McDermott Expands Global Employment Practice with Arrival of Five New Partners in New York and Chicago


McDermott Will & Emery, a leading international law firm, is pleased to announce the arrival of Brian Cousin, Richard Scharlat, Carole Spink, Neil Capobianco and Lindsay Ditlow as partners and Mark Meredith as counsel, in the Employment Practice Group based in the Firm’s New York and Chicago offices.

The new partners and counsel enhance McDermott’s service offerings with an established cross-border practice that caters to clients’ growing needs in the US and around the globe.

“Employment issues have soared to the top of board-level agendas across industries, often with bet-the-company implications. We are delighted to welcome Brian, Richard, Carole, Neil, Lindsay and Mark—who strike that critical balance of not only mastering the myriad complexities but also developing strategies at the highest levels. And they’re simply great to work with,” said Ira Coleman, Chairman of McDermott.

“In employment, as in our all of our practice areas, we continue to attract some of the most talented lawyers in the most important markets. In New York alone, for example, we’ve grown our team by 40% just over two years—ensuring that we meet all our clients’ needs,” Ira added.

“Our new partners come from premier global firms and bring a diverse range of skills and experiences that demonstrate our commitment to being best in class in the global employment law arena. We have established ourselves in key markets where we are seeing growing demand for our services,” said Michael Sheehan, the global head of McDermott’s Employment Practice Group and a Chicago-based partner. “Our new partners both bolster our New York presence and further enhance our robust ERISA class action practice.”

  • Brian Cousin focuses his practice on employment litigation and counseling, ERISA and benefits litigation, executive contract negotiations and international arbitration. He regularly litigates matters involving claims of theft of trade secrets, fraud, breach of contract and fiduciary duty, defamation, violation of noncompetition agreements and other restrictive covenants, unfair competition, discrimination and retaliation and securities law. Brian is also an experienced ERISA and benefits litigator, having successfully handled numerous class action cases and matters involving the US Department of Labor. Brian frequently represents companies on multinational counseling projects by working closely with his vast network of lawyers located in over 80 countries. For over 30 years, Brian has proven himself to be a creative and tenacious litigator as well as a pragmatic, business-savvy global counselor.

Brian will head McDermott’s International Employment team as well as join partners Ted Becker and J. Christian Nemeth as Co-Chairs of the Firm’s ERISA Litigation group.

  • Neil Capobianco offers McDermott clients more than 25 years of experience in all aspects of employment and labor counseling and litigation. Neil works with clients both in the US and abroad on critical employment and benefits-related matters. In particular, he will bolster the Firm’s capabilities in the areas of ERISA and wage and hour class action litigation, restrictive covenant and trade secret litigation, US and global employment counseling and employment counseling in the context of corporate transactions.
  • Lindsay Ditlow has a deep background advising both domestic and global clients on labor and employment law. She specializes in all aspects of employment law and litigation and advises US and multinational companies on employment, labor and corporate compliance.
  • Richard Scharlat has over 25 years of experience in complex employment and commercial litigation, ERISA litigation and class action matters around the United States, including in New York, New Jersey and California. He has an extensive background in managing global employment projects for companies headquartered throughout the world, and has particular experience working with Israeli companies with global operations. Richard also provides clients with a unique cross-practice background with his experience addressing employment issues in the healthcare field.
  • Carole Spink has built a global network of contacts to provide domestic and international employment law counseling, training and advice on mergers, acquisitions and corporate She has extensive experience handling employment issues related to transactions, including: strategy, due diligence, issue identification and problem solving, contract drafting, negotiation, employee transfers, consultations, implementation and post-acquisition integration. Carole also advises on cross-border employment compliance.

With 64 lawyers, the group’s growing global presence and experience sets the Firm apart as a recognized global leader in the area of employment law.

About McDermott

McDermott Will & Emery partners with leaders around the world to fuel missions, knock down barriers and shape markets. With more than 20 locations on three continents, our team works seamlessly across practices, industries and geographies to deliver highly effective—and often unexpected—solutions that propel success. More than 1,100 lawyers strong, we bring our personal passion and legal prowess to bear in every matter for our clients and the people they serve.

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