Orrick announced today that Christopher Wilkinson, the former Associate Solicitor for Civil Rights and Labor Management at the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), has joined the firm as a partner, resident in Washington, D.C.
Chris has over 15 years of broad DOL experience including policy advice, regulatory counseling and enforcement litigation. He has litigated complex wage and hour matters, discrimination cases, Sarbanes-Oxley and other whistleblower cases and health and safety matters. Chris has also advised the DOL on a wide range of matters in the appellate courts, including the Supreme Court, and has extensive first chair litigation experience having served as trial attorney and then counsel for civil rights programs in the DOL’s San Francisco regional office. Chris' federal trial career also includes handling back wage recovery and civil penalty actions arising under the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Service Contract Act and the Davis-Bacon Act.
As Associate Solicitor, Chris was the senior legal advisor to the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) in setting all of its enforcement priorities and strategies. He has also worked closely with OFCCP in overseeing and counseling on broad audits of government contractors in large scale government based discrimination investigations.
"Chris brings to Orrick a deep understanding of the DOL regulatory landscape and first chair trial experience on issues that are front and center for every employer in the United States," said Mike Delikat, Chair of Orrick’s Employment Litigation Practice Group. "His insights coupled with his stellar litigation skills will be a huge asset to our clients as they attempt to navigate an unprecedented increase in government enforcement and litigation."
Jessica Perry, Deputy Leader of Orrick’s Litigation Business Unit and a partner in the Employment Litigation Group, added, "Chris is an impressive addition to our team and will be particularly helpful to our clients as they attempt to navigate regulatory investigations and litigation involving pay equality, discrimination, whistleblowing, wage-and-hour concerns and the on-demand economy."
"It has been a pleasure to serve in the Solicitor’s office these past 16 years. At the same time, I could not be more excited to return to private practice as part of Orrick’s leading global employment law and litigation team and to be able to provide a broad range of advice and representation to Orrick’s world class clients," noted Chris.
Orrick has been recognized the past two consecutive times as ALM/The Recorder’s Labor & Employment Litigation Department of the Year. The firm’s global employment law team advises employers on their most important and complex employment law issues in the United States and abroad. Earlier this year, an Orrick employment law team attained a complete and resounding jury trial victory for venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers in a gender discrimination and retaliation case brought by former partner Ellen Pao.
Chris earned his J.D. from the University of Virginia and his B.A. from Rutgers University.