Kerry Alan Scanlon - McDermott Will & Emery


Kerry Alan Scanlon focuses his practice on complex employment discrimination, wage and hour, and disability rights cases, representing entertainment, pharmaceutical, technology, finance, transportation, and retail companies. In addition to his 25 years in private practice, Kerry previously held top civil rights positions in the Federal government and in two premier racial justice organizations. His public-law and corporate-client experience give him an exceptional perspective with which to advise clients and litigate employment and civil rights cases. Kerry is head of the Firm’s US labor and employment litigation practice.

His areas of specialty include Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and other federal and state civil rights laws. Kerry has successfully litigated some of the country’s largest employment discrimination class actions and he played an instrumental role in the enactment by Congress of landmark job discrimination legislation. He also uses his experience to counsel companies on strategic employment and civil rights issues such as pay equity, diversity and inclusion, selection criteria, wage and hour policies, termination, and disability accommodations.

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  • Prevailed in all 60 cases litigated over 8 years in federal court on behalf of one of the world’s largest media conglomerates, defeating claims of systemic and intentional discrimination in public accommodations brought by persons with disabilities.
  • Won a three-week jury trial on behalf of the largest eye care device company in the world, which was sued by a senior-level executive alleging he was terminated because of race and national origin discrimination.
  • Successfully defended an international cosmetics and skin care company in a nationwide collective action brought by employees at 350 retail locations, seeking overtime wages under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

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  • Chambers USA 2014 to 2022
  • Benchmark Litigation 2016 to 2022
  • Legal 500 USA 2020 and 2021
  • United Cerebral Palsy 2007 Distinguished Service Award


  • Elected to the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers


Harvard College, AB
Antioch Law School, JD

Fulbright Fellowship to Germany

Law Clerk to the Honorable Richard P. Match, U.S. District Judge for the District of Colorado

District of Columbia

Courts / Agencies
Supreme Court of the United States
US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
District of Columbia Court of Appeals
US District Court for the District of Columbia