Chair, International Practice Group
Carson Burnham Chairs the International Practice Group of Ogletree Deakins. She is a shareholder based in the Boston office. Carson and her global team manage worldwide labor and employment matters for clients and offer practical solutions to employment law issues in over 100 countries.
Carson’s expertise includes multijurisdictional investigations into employment law and compliance matters including sexual harassment, bullying, assault, breach of finance and sales protocols, kickbacks and compensation fraud and other employment-law matters of particular importance to US headquartered multinationals. Carson also specializes in a practical and efficient approach to sensitive, executive-level negotiations, assisting her clients with hiring, management, and terminations worldwide. Carson has unique experience with labor and employment issues in cross-border M&A from a multidisciplinary perspective, and is often called upon to partner with corporate firms to assist from the kickoff of a transaction through post-close integration. Carson designs and implements global ethics protocols for US-headquartered multinationals and enables her clients to implement compensation plans and harmonized benefits practices with a solutions-oriented approach that maintains efficiency at the global level and compliance at the local level. Carson also manages employment litigation for clients abroad, most recently in the Netherlands, Spain and France. She is frequently asked to speak about addressing the challenges of effectively managing a global workforce.
In addition to her own practice, Carson established and manages the International Practice Group of Ogletree Deakins, a team of international attorneys based in five countries with experience handling employment-law matters worldwide. Some recent representative projects handled by Carson and the team include global restructurings ; overtime and wage/hour compliance in multiple jurisdictions; investigating allegations of sexual harassment and criminal assault (France, UK, Brazil, Thailand); investigating allegations of abuse of financial protocols, including benefits fraud, unauthorized discounting and alleged kickbacks (Japan, France, Brazil); drafting and coordinating the rollout of global sales compensation plans, retention bonus plans, codes of conduct and electronic communications policies; advising concerning choice of law, the enforceability of US judgments overseas and the extraterritorial application of US laws applicable employees employment laws to foreign decision makers; managing disability issues; preparing and delivering comparative anti-harassment trainings; measures to mitigate the multidisciplinary risks associated with Global Mobility assignments; negotiating executive terminations as well as handling performance and conduct-based terminations. The International Practice Group consists of lawyers with in-house experience working for multinationals, lawyers experienced in cross-disciplinary matters such as white collar crime, M&A, immigration and tax; lawyers with educational and language experience in a multitude of foreign countries including China, Cuba, Brazil, New Zealand, Poland, Romania, Austria, and Ireland; and German, Japanese, Chinese and Korean lawyers with experience working in the United States.
Prior to joining Ogletree, Carson was the Vice President of Global Employment Law for Novell, Inc. In that capacity, Carson managed a global team of attorneys, oversaw worldwide employment litigation and separation negotiations, served as counsel to the company’s Compliance and Ethics Committee, held responsibility for the employment-law aspects of the company’s transactional activity (including post-close integration) , chaired its Global Policy Committee, served as counsel to its Global Sales Incentive Compensation Committee, and regularly advised Internal Audit concerning international labor and employment matters, signature authority protocols, pricing review procedures, separation costs and incentive compensation issues. In this role, Carson frequently participated in the company’s Board and Audit Committee meetings and worked on a daily basis with the company’s executive team. Carson is best known for finding creative, simple and efficient solutions for her clients’ complex employment law problems around the world.