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Seyfarth Shaw Earns Leading Rankings in the 2012 Chambers USA Guide


Brian Kiefer
, Director of Public Relations
(312) 460-6401,

Ivette Delgado, Senior Public Relations Associate
(212) 218-5273,

 “Enthusiastic and pleased to be of service to clients - a terrific work ethic.”

CHICAGO (June 14, 2012)—Leading law firm Seyfarth Shaw LLP announced today it received top rankings among the leading full-service law firms in the 2012 edition of Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business. Additionally, more than 50 of the firm’s attorneys -- up from 45 lawyers in the 2011 edition -- were individually ranked as leaders in their fields in 25 practice areas.

Nationally, the firm ranked second in the categories of Labor & Employment, Retail and ERISA Litigation; third in Construction; and fourth in Leisure & Hospitality. Practice groups in Seyfarth Shaw’s regional offices also had impressive results, with the Washington, D.C. Labor & Employment group moving up a band and the Chicago office’s Construction group making a first-time appearance, ranked in Illinois.

Up in nearly all categories, in California, nine attorneys were recognized (Construction, Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation, Immigration, Labor & Employment and Real Estate); Atlanta had eight (Construction, Immigration, Labor & Employment, Litigation: General Commercial and Real Estate); the firm’s Chicago office saw 14 attorneys make the list (Construction, Environment: Litigation, Labor & Employment, Litigation: General Commercial and Real Estate), six attorneys in the Boston office (Labor & Employment and Real Estate), four attorneys in the New York office (Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation, Labor & Employment and Real Estate); and the firm’s Washington, D.C. office is home to seven of the firm’s attorneys ranked by Chambers (Construction, Labor & Employment and Real Estate).

Practice Group Rankings

#2 National Ranking in Labor & Employment
According to Chambers, Seyfarth Shaw “continues to be seen as an excellent choice for clients seeking advice in this field,” with “formidable” practices in California, New York, Massachusetts, Illinois and Washington, D.C. One client said: “Our work is global and they are our first point of contact. They…make you feel you are all in it together. The customer service is outstanding, and I’d recommend them to anybody.”

#2 National Ranking in Retail
With a “reputation as a market leader” in labor and employment law, Chambers states Seyfarth is set “apart in an industry where such issues are of frequent concern.” Noted for its “broad capabilities in the retail sector,” the group advises on and litigates various types of EEOC and wage and hour cases, with litigation experience also including class actions, IP and franchise dispute and false advertising claims. A client commented, “They take a very business positive approach - they protect you on the legal side but they always balance the business issues.”

#2 National Ranking in ERISA Litigation
Boasting “considerable bench strength,” Seyfarth’s ERISA Litigation practice is “well versed in ERISA 401(k) stock drop, ESOP and discrimination litigation,” and was said to have “a truly national reach.” The launch of the group’s ERISA & Employee Benefits Litigation Blog proves that the group “remains dedicated to keeping clients up to date on ever-changing legislation.” Sources said, “The Seyfarth lawyers break things down, and that’s helpful…They have been fabulous - passionate!”

#3 National Ranking in Construction
Recipient of the Chambers USA Award for Excellence in the Construction category, Seyfarth’s Construction team routinely works on some of the country’s largest construction projects. The group was also lauded for its transaction work, as well as handling insurance defense, construction lien and surety disputes. The group also provides expertise in construction-related government contracts and bankruptcy matters. Said of the attorneys in the group: “Their quality is very consistent,” and when asked about commercial awareness, another client said, “When I think of Seyfarth, I think of formidable adversaries. They are smart, they know their area. They spend real time to resolve real issues.”

#4 National Ranking in Leisure & Hospitality
Serving clients in need of dual expertise in both labor and employment, Seyfarth’s Leisure & Hospitality practice was considered a standout for its work in matters including tip law, ADA compliance, discrimination class actions and union issues. Chambers notes that that the work by the group also extends to real estate and construction work.

#1 in Labor & Employment in Illinois
According to Chambers, Seyfarth is an “indomitable presence on the labor and employment market, offering its stellar list of clients expertise in all manners of labor and employment-related work.” Also praised is the group’s depth of practice, notably in its dedicated ERISA Litigation group. Taking on “a staggering array of high-value and arcane employment litigation and labor law matters,” Seyfarth attorneys were praised for operating “at the highest level of the profession.” Remarked another client, “You give it to them and you can just let it go because there is such confidence in the lawyers.”

