Alan D. Berkowitz, Leader of Dechert’s labor and employment practice, is designated by Chambers USA as a top labor and employment attorney since 2003, represents employers in a wide range of employment litigation disputes including cases alleging discrimination, breach of contract, employment torts, non-compete violations and wage and hour violations. He has extensive experience in federal and state court in both class action and individual litigation.
Mr. Berkowitz is also experienced in handling representation and unfair labor practice proceedings before the National Labor Relations Board and labor arbitration proceedings in a wide variety of industries.
Mr. Berkowitz has been ranked in Chambers USA’s Band 1 for his labor practice in Pennsylvania and praised for his “excellent knowledge of the law,” and “common-sense business approach to legal matters.” Clients and peers have noted that Mr. Berkowitz is "great for strategizing, focusing on the issue and coming up with solutions," also commenting that he is “intellectually impressive and exceptionally talented” with an “enormous wealth of substantive knowledge” and “wonderfully balanced judgment.” The publication also praised his ability to “get to the finish line in a way that is economic and pragmatic.” Mr. Berkowitz has also been recognized regularly for labor and employment management and litigation in The Best Lawyers in America since 2007. Recently, he was named the Best Lawyers 2015 Labor "Lawyer of the Year" in Philadelphia.
Mr. Berkowitz recently authored a treatise on Pennsylvania Employment Law published by West Publishing Co. He has also co-authored two books, titled The Landrum-Griffin Act: Twenty Years of Federal Protection of Union Members’ Rights and The NLRB and Secondary Boycotts.
- Represented Iron Hill Brewery in a class/collective action affecting approximately 1,300 servers and bartenders who claimed that they were part of a tip pool that improperly included expediters. Following initial discovery and a mediation, a settlement was reached. The federal court in Philadelphia approved the settlement as fair, reasonable, and adequate following notice to the class and an opportunity to be heard.
- Represented a leading hospitality chain in a collective action filed against it in federal court in Philadelphia. Following discovery, this matter was resolved on a single-plaintiff basis, and the court granted approval of the settlement.
- Represented a manufacturer of foam products in an injunction proceeding filed against it in federal court in Philadelphia alleging that it had improperly hired an employee in breach of certain restrictive covenants. Litigation was also filed in this matter in California. Following written discovery, this matter was resolved pursuant to the terms of a stipulated judgment.
- Represented Fox Television Stations in a highly publicized reverse-race discrimination case to a successful jury verdict. The case was brought by a former white television anchor whose contract was not renewed after he used the “n-word” at work in a meeting and in subsequent discussions. The former anchor claimed that he was subject to a double-standard and treated less favorably than black employees, a claim that the jury rejected.
- Represented a company in an evidentiary injunction hearing in Iowa state court following its hiring of a new chief executive officer. The executive’s former employer filed suit claiming that the executive was in violation of certain post-restrictive covenants and that Dechert’s client had interfered with those contractual obligations. Although the court granted the former employer some injunctive relief, it rejected its primary claim that the executive was precluding from working as the client’s new chief executive officer.
- Represented MWI Veterinary Supply in a suit that it filed against two former executives in federal court in Idaho alleging that these executives engaged in competitive activities, related party transactions, and other wrongful acts. After a preliminary injunction hearing, the Court granted MWI equitable relief against the executives. The matter was then settled while on appeal to the Ninth Circuit.
- Represented Caliber Home Loans in a suit filed in Pennsylvania state court alleging that it had improperly hired a large number of employees from a competitor. After the court denied the plaintiff’s request for injunctive relief, the matter was settled.
- Represented a partner of an investment management firm in connection with his highly contentious departure from that firm, followed by the formation of a new investment firm. Other employees left with this partner raising additional legal issues and complexities.
- Represented a leading building technology company in a putative class and collective action filed in federal court in New York alleging that the company had failed to pay prevailing wages required by New York State law. The court denied class action treatment and the matter was settled on an individual basis.
- Conducted an internal investigation commissioned by the audit committee of a publicly-traded company. The investigation related to the conduct of high-level executives of the company.
- Conducted labor negotiations on behalf of a glass manufacturer resulting in a new multi-year collective bargaining agreement.
- Providing ongoing advice to an international media client with respect to reductions in force, and compliance with related regulatory requirements including those arising under the federal WARN Act and the OWBPA.
- Providing ongoing advice to a client in higher education including advice with respect to EEO matters and discrimination charges, employment terminations and other disciplinary matters, and compliance with various federal and state legal and regulatory requirements.
Cornell University, B.S., School of Industrial and Labor Relations, 1977
University of Pennsylvania Law School, J.D., 1980, summa cum laude, Special Honors for graduating first in class, member of the Law Review
Supreme Court of the United States
Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia
United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
From 1982 to 1995, Mr. Berkowitz was an adjunct professor of law at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, teaching employment law as well as a variety of advanced labor law courses. He has also taught employment courses at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and Rutgers University School of Law -- Camden.