W. Russell Hamilton, III

W. Russell Hamilton, III

Of Counsel / Melbourne

Russell Hamilton concentrates his practice on representing employers, employer associations and employee benefit plans and fiduciaries in labor, employment, and employee benefits and withdrawal liability matters. 

He counsels employers on compliance with the full array of traditional labor/management relations, equal employment opportunity laws, wage and hour laws, WARN, USERRA, Sarbanes-Oxley, FMLA, GINA and COBRA. In addition, Russell's extensive knowledge of employee benefit matters includes experience in ERISA participant/beneficiary and fiduciary litigation, as well as withdrawal liability counseling and litigation. He has also led trial teams in obtaining judgments, and appellate affirmance in favor of employers from a variety of industries in all forms of discrimination, harassment, retaliation, wrongful interference and employee torts.  His labor relations experience includes counseling of employers on legal issues attendant to union's employee organizational efforts, representation election guidance, unfair labor practices defense, strike planning and assistance and negotiation of collective bargaining agreements in various industries.

Prior to joining FordHarrison, Russell was a partner in the labor and employment practice group of a national multi-practice law firm, and, then, a shareholder in a large, Florida-based general services law firm.

Representative Experience
  • Obtained favorable trial court judgment, and appellate affirmance, of USERRA case for major aerospace contractor.
  • Successfully negotiated first collective bargaining agreement for a South Florida city with its firefighters which contained no wage or benefit increases and with a cap on the city's future pension costs.
  • Led trial team in successful defense of multi-count FMLA, ADA, and race and sex discrimination litigation, and, then, led appellate team in obtaining affirmance of trial court judgment.  
  • Per Florida Bar rules, information on litigation and other legal successes has not been disclosed but is available upon request.
Honors & Awards
  • Chambers USA; America's Leading Lawyer for Business:  Ranked #1 in Labor and Employment, 2003-2012.
  • The Best Lawyers in America, selected for inclusion, 2004-2011.
  • The Best Lawyers in America, Miami's Labor and Employment Lawyer of the Year, 2010.
  • Florida Super Lawyers, selected for inclusion, 2006-2012 and 2014-2017.
  • Florida Trend's Florida Legal Elite, selected for inclusion, 2004-2012 and 2014-2015.
  • South Florida Legal Guide – "Top Lawyers in South Florida," selected for inclusion 2005-2009.
  • Who's Who Legal Management Labor and Employment, selected for inclusion, 2008-2012.