O'Kelly E. McWilliams III is the Office Managing Partner of the Washington, D.C., Virginia and Maryland offices, and a partner in the firm's Employment, Commercial Litigation and Professional Liability Defense Practice Groups. Some of the world's leading companies and emerging businesses, such as Eli Lilly, BET Networks, E*TRADE, Kraft, Coca-Cola, Liberty Mutual, McDonald's, OmniSystems and Knight Solutions, have retained Mr. McWilliams as a trusted legal advisor. He has extensive experience counseling and handling matters for clients on a broad range of business issues, with an emphasis on employment law issues as they relate to transactions and disputes.
Mr. McWilliams is a specialist in corporate diversity counseling and risk mitigation, an emerging area of concern for large corporations. He regularly guides startups and emerging growth companies through implementation of employment policies and legal compliance
Mr. McWilliams' practice encompasses the full range of issues relative to the business environment, including:
Strategic counseling in assessing trade secret, confidential and proprietary information, contractual, and other risks associated with the potential hiring of executives and employee raiding from competitive entities, and defending litigation that may arise from such hiring;
The initial development, negotiation, and drafting of complex agreements that form the business relationship, such as executive employment, proprietary information and, noncompetitive agreements; and independent contractor and consulting arrangements;
Counseling and assisting clients through difficult issues that arise during the relationship, including handling whistleblower allegations and investigations; conducting investigations of employee misconduct such as trade secret theft; responding to allegations of unlawful discrimination or harassment; handling complex employee issues arising from company mergers and acquisitions and workforce restructuring; and establishing industry-specific employment policies and comprehensive procedures to govern the relationship;
Assessing the risks associated with terminating the employment or independent contractor relationship including handling difficult and sensitive executive terminations, as well as negotiating and drafting multifaceted compensation and separation agreements; and
Litigating disputes with current and former service providers on claims involving breach of contract; the misappropriation of trade secrets (and related claims); employee raiding and noncompete agreements; discrimination, harassment, and wrongful termination in violation of public policy (including whistleblower claims); wage and hour disputes; and stock and stock option disputes.
Mr. McWilliams frequently lectures on employment law matters for various organizations, including The Marathon Club, the National Association of Investment Companies, and the Minority Corporate Counsel Association, and presents professional seminars on employment, trade secret, venture capital and investment fund personnel matters.
District of Columbia
U.S. Supreme Court
U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit
U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Virginia U.S. District Court, District of Columbia
U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania
Board of Governors, American Bar Association
Board of Directors, The Longwood University Foundation
Board of Trustees, Washington Math Science Technology Public Charter High School
Faculty Member, Virginia State Bar Professionalism Course
General Counsel and Charter Member, The Marathon Club
Member, George Mason University Diversity Advisory Board
Board Member, Epsilon Zeta Boule Foundation