MARCH 20, 2023 – Davis Wright Tremaine LLP's nationally recognized labor and employment practice group has enlarged its East Coast presence with the addition of Jeremy Merkelson, who joins as the group's first partner in the Washington, D.C. office.
Merkelson is a full-service practitioner who serves clients from a wide range of industries and brings substantial first-chair trial experience. He was most recently a partner at Holland & Hart LLP.
"The Washington, D.C., market presents a tremendous opportunity for our employment team," said Chip English, Davis Wright's Washington, D.C., partner-in-charge. "Our office is already home to some of the country's leading practices in financial services, technology, communications, media, and more. Jeremy will enable us to support these clients with best-in-class employment counsel as well, while growing our overall client base."
"Jeremy is the perfect person to help expand our East Coast capabilities," said Jenna Mooney, Portland, Ore.-based co-chair of Davis Wright's labor and employment group. "He's extremely skilled, well-rounded in his experience, strongly entrepreneurial, and has a pragmatic, collaborative mindset that suits our team and our clients. We're delighted to have him."
Davis Wright's labor and employment group is one of the largest in the country and is ranked by Chambers USA as a nationwide leader. The group's nine-member East Coast team, based in New York, is also ranked by Chambers as Highly Regarded. Over the past seven months, Davis Wright has continued adding strength to its key areas of focus, bringing on lateral partners and counsel in energy, healthcare, financial services, food and beverage, and more.
"Davis Wright has built a top-notch labor and employment practice," said Merkelson, "and I'm eager to play a role in enabling the team to further grow across sectors in smart, strategic ways."
Merkelson brings to the firm 13+ years of employment law experience. He helps clients develop first-tier personnel policies, avoid litigation, and minimize employment-related risks. He also regularly provides counsel to deal teams, advising on employment aspects of complex, cross-border M&A transactions.
In addition to his counseling work, Merkelson has broad experience representing clients in state and federal courts, administrative proceedings, and arbitrations throughout the United States. He has advised on impactful and complex employment litigation in closely watched sectors such as financial services, technology, and health care, and his first-chair trial experience includes defending employers in nationwide wage-and-hour class and collective actions, restrictive covenant/employee mobility and trade secrets disputes, and whistleblower retaliation and discrimination cases. Super Lawyers named him to the "Rising Stars" list for Labor & Employment in Washington, D.C. in 2021 and 2022.
Merkelson began his career at Morrison & Foerster LLP and later served for two-and-a-half years as general counsel and assistant director of the Association of American Law Schools. That experience provided him first-hand insight into the practical risks employers face while managing their workforce. Since returning to private practice, Merkelson has built a sub-specialty advising nonprofits and trade associations in the D.C. area, including serving as pro bono counsel to the Federation of American Scientists and the Smithsonian Institute early childhood education center.
"Davis Wright's leadership in advising tax-exempt organizations is just one of the many ways in which the firm is an outstanding fit for my practice," said Merkelson. "It is a platform where I can grow, lead, and collaborate, while serving some of the most innovative companies in the world. I am very excited to launch the next chapter of my career here."
Merkelson received his B.A., cum laude, at Yale University and his J.D. at the University of Virginia School of Law. Prior to attending law school, he served as an Urban Fellow with the New York City Fire Department.
About Davis Wright Tremaine
Davis Wright Tremaine LLP is an AmLaw 100 law firm with approximately 700 lawyers representing clients based throughout the United States and around the world. Learn more at www.dwt.com.