Paul Lancaster Adams

Shareholder || Philadelphia

Paul is a nationally recognized labor and employment lawyer. With a strong in-house and outside counsel background, he brings a unique and practical perspective to issues critical to the modern workplace through counseling, negotiation and litigation. Paul represents employers in high-stakes federal and state court employment litigation, class and collective actions, labor arbitrations and administrative proceedings. He has successfully tried to verdict over 25 matters in federal and state courts and handled numerous arbitrations and mediations. Paul routinely defends clients in investigations by government agencies such as the EEOC, and state equivalents, DOL and NLRB and conducts and oversees internal corporate investigations of discrimination, harassment, fraud, embezzlement and other forms of employment misconduct. He also represents clients in employment related intellectual property matters and in traditional labor settings.

The International Law Office (ILO) named Paul the 2017 and 2019 exclusive winner for Pennsylvania in the Employment Law category for its Client Choice Awards, based on feedback provided by more than 2,500 in-house counsel. The recognition focused on Paul’s ability to provide high quality legal representation, strategic thinking and value for services across jurisdictions. From 2017 to 2019 he has been recognized as one of the “100 Most Powerful Corporate Employment Lawyers in America” by Lawdragon and Human Resources Executive magazine. In 2016 Paul was elected a Fellow of The College of Labor and Employment Lawyers. He has been listed as one of the Best Lawyers in America since 2014 and further singled out as one of “The Legal 500” nationally. Philly Biz Magazine named Paul a “2016 Executive of the Year” distinguishing him as 1 of 11 individuals “working to make Philadelphia a leader in every sector.” In 2014, Paul was named one of the “Attorneys Who Matter” describing him as one of “the best and brightest minds in the legal field” by leading international business ethics think-tank the Ethisphere® Institute.

Paul has served and continues to serve, in firm leadership roles to include, but not limited to, firm-wide Management Committee, Office Managing Shareholder, National/International Client Services Steering Committee and the firm’s Diversity and Inclusion Steering Committee. Through Paul’s leadership, the Philadelphia office was named SmartCEO’s “2015 Law Firm of the Year” and Paul a finalist of the “Industry Practice Attorney of the Year”. Paul has been honored “Pennsylvania Diverse Attorney of the Year” in 2013 by The Legal Intelligencer (oldest law journal in the United States), a “Best Attorney in Philadelphia” by the Philadelphia Inquirer as well as “Top Lawyer in Pennsylvania” by the National Law Journal both since 2014 and Pennsylvania Super Lawyer 2015 to present. Additionally, in 2013 the Philadelphia Business Journal selected him to receive the “Minority Business Leader Executive Award” which distinguishably recognizes top level corporate executives and advocates who play a strong role in their respective industries and communities.

Prior to joining Ogletree Deakins, Paul served as Associate General Counsel and Chief Employment Litigator for Microsoft Corporation. He also led the strategic and tactical handling of class actions and high-level domestic and non-United States corporate investigations. As part of the company’s Legal and Corporate Affairs External Leadership, he also served as Sr. Director of Government Affairs where he supported and advised the company’s largest customer base. During his career with Microsoft, he was honored in 2009 with the National Bar Association’s “Clyde E. Bailey, Sr. Award for Corporate Leadership.” Preceding Microsoft, Paul was a partner at one of the premier law firms in Philadelphia.

Paul has been, and continues to be, involved in numerous civic and charitable activities to include, but not limited to, Board of Directors for the Mann Center for the Performing Arts, Big Brothers Big Sisters Independence Region and UNCF’s Leadership Council.

Learn more about Paul Lancaster Adams

Notable litigation and investigations:


Admittance to Practice

Professional Activities

  • American Bar Association
  • National Bar Association
  • American Employment Law Council
  • National Employment Law Council
  • Defense Research Institute
  • Philadelphia Bar Association
  • Barristers Association of Philadelphia
  • Member, Big Brothers Big Sisters Independence Region Governing Board of Directors
  • Member, UNCF Leadership Council
  • Past Member, National Bar Association Commercial Law Section Executive Committee Board
  • Past Member, Philadelphia Young Playwrights Board
  • Past Member, Jenkins Law Library Board
  • Past Member, Philadelphia Prison Board


Insights by Paul Lancaster Adams