nationwide class actions (August 15, 2018)
The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit recently closed the door on a potential argument for defendants fighting multi-state class certification. In Langan v. Johnson & Johnson Consumer ...

Legal Alert: California’s Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 - The HR Perspective (July 18, 2018)
Businesses with consumers in California may soon find themselves subject to the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (the Act). The Act arrives on the heels of the expansive consumer protections ...

Legal Alert: Supreme Court rules in favor of class action waivers contained in employee arbitration agreements (May 22, 2018)
The Supreme Court of the United States handed employers a huge win with respect to employee class and collective actions. In Epic Systems Corp v. Lewis, the Court actually resolved three cases-Ernst ...

Legal Alert: Auto dealers and the exempt service advisor (April 9, 2018)
Auto dealers finally have the answer they have sought regarding compensation for service advisors-and it is favorable. On April 2, 2018, the US Supreme Court issued its much-awaited decision in ...

The Final Rule: Next Steps After Vacatur (April 5, 2018)
The nationwide vacatur of the Department of Labor “investment advice” fiduciary definition and related exemptions by the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit on March 15, 2018, does not bring an ...

The Final Rule: DOL Fiduciary Rule Affirmed and Revoked (March 21, 2018)
During the week of March 12, two federal appeals courts separately upheld and vacated the DOL fiduciary rule under the Administrative Procedure Act, and DOL suspended enforcement of the rule pending ...

Legal Alert: Section 162(q) Raises Questions about Deductibility of Employment Settlements (December 27, 2017)
On December 22, President Trump signed a significant tax bill (originally named the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act but later renamed to comply with Senate rules) that includes a provision impacting settlement ...

The Final Rule: Considerations and Analysis of the DOL’s 18-Month Transition Period Extension (November 29, 2017)
By a notice published in the Federal Register on November 29, 2017, the Department of Labor extended from January 1, 2018, until July 1, 2019, the date for compliance with the full conditions in its ...


Cybersecurity and Data Privacy review and update: Looking back on 2018 and planning ahead for 2019 (March 1, 2019)
From the implementation of the GDPR to the passage of the CCPA, the year 2018 proved to be a monumental one for cybersecurity and data privacy. Regulators from around the world responded to ...

White paper: Employee benefits in the Supreme Court (2018 update) (October 2, 2018)
The US Supreme Court has decided an astonishing 129 employee benefits cases in its 43 terms following the effective date of ERISA. We’ve updated our groundbreaking survey of these cases with the ...

US and UK Changes in Pay Equity Laws Call for Employers to Look Internally to Avoid Discrimination Claims (August 8, 2018)
Bloomberg Law
Although the Equal Pay Act and Title VII have been the laws of the land since the 1960s, social and political discourse focusing on gender inequality, such as the “Me Too” movement, have returned ...

White Paper: Employee Benefits in the Supreme Court (October 19, 2017)
In conjunction with the start of the Supreme Court’s new term, Eversheds Sutherland took a look back at the Court’s work in employee benefit cases since the enactment of ERISA. We found an ...

A New Legal Precedent: Insurance Agents As Employees (August 16, 2017)
On August 1, 2017, the US District Court for the Northern District of Ohio held that insurance agents working under independent contractor agreements with an insurer were employees for purposes of ...

No Tort Liability for Claims Administrators Based on Alleged Improper Actions prior to Decisions on Life Insurance Benefits for ERISA and Non-ERISA Plans in the Fourth Circuit (Spring/Summer 2017)
American Bar Association Tort, Trial & Insurance Practice Newsletter for the Health and Disability & Life Insurance Law Committees
In two recent decisions, the Fourth Circuit and a district court within the Fourth Circuit have concluded that state law tort claims may not be brought against claims administrators even when the ...

What the Supreme Court Giveth, the CFPB Taketh Away (July 18, 2016)
New York Law Journal
On May 5, 2016, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released its much-anticipated and highly controversial proposed regulation on restricting the use of class action waivers and ...

The Final Rule: DOL’s Expanded Definition of Investment Advice Fiduciary Under ERISA and Revised Complex of Exemptions (April 12, 2016)
Just less than a year since its proposal, and just more than six months after receiving thousands of pages of commentary, petitions and hearing testimony, the Department of Labor finalized its ...

2015 Amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (November 24, 2015)
The Litigation Practice Group of Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP has published “2015 Amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.” This publication reflects important changes to the Federal ...

BYOD and Social Media: An Employer’s Perspective (August 2014)
Financier Worldwide
In their article for Financier Worldwide, “BYOD and Social Media: An Employer’s Perspective,” Sutherland attorneys Allegra J. Lawrence-Hardy and Lisa M. Haldar discuss the implementation of bring ...


Videocast: Employee benefits in the Supreme Court (October 10, 2017)
Since 1975, the Supreme Court has issued opinions in a stunning 128 employee benefit and ERISA cases. Our team has assembled a white paper, which we believe to be the first of its kind, taking a ...

Webcast: Not Shy and Not Retiring: The Supreme Court’s Recent ERISA Decisions Affecting Retirement Plans (June 23, 2015)
In the past 12 months, the U.S. Supreme Court issued two significant decisions delineating the scope of a retirement plan fiduciary's duties under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). ...

Areas of Practice (13)

  • Litigation
  • Energy Litigation
  • Class Action Defense
  • Construction
  • Labor & Employment
  • Retirement Products & Services
  • Financial Services Litigation
  • Nuclear
  • Insurance
  • Cybersecurity & Privacy
  • Complex Business Litigation
  • Securities Fraud Class Action

Education & Credentials

Contact Information:
202.383.0353  Phone
University Attended:
Cornell University, B.S.
Law School Attended:
Georgetown University Law Center, J.D., cum laude, Article and Notes Editor, American Criminal Law Review
Year of First Admission:
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit; U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit; U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit; U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia; U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland; U.S. Bankruptcy Court District of Maryland; District of Columbia; Maryland

Professional Activities

Secretary and Board Member, Women's Bar Association Foundation (WBAF) of the District of Columbia
Board Member, Council for Court Excellence
Member, American Bar Association
Member, Women's Bar Association (WBA) of the District of Columbia
Women in the Law Committee Liaison and Member, Defense Research Institute (DRI)
Co-chair, Golf Classic, Women's Bar Association of the District of Columbia (2008)

Birth Information:
Hudson, New York, January 9, 1968

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