Ross  Friedman
Ross Friedman
Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP
Employment law
40 Under Class – 2015

Looking for a sure sign of a lawyer’s legal talents and reputation? Just look at that attorney’s client list. Try this experiment with Ross Friedman, a labor and employment law specialist with Chicago law firm Morgan Lewis, and you’ll find such big names on his client list from technology giants to leaders in the fast food industry.

Friedman didn’t just happen to upon these top clients. He’s earned their business through his tireless dedication to them, and his uncanny ability to earn top verdicts and settlements for the companies he represents.

A nominator who is a lawyer with a technology company sums up the reasons for Friedman’s success well: “He is extremely knowledgeable of the issues at hand, both in terms of the company and the law, and has a very practical approach to resolving labor issues. Ross helped us create and develop an aggressive, and successful, strategy to resolve labor controversy. He is an outstanding lawyer.”

Friedman, at a young age, has earned a reputation as one of the top labor attorneys in Chicago. It is little surprise, then, that he has been named co-chairman of Morgan Lewis’ Workforce Change Practice, which manages employment, labor and benefits issues arising from mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures, startups, spinoffs, workplace reductions and shutdowns.

He is also an experienced litigator who advises employers in a wide range of discrimination actions arising under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, Americans with Disabilities Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act and other related statutes. When employers face complicated benefits-related litigation that involves the Employee Retirement Income Security Act and whistleblower claims asserted under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, they turn to Friedman for their defense.

One nominator who is in-house lawyer with company in the suburbs of Chicago worked with Friedman when she was the chief human resources officer for another Chicago-based company. Friedman served as the company’s outside labor and employment counsel. The nominator said that Friedman built lasting relationships with management and the human resources team at his company thanks to his ability to guide the company through the most complicated of labor issues, including leading the company’s bargaining team through negotiations on a national contract. “It was clear that he was a quick study, conscientious and a hard worker,” nominator said.

Another nominator praised Friedman for his ability to handle even the most complicated of cases. “He has the unique ability to quickly consider and process very complicated situations, and render advice and counsel that significantly belies his years of experience,” another nominator said.“Ross has achieved the status of a highly trusted and respected advisor.”

Friedman’s fellow attorneys recognize him as a leader in the field of labor and employment law.This is why he has, for the last several years, led the labor relations discussions during the labor and employment sessions of Morgan Lewis’ annual client Retail Roundtables in Chicago. More than 25 companies attended the most recent roundtable, including general counsel and high-level executives from Crate & Barrel, PetSmart, Grainger, Walgreen Co., ShopKo Stores and Chick-fil-A.

Friedman is a sought-after speaker. He recently presented a session on cross-border transactional due diligence during Morgan Lewis’ Global Workforce Webinar Series, a series that saw a turnout of more than 500 attendees. Last April, he spoke during a National Labor Relations Board two-day public meeting on proposed regulations for processing union election petitions. Speaking on behalf of the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace, Friedman voiced his opposition to the rules.