William M. Lawson

Shareholder || St. Louis

Mr. Lawson represents management interests in all aspects of labor and employment law, with an emphasis on litigating all types of employment claims in federal and state courts and before administrative agencies, including claims involving discrimination, retaliation, wage and hour, wrongful/retaliatory discharge and breach of contract. Mr. Lawson also has significant experience litigating disputes resulting from claims based on restrictive covenants, confidentiality agreements, misappropriation of trade secrets, unfair competition and tortious interference.

Mr. Lawson’s practice is also devoted to traditional labor law with an emphasis on union avoidance and representation of management in the arbitration of grievances brought under collective bargaining agreements.

Mr. Lawson advises clients on employment-related matters such as personnel policies, reductions in force, affirmative action, daily human resource issues, employment contracts, drafting of restrictive covenants, severance agreements and employee handbooks.

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Trial Experience:

Mr. Lawson has tried jury cases in both federal and state court and in the arbitration setting, before individual arbitrators as well as arbitration panels.

Restrictive Covenants, Trade Secrets and Related Claims:

Mr. Lawson drafts, and provides day-to-day advice on the enforceability of, restrictive covenants. In addition, Mr. Lawson routinely initiates litigation to enforce restrictive covenants through injunctive relief and represents clients in litigation involving claims for breach of restrictive covenants and tortious interference. Some recent examples include:

Wage and Hour:

Mr. Lawson routinely advise employers with respect to wage and hour issues including, among other things, proper payment of wages and exemptions under the Fair Labor Standards Act and state law. In addition, Mr. Lawson represents employers in litigation, including class and collective actions, based on alleged violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act and/or state wage and hour laws. Some recent examples include:


Mr. Lawson advises employers on a daily basis to avoid litigation and ensure compliance with, various federal, state and local laws, including whistleblower/public policy laws, the FLSA, FMLA, ADA, Title VII, ADEA, OWBPA, WARN Act, MHRA and workers’ compensation retaliation laws.

Mr. Lawson defends employers against employment related claims in both federal and state court and before both federal and state administrative agencies, including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Missouri Commission on Human Rights, the U.S. Department of Labor and the National Labor Relations Board.

Labor Arbitration:

Mr. Lawson routinely represents employers in the arbitration of claims alleging violations of collective bargaining agreements. Mr. Lawson has arbitrated in excess of 50 cases involving disciplinary and contract interpretation issues and has represented companies in numerous industries, including, among others, the electric utility, airline, baking and food distribution industries.


Admittance to Practice

Professional Activities

  • American Bar Association
  • Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis
  • Buddy Fund Board Member
  • Humane Society of Missouri Development Board (former)


Insights by William M. Lawson