#1 in Labor & Employment in Massachusetts
Seyfarth’s “stellar” Boston employment team’s wealth of experience was lauded in Chambers as well as the attorneys’ expertise in workplace counseling, affirmative action compliance and union-management labor relations. A client said, “The partners are accessible and helpful, and you really feel the whole team is working together to service the client.” Another added, “A premier firm with in-depth knowledge across the entire spectrum of employment law.”

#1 in Construction in Washington, D.C.
Maintaining it’s top tier ranking for the second consecutive year, Seyfarth’s D.C. Construction team “engaged in some of the most cutting-edge developments in the construction industry,” according to Chambers. “At the forefront of…LEED certification and Building Information Modeling agendas,” the firm has also drafted numerous contract forms for the Design-Build Institute of America. Also noted, many of the lawyers have backgrounds in construction and engineering, and the team is extremely involved in international and domestic commercial construction and infrastructure projects.

#2 in Immigration in California
With a strong California presence, Seyfarth’s Immigration client base is largely made up of Fortune 500 companies, but the team is “adept at assisting researchers, entrepreneurs and investors on a global level.Chambersalso notes that the group is seen as a leader in the CIGMA process. A client commented, “Their strengths are the breadth of their practice and their geographic reach.”

#2 in Labor & Employment in California
Seyfarth’s “sizable team offers employers a comprehensive range of services, including advice on union relations, ERISA law and discrimination issues.” Well-known for litigation successes, the Labor & Employment group in California is commended for its bench strength and has represented clients in a multitude of wage and hour class actions and discrimination lawsuits. One source remarked of the attorneys, “Very smart lawyers who additionally understand our business needs.”

#2 in Labor & Employment in New York
According to Chambers, the class action defense team of the New York office’s employment practice “draws particular admiration from the market.” The firm is also “highly sought after to advise on traditional labor matters.” Clients praised, “They have superior talent coupled with world-class responsiveness, flexibility and business acumen.”

#2 in Labor & Employment in Washington, D.C.
Moving up a band, Seyfarth’s Washington, D.C. Labor & Employment team is “particularly well respected for its advice to clients in labor negotiations.” One client said, “We've been using them for more and more work and we're just delighted; they are gems.”

#2 in Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation in Illinois
Seyfarth’s attorneys in the Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation practice in Chicago‘sThe firm’s  assembly of “a dedicated ERISA group” adds depth to the broader group of employee benefits experts. A client praised the firm: “Seyfarth Shaw operates at the highest level of the profession.” Another client added, “You give it to them and you can just let it go because there's such confidence in the lawyers."

#3 in Construction in Georgia
“A favored choice for constructors seeking assistance with disputes, and has a great track record of resolving issues outside, and when necessary, inside the courtroom,” Chambers reported of the firm’s Atlanta Construction group. A client commented, “A great team that is managed well.”

#3 in Construction in Illinois
A first time ranking in this category, Chambers reported that Seyfarth’s Construction law group “is able to draw on the expertise of more than 50 construction lawyers firmwide to provide a seamless service to its clients.” Traditionally focused on negotiations and litigation connected with defects, delays and payments but, due to the economic downturn, the team has more recently been handling increasing amounts of lending-related work, such as mortgage foreclosures. Clients said, “The firm provides excellent legal analysis and support, and is willing to go above and beyond to accommodate our needs and requests.”

#3 in Environment in Illinois
Seyfarth’s Environment practice is “known throughout the Illinois market for representing developers and construction clients in a range of permitting issues and toxic tort litigation, as well as safety and compliance matters.” Sources praised the firm’s lawyers as “very supportive, accommodating and proactive.”

#3 in Real Estate in Illinois
According to Chambers, peers of Seyfarth are “particularly impressed with the team’s work on behalf of major developers.” Ranging in work from advising retailers on development, ownership and leading, to representing major U.S. and international investors in commercial real estate transactions. Sources said, “They are able to merge both business and legal viewpoints on our projects to help us solve complex problems. Their level of communication, response time and availability are major strengths.”

