Lauren H. Leyden is a lawyer in the firm’s New York labor and employment practice.
Practice & Background
Ms. Leyden regularly leads the labor and employment components of transactional and restructuring engagements and advising clients on the acquisition and structuring of labor, including evaluation of workforces, unionization of workforces, negotiation of collective bargaining agreements, and the transfer, hiring or firing of workers both on the buy and sell side.
In addition, Ms. Leyden’s diverse practice includes litigating employment disputes in federal and state courts and before various government agencies. She defends class and individual claims alleging employment discrimination, retaliation, workplace harassment and wage and hour violations. Ms. Leyden also defends class actions alleging breach of fiduciary duty and prohibited transaction claims under ERISA. She has experience advising and representing employers in union representation matters, collective bargaining, arbitrations and unfair labor practice proceedings. Ms. Leyden represents a significant number of financial services clients in employment disputes, restrictive covenant matters, employment contract negotiations and employee terminations and advises clients on best employment practices under federal, state and local law.
Ms. Leyden is a member of the hiring committee in the firm’s New York office. She received her B.A. in political science from the University of Chicago in 2002. She received her J.D. in 2005 from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where she was a member of the executive board of the Journal of Labor and Employment Law.
Ms. Leyden led the significant and high-stakes labor and employment components of the firm’s representation of:
- the Ad Hoc First Lien Lender Group in connection with restructuring of Avaya, Inc., including providing advice on labor and pension matters
- 7-Eleven, Inc., the largest chain in the convenience-retailing industry, in emerging an asset purchase agreement with Sunoco LP to acquire approximately 1,108 convenience stores, located in 18 states, in a deal valued at $3.3 billion
- ISH and certain of its subsidiaries, in its chapter 11 proceeding, leading the labor team to negotiate with the American Radio Association, Seafarers International Union, Marine Engineers' Beneficial Association and International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots
- the Informal Group of Secured Noteholders of Constellation, which group held, in the aggregate, all of the approximately $130 million of outstanding secured notes in Constellation's chapter 11 proceedings. In the chapter 11, representing the Informal Group as purchaser of substantially all of the Constellation’s assets (other than the Columbus assets), Ms. Leyden led the labor team and negotiated initial collective bargaining agreements with United Steelworkers, International Brotherhood of Boilermakers and International Association of Machinists
- the senior secured lenders, who held approximately $2 billion of outstanding loans and commitments, in Walter Energy, Inc.’s chapter 11 proceedings. On behalf of the purchaser of substantially all of the Alabama coal assets of Walter Energy, Ms. Leyden led the labor team and negotiated an initial collective bargaining agreement with the United Mine Workers of America
- Atlantic Express Transportation Corp., one of the largest school bus transportation service providers in North America, in its chapter 11 proceedings, valued at approximately $200 million of liabilities subject to restructuring
- Capmark Financial Group Inc. in its definitive agreement to acquire Orchard Brands Corporation for $410 million in cash.
Awards & Accolades
- Akin Gump’s labor and employment practice named as Law360 Employment Practice Group of the Year four times in the past seven years, including in 2009, 2013, 2015 and 2016.
- New York Law Journal Rising Star, 2017.
- Super Lawyers New York Metro Area Rising Star, 2013-2016.
- Participated in a panel at an In-House CLE program titled “New York City’s Salary History Inquiry Law,” July 2017
- Participated in a panel titled “Managing Employment Risk: Crisis Management and Prevention,” at the Akin Gump Alumni CLE and Cocktail Reception, January 31, 2017
- Participated in a panel titled “Hard Labor: Managing Employment Issues in Turbulent Times” at the Akin Gump Annual New York Investment Funds Conference, September 21, 2016
- Member, Thompson Reuters Rising Stars Cohort Program