INDIANAPOLIS – The National Law Journal has named Kenneth J. Yerkes, chair of Barnes & Thornburg’s Labor and Employment Department, to its inaugural list of Employment Trailblazers. The new Employment Trailblazers publication recognizes attorneys who have made significant marks on the profession through new legal strategies and unique case outcomes.
In earning acclaim as one of the country’s leading labor and employment lawyers, Yerkes was recognized by the publication for his transformational bargaining work on behalf of multibillion dollar companies over the last decade, for whom he has addressed both critical and existential operational limitations and unsustainable costs in their union contracts. Over the same timeframe, Yerkes also litigated employment cases in courts across numerous jurisdictions, most-recently winning a three-week jury trial on behalf of one of the nation’s largest insurance companies. In both his contract negotiations and jury presentations, Yerkes has shown a unique ability to translate complex business issues, facts and challenges into understandable and winning messages.
When asked about the legal challenges associated with the future of the workplace, Yerkes said: “Social media has changed the timeline for responding and winning. Whether in discovery, litigation or traditional labor negotiations, the technology and accessibility now available require advocates to be more creative and thoughtful in responding to opponents’ arguments.”
With a practice that balances litigation, counseling and traditional labor matters, Yerkes has spent his 35-year career fighting for his clients' rights and business objectives at the bargaining table, in arbitration and federal and state court, as well as in plants across the country.
Yerkes is a prominent speaker and presenter at industry conferences and in-house law training programs, and he has been quoted and published on various labor and employment topics and issues in The Wall Street Journal, Corporate Counsel, InsideCounsel, Law360 and IndustryWeek, among others.
With more than 600 attorneys and other legal professionals, Barnes & Thornburg is one of the largest law firms in the country. The firm serves clients worldwide from 14 offices in Atlanta, California, Chicago, Delaware, Indiana, Michigan, Minneapolis, Ohio, Texas and Washington, D.C. For more information, visit us online at www.btlaw.com or on Twitter @BTLawNews.