Margo Wolf O’Donnell is co-chair of Benesch’s Labor & Employment Practice Group. She is a nationally recognized employment attorney with more than 25 years of experience litigating complex and “bet the company” employment claims. Margo cases involve high stakes restrictive covenants and trade secrets, whistleblower claims, wage-and-hour issues, and statutory claims of harassment and discrimination. Margo also acts as a crisis manager and business advisor to her clients on best practices for workplace safety, remote work arrangements, leave issues, employment agreements, diversity and inclusion, individual and group discharges, and internal investigations. She has been widely recognized as one of the top employment attorneys in the country.
Margo serves as outside employment counsel for many clients nationwide. Clients praise her ability to contribute to a “positive, productive and inclusive work environment for employees” and describe her advocacy as “persistent, smart, tough and innovative.”
Margo’s work is complemented by her experience leading others at her law firm and in national bar associations. She currently serves on Benesch’s practice group chair management committee and co-chairs the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion initiative. Shehasdevotedsignificanttimetomentoringandsupportingthesuccess of other women attorneys. Under Margo’s leadership, the Coalition of Women’s Initiatives in Law went from a group of several law firms in Chicago to a national bar association with a membership of more than 100 law firms and companies. She also is the founder of and currently leads B-Sharp, Benesch’s professional development program for women in-house attorneys. B-Sharp has provided programming and networking opportunities to hundreds of in-house lawyers since its founding.
Margo’s litigation experience ranges from the defense of one of the largest race discrimination class actions in history to two-party restrictive covenant disputes.
Margo’s work and leadership skills have earned her many accolades. In 2020, Benchmark Litigation gave her its Labor & Employment Star recognition. Crain’s named Margo to its lists of the “Most Influential Women Lawyers in Chicago” and “Most Notable Women Executives,” and Leading Lawyers named Margo as one of the “Top 10 Women Employment Management Attorneys in Illinois.” The Chicago Daily Law Bulletin named Margo as a “Woman Making an Impact” and included her in their “40 Attorneys Under Forty Hall of Fame.” Best Lawyers named Margo as one of 15 “Women of Influence” in the legal profession nationwide, and Chambers & Partners recognized Margo as an “Inspiring Role Model Promoting Gender Diversity.” Margo is a Corporate Counsel 2018 and 2020 Women, Influence, & Power in Law Honoree. She holds an “AV Preeminent” Peer Rating by Martindale-Hubbell (the highest possible rating).
Margo is past president and recipient of the Leadership Award of the Coalition of Women’s Initiatives in Law. She is a Life Fellow of the American Bar Foundation and a Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America. Margo serves on the Boards of the Coalition of Women’s Initiatives in Law, the Yale Alumni Fund, the Yale Club of Chicago, the Women’s Board of the University of Chicago, and the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools.