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Mark A. Hutcheson

Firmwide Chairman
Mark Hutcheson is a veteran labor and employment law attorney who helps employers in a wide variety of industries manage their labor costs. He has extensive experience in labor relations counseling and in assisting employers with strategic labor planning, union organizing campaigns, collective bargaining, and strike planning and prevention. Mark regularly assists senior executives and employers with executive employment agreements and severance packages.

Practice Highlights
  • Assists clients throughout the United States on strategic labor relations planning. Client industries include health care, maritime, communications and media, financial services, construction and real estate, transportation and distribution, hospitality, agribusiness, and retail.
  • Serves as outside labor counsel to numerous hospitals and other health care organizations on the West Coast.
  • Assists buyers and sellers dealing with labor and employment law issues in merger and acquisition transactions.
  • Serves as chief spokesperson for employers in collective bargaining.
  • Helps both union and non-union employers comply with increasingly complex and confusing labor laws and regulations.

Representative Experience

Labor relations strategy for media client

Provided strategic labor relations planning advice to media client with 12 different bargaining units undergoing significant transformation of its business. The specifics are highly confidential and extremely complicated. Strike exposure was high. Client has achieved mutually agreeable savings in labor and capital costs in the millions.

Negotiation of labor agreements for media client

Assisted local television broadcaster with negotiating, in a down economy, multiple new labor agreements with major improvements in contract language, including stronger management rights and no strike provisions and a better grievance procedure.

Union matters for international air carrier

Representing an airline with multiple bargaining units covered by the Railway Labor Act deal with grievances, arbitrations, agency charges and litigation. (Ongoing)

Successorship issues for newspaper client

Helped newspaper client in Portland, Maine deal with a complicated successorship issue that impacted a pending sale of the business. A related lawsuit and an arbitration case were satisfactorily resolved.

Union negotiations for urban medical center

Successful negotiation of first collective bargaining agreement with SEIU 1199NW after years of litigation involving which union would represent this bargaining unit and the scope of the unit. A successful outcome was achieved without a strike utilizing interest-based bargaining technique.

Benefit plan strategy for private employer

Assisted a private employer with development of a strategy to resolve a large multimillion-dollar unfunded defined benefit pension plan obligation. The retirement plan covers 50,000 employees; the employer has operations in five different states and 43 different labor agreements.

Negotiation of labor agreements for HMO

Represented a large HMO in the simultaneous negotiation of multiple labor agreements covering state-wide bargaining units using the Interest Based Bargaining approach. The new agreements included favorable outcomes with respect to freezing the under-funded defined benefit retirement plan and elimination of expensive retiree medical benefits.

Employment and labor representation for public ports

Assists two major West Coast public port districts deal with labor and employment law matters such as complex labor agreements and worker retention policies. (Ongoing)

Professional & Community Activities

  • Labor and Employment Law and Health Law Sections, American Bar Association
  • Employment Law Section, King County Bar Association
  • Labor Relations Advisory Committee, American Hospital Association
  • Member and Past President, LAW Fund
  • Board Member and President, Endowment for Equal Justice
  • Board Member, International Development of the Law Organization, USA (IDLO-USA)
  • Fellow, College of Labor and Employment Lawyers
  • Fellow, American Bar Foundation (life member)

Professional Recognition

  • Named "AV Preeminent Rating" by Martindale-Hubbell 2017
  • Named one of "America's Leading Lawyers for Business" in Labor and Employment (Washington) by Chambers USA, 2003-2017; Received "Band 1" ranking, 2012-2016; Received "Senior Statesmen" ranking, 2017 
  • Named one of the "Best Lawyers in America" in Labor and Employment Law by Best Lawyers, 1983-present
  • Selected to "Washington Super Lawyers," Thomson Reuters, 1999-2017
  • President's Award, Washington State Bar Association, 2010
  • Named one of "The Nation's 100 Most Powerful Employment Attorneys" in Human Resource Executive magazine, in list prepared by Lawdragon, 2010-2014
  • Named one of "Top 20 in Traditional Labor & Employment Law" in list prepared by Lawdragon, 2012-2014 
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"A rockstar - he's at the top of his game." -Client Quote, Chambers USA 2017