DLA Piper announces new US Employment practice leadership

DLA Piper is pleased to announce that New York-based partner Brian Kaplan has been named US chair and global co-chair of the firm's Employment practice. Within the Employment practice, Ute Krudewagen and Dean Fealk have been named co-chairs of the International sub-practice, and Rita Patel, Richard Ashley and Cisco Palao-Ricketts have been named co-chairs of the US Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation sub-practice.


Kaplan has more than two decades of experience advising and representing employers and prominent senior executives in all aspects of employment law and litigation before federal and state courts, administrative agencies and arbitration panels. He has been recognized by Legal 500 as a leading litigator in the Labor and Employment Disputes category and has been repeatedly listed in publications such as Best Lawyers in America and Super Lawyers.


Krudewagen advises international and cross-border clients on a broad range of complex global employment matters. She has been named to the Silicon Valley Business Journal's "Women of Influence" list, which recognizes the top 100 women in the region who are making an impact in the local business community. She has also been named to the Daily Journal's list of "Top Women Lawyers." Fealk advises on cross-border equity-based compensation programs and international employment matters. The Daily Journal has selected Fealk for its lists of California's "Top 20 Attorneys Under 40" and "Top 75 Labor & Employment Lawyers in California." Active in civic affairs, he is an Eisenhower Fellow, Marshall Memorial Fellow and Presidential Leadership Scholar and serves on the boards of the California Business Roundtable and the Bay Area Council.


Patel's broad practice covers counseling publicly-traded clients on complex taxation, equity design, disclosure and executive compensation matters. Her experience includes working on significant cross-border and domestic mergers and acquisitions involving life science, technology and financial organizations. She is a leader in the American Bar Association and local bar committees focused on current executive compensation and benefits matters. Ashley, who was named to BTI Consulting Group's 2018 BTI Client Service All-Stars list, advises public and private companies on the design, implementation and administration of qualified retirement plans, nonqualified retirement plans, welfare benefit plans, equity incentive programs and executive compensation arrangements. Palao-Ricketts is located in Silicon Valley and advises start-up, emerging growth and public companies on a wide range of compensation and employee benefits issues, especially with respect to equity and executive arrangements.


DLA Piper's US Employment practice includes more than 70 lawyers in over a dozen offices across the country who advise clients worldwide on employment-related issues, helping them find creative solutions and manage risk in relation to labor and employment legal challenges and objectives. Among other accolades, DLA Piper was ranked by U.S. News – Best Lawyers in the Litigation – Labor & Employment category in 2017 and 2018, by Chambers Global in the Global Employment category from 2015 to 2018, and by Legal 500 in the Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation category.