Partner, Farella Braun Martel
Holly Sutton guides businesses, compensation committees, and boards in effectively managing the critical employment matters they face, with an eye toward both practical solutions and risk management. In this role, she frequently advises on policies or measures at the planning stage—proactive involvement in employment issues is almost always preferable to devising responses ex post facto. Holly is the chair of Farella's Employment Practice.
Holly counsels clients on the design and implementation of employment-related policies and practices to minimize the risk of employment litigation, and ensure compliance with applicable law. Specific areas in which Holly advises her clients include, but aren’t limited to, personnel policies, wage and hour laws, EEO compliance, hiring and termination practices, harassment and discrimination investigations, non-competition clauses, conflict of interest, and trade secret matters. She has worked with clients in a range of industries, including media, insurance, wine, agriculture, technology, retail, banking, construction, manufacturing, cannabis, and professional services.
By developing innovative strategies that are grounded in an in-depth knowledge of employment law, yet carefully tailored to each client’s individual circumstances, Holly helps her clients navigate particularly high-risk scenarios and challenging situations, including reductions in force, realignment of workforces, mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures.
Holly provides carefully tailored advice, focusing on the specific and unique facts of each situation, and partners with her clients to develop strategies that best protect against claims and related disruptions, while working within the realities of day-to-day operation. A theoretically flawless solution that is unworkable is of no value—Holly provides approaches that work in the real business world in which her clients work.
In addition to employment-related counseling, Holly also defends clients in wrongful termination and employment discrimination actions, including claims for race, age, sex, disability, and pregnancy discrimination. She has advocated in state and federal courts as well as various administrative forums, including single plaintiff, multi-plaintiff, and class action matters.
She has also defended cases involving trade secrets, accommodation, and employee solicitation issues. She has extensive experience in all facets of contractual arbitration, and has defended government investigations, resulting in dismissal of claims.
An essential part of her role as a trusted advisor on employment matters is ensuring that her clients are kept abreast of the latest developments in employment law— an ever-changing field. She’s a frequent speaker, author, panelist, and media source, and in addition to advising on the current state of the law, frequently counsels on upcoming changes and trends that will affect her client’s business, strategy and workforce. For example, the gig economy freelancing and contract employees present unique employment challenges. By staying ahead of trends in business, Holly helps her clients compete and succeed as well. She is recognized as a Labor & Employment Star – West by Benchmark Litigation (2019).
Holly earned her J.D. from Stanford University in 1993, where she was associate editor of the Stanford Law Review and co-chair of Women of Stanford Law. She earned her B.A., summa cum laude, from the University of California, Berkeley
Partner, Outten & Golden
JENNIFER SCHWARTZ is a partner at Outten & Golden LLP and heads the individual practice in the San Francisco office. She represents employees exclusively in a wide range of employment matters, including litigation in state and federal trial courts, before administrative agencies, and in appellate courts. Ms. Schwartz has been repeatedly nominated by her peers as a Super Lawyer and has been named a Top Woman Attorney in Northern California. She serves as a FINRA arbitrator. Ms. Schwartz is a graduate of Yale University and N.Y.U. School of Law, having completed her third year at Stanford School of Law.
Ms. Schwartz’s employment practice focuses on claims of wrongful termination, discrimination, sexual harassment, retaliation, and violation of state and federal wage and hour laws. She represents whistleblowers and individuals who have experienced adverse employment action as a result of opposing illegal or unethical corporate practices.
Ms. Schwartz’s highly specialized practice involves a variety of professional and executive compensation and benefits matters, including the negotiation of employment, severance, restrictive covenant, and trade secret agreements. Using Outten & Golden’s depth and breadth of experience with complicated aspects of executive employment arrangements, she provides advice to founders and other employees and professionals at both “start ups” and existing businesses relating to transactional matters, including changes in control, mergers, team moves, and the formation and sale of businesses. She boasts successful resolution of pre- and post-employment conflicts short of litigation using a collaborative approach with her client’s employers.