Four FordHarrison Attorneys Named Lawyer of the Year 2022 by the Best Lawyers in America

Date   Aug 19, 2021

FordHarrison LLP, one of the country’s largest management-side labor and employment law firms, is proud to announce that four of the firm’s attorneys were selected as 2022 Lawyer of the Year by Best Lawyers, the oldest and most respected peer-review publication in the legal profession. Thomas (Tom) H. Keim, Jr., partner in the firm’s Spartanburg office, was named Lawyer of the Year for Labor Law – Management for the Greenville area. Michael G. Prendergast, partner in the firm’s Jacksonville office, was named Lawyer of year for Labor Law – Management for the Jacksonville area. Mark E. Stamelos, partner in the firm’s Nashville office, was named Lawyer of the Year for Employment Law – Management for the Nashville area. Craig R. Thorstenson, partner in the firm’s Chicago office, was named Lawyer of the Year for Litigation – Labor and Employment for the Chicago area. Their honors will be published in a special edition of Best Lawyers.

Only a single lawyer in each specialty in each community is being honored as the “Lawyer of the Year,” making this accolade particularly significant. Best Lawyers compiles its list of outstanding attorneys by conducting exhaustive peer-review surveys in which thousands of leading lawyers confidentially evaluate their professional peers. The lawyers being honored as “Lawyer of the Year’ have received particularly high ratings in the surveys by earning a high level of respect among their peers for the abilities, professionalism, and integrity.

Thomas H. Keim, Jr. has exclusively worked in all areas of labor and employment law for over 30 years. His experience ranges from the representation of clients in a full range of labor issues including union campaigns, contract negotiations, walkouts, strikes, and other related matters. He regularly represents employers before the National Labor Relations Board and in federal and state courts in many jurisdictions throughout the U.S. Tom was previously recognized as the Lawyer of the Year - Employment Law – Management in 2019. Tom is a South Carolina Supreme Court Certified Specialist in Employment and Labor Law.

Michael G. Prendergast helps private and public sector employers avoid and defend against potential and actual legal claims in the workplace. These include advice and litigation under laws addressing employment discrimination, harassment, whistleblower and other retaliation, disability accommodations, FMLA, and wage and hour issues.  Mike also assists employers with union avoidance, union-management relations and related proceedings before the NLRB and the courts.  In addition, Mike helps clients facing OSHA inspections and proceedings, and represents government contractors on affirmative action issues, OFCCP audits, and related Department of Labor litigation. 

Mark E. Stamelos is the Office Managing Partner of FordHarrison's Nashville office. He represents a wide range of businesses on their employment issues, including trade secret, non-compete and restrictive covenant disputes as well as defending employers against harassment, discrimination and retaliation claims. Mark has litigation, arbitration, counseling and jury and bench trial experience involving a wide range of other employment-related matters, such as defending claims under state and federal law of unlawful discrimination and harassment and "whistle-blower" retaliation claims, including multi-plaintiff, representative and class action lawsuits. Also, he has successfully obtained and defeated temporary restraining orders, preliminary injunctions and permanent injunctions in jurisdictions throughout the United States.

Craig R. Thorstenson is the Office Managing Partner of FordHarrison's Chicago office and is a member of the firm’s executive committee. With over 30 years of experience, Craig has vast experience in a broad range of labor and employment matters, including defending numerous Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act, WARN Act, FLSA and Title VII class actions, prosecuting and defending actions over restrictive covenants, and handling complex labor arbitrations. He also routinely provides day-to-day preventive advice and counsel to his clients on every aspect of the employer-employee relationship. In addition to providing his clients with counseling, he conducts targeted client training for human resources professionals and company managers, including training on LGBT issues.

About Best Lawyers
Since it was first published in 1983, Best Lawyers has become universally regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence. Because Best Lawyers is based on an exhaustive peer-review survey in which more than 52,000 leading attorneys cast over 5.5 million votes on the legal abilities of other lawyers in their practice areas, and because lawyers are not required or allowed to pay a fee to be listed, inclusion in Best Lawyers is considered a singular honor. Corporate Counsel magazine called Best Lawyers “the most respected referral list of attorneys in practice.”