Benchmark Litigation Names 3 Ward and Smith Attorneys "Labor and Employment Stars"

Falling Onto A Gold Star Shaped Award Sitting Before Red Stage Curtain

Benchmark Litigation has bestowed three Ward and Smith attorneys with the highly coveted title of "Labor and Employment Stars" in its 6th annual edition.

Ken GrayWill Oden, and Devon Williams have been recognized for their dedication to employment law in the annual guide. This means that they have been identified through research as "one of the preeminent L&E litigation practitioners in the US."

In response to an ever-growing demand for specialized information on the subject matter, Benchmark launched the Labor and Employment guide in 2018. Their rigorous procedure involves in-depth surveys, peer reviews, and client analysis – all of which form the bedrock of their rankings. With such a comprehensive evaluation process behind them, these three talented individuals are unquestionably worthy of the respected accolade they have attained. A closer look into Benchmark’s methodology can be found here.

Ken GrayKen Gray leads the firm's Labor and Employment practice. His practice experience encompasses various areas of employment-related litigation. He advises clients and litigates cases involving all forms of employment discrimination, wrongful discharge, and breach of employment contracts from small start-up companies to Fortune 500 corporations. Ken is a frequent lecturer on employment discrimination, workplace retaliation, workers' compensation, and wage and hour law issues. 


Will OdenWill Oden leads Ward and Smith's Workplace Safety and Health practice. His practice experience encompasses various areas of employment and workplace-related counseling and civil litigation in both the federal and state courts at the trial and appellate levels. Will also regularly represents employers and employees before the United States Department of Labor (USDOL), the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), the North Carolina Department of Labor (NCDOL), the North Carolina Industrial Commission (NCIC), the North Carolina Department of Commerce, Division of Employment Security (DES), and federal and state wage and hour divisions.   

Devon WilliamsDevon's experience focuses on a wide range of labor and employment issues, including wage and hour matters, federal contractor compliance, employment discrimination, and harassment, employee discipline and termination, personnel policies, and background checks.  In matters relating to employee benefits, she concentrates on issues confronting welfare benefit plans (such as medical, dental, and other plans) and their sponsors, including the provisions and impact of the Affordable Care Act.


About Ward and Smith's Labor and Employment Practice

The Labor and Employment Practice Group works with clients to develop, implement, and defend policies and practices related to all aspects of the employment relationship to lessen the impact of these burdens to the greatest extent possible.

Several of our attorneys focus on business and human relations practices, such as preparing personnel manuals, employment contracts, compensation agreements, documents associated with workforce reductions, and settlement agreements and releases related to other termination forms.  Other attorneys represent clients in state and federal courts and before regulatory and administrative agencies, such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Ward and Smith's Labor and Employment attorneys serve clients from all business areas — from Fortune 500 companies to mid-size and small employers.  Our attorneys supplement the work of in-house counsel employed by large companies, and we handle all aspects of the legal process for small companies. Clients include banking and financial institutions, medical practices, boat builders, communications companies, construction companies, distributors, educational institutions, food service companies, insurance companies, manufacturers, nonprofit organizations, public utilities, publishers, retailers, state and local governments, and technology companies.


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