#3 in Immigration in Georgia
Immigration attorneys in Seyfarth’s Atlanta office offer “expertise across the spectrum of immigration matters, from strategic planning of immigration policies to the preparation and filing of applications on behalf of potential employees.” They are also experienced in advising companies about their obligations on regulatory compliance.

#3 in Labor & Employment in Georgia
Chambersnoted that Seyfarth Shaw “offers employment expertise across a wide range of sectors and issues, and is praised for its strength in dealing with local and national-scale matters.” In Atlanta, the firm’s Labor & Employment attorneys are dedicated to litigation and counseling services, ranging from wage and hour class actions to traditional labor work. Clients said, “The quality of these lawyers is top-notch - the firm's national footprint also really helps, as the Atlanta team has colleagues in other states who can weigh in on different circuit decisions.”

#3 in Real Estate in Georgia
With “a busy and effective real estate team in Atlanta that has an impressive level of expertise in the funding and development of all types of commercial projects,” Chambers noted that Seyfarth’s “lawyers are known for their skill in working with REITs and banks.” One client said, “This firm is filled with very knowledgeable, responsive and respected detail-oriented people.”

Individual Rankings

Scott A. Carlson, Litigation: E-Discovery, Band 3
Mark Casciari, ERISA Litigation, Band 3
D. Ward Kallstrom, ERISA Litigation, Band 3

Michael McKeeman (San Francisco), Construction, Band 4

Angelo Paparelli(Los Angeles), Star Individual

Labor & Employment
Brian T. Ashe (San Francisco), Band 4
Jeffrey Berman (Los Angeles), Band 2
Gilmore F. Diekmann, Jr. (San Francisco), Band 2
David D. Kadue (Los Angeles), Band 3
Diana Tabacopoulos (Los Angeles), Band 4

Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation
D. Ward Kallstrom (San Francisco), Band 2

Real Estate
Richard Mendelson (Los Angeles), Band 3

C. Walker Ingraham, Band 2

Nicole A. Kersey, Band W (Associate to Watch)
James W. King, Band 2

Labor & Employment
Brett C. Bartlett,Band U (Up and Coming)
Stuart Newman, Band 3

Litigation/General Commercial
John A. Sherrill, Band 3

Real Estate
Mark A. Block, Band 3
Steven L. Kennedy, Band U (Up and Coming)

Anita Ponder,Band 3

Eric E. Boyd, Band 2
Philip L. Comella, Band 3
Andrew H. Perellis,Band 2

Labor & Employment
Kenneth R. Dolin, Band 3
Joel Kaplan, Band 1
Gerald L. Maatman, Jr., Band 2
Ellen E. McLaughlin, Band 3
Camille A. Olson, Band 1
Thomas Piskorski, Band 1
Jeffrey K. Ross, Band 4

Litigation: General Commercial
Michael Levinson, Band 4

Real Estate
Alvin Kruse, Band 4
Joel D. Rubin, Band 1

Labor & Employment
Richard Alfred, Band 1
Ariel D. Cudkowicz, Band 3
Lisa J. Damon, Band 1
Barry Miller, Band U (Up and Coming)
Arthur Telegen, Band 1

Real Estate
Andrew Pearlstein, Band 3

New York
Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation
Howard Pianko, Band 2

Labor & Employment
Lorie Almon, Band 4
Marshall B. Babson, Band 3

Real Estate
Peter J. Korda, Band 4

Washington, D.C.
Bennett D. Greenberg, Band 1
Steven J. Kmieciak, Band 4
David Mancini, Band 4
Richard McKim Preston, Band 1

Labor & Employment
Peter Chatilovicz, Band 2

Real Estate
Robert L. Bodansky, Band 4
Ronald S. Gart, Band 3

Chambers USA ranks the leading firms and lawyers in an extensive range of practice areas throughout the U.S. using in-depth and client-focused research. The guide is read by industry-leading companies and organizations throughout the U.S. and worldwide. For a complete listing, visit

Seyfarth Shaw has over 800 attorneys located in 10 offices throughout the United States, including: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Sacramento, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., as well as internationally in London. Seyfarth Shaw provides a broad range of legal services in the areas of labor and employment, employee benefits, litigation, corporate and real estate. The firm’s clients include over 300 of the Fortune 500 companies, and our practice reflects virtually every industry and segment of the economy. For more information, please visit