IEL Elite

Paul Hastings

Esteemed international practice



Paul Hastings’ employment practice is a deeply experienced, pan-international team spread across offices in France, Hong Kong, UK, and the US.

Partners regularly coordinate issues for clients seeking advice across multiple jurisdictions, and are able to offer clients a bespoke service through their connections with firms where they do not have a presence.

We have a great working relationship with Paul Hastings. Their answers are just the right length and have just the right amount of detail.

Elena Baca, who splits her time between Los Angeles and San Francisco, is the global chair of the employment team. Suzanne Horne leads the international employment practice from London. Other key names in the group include Michael Downey in Hong Kong and Stephen Harris in Los Angeles.


The department has a prominent D&I practice. In particular, the team is well-versed in issues relating to pay equity, as evidenced in its representation of The Walt Disney Company in a class action lawsuit brought by ten female employees; the plaintiffs alleged that the company paid them less than their male counterparts.

The teams standing in large-scale D&I-related claims was also reflected in its appointment by Goldman Sachs to assist with a US-wide class action alleging gender bias within the bank, which has been ongoing since 2010.

The team is also supporting Activision Blizzard, and several of its US subsidiaries, with complex legal proceedings brought by various government agencies relating to allegations of systemic gender discriminatory practices.

In terms of their responsiveness, and the way in which they give advice, I would specifically recommend them.

Another notable area of activity is in the employment aspects of corporate transactions. For example, Horne assisted private equity firm Symphony Technology Group with the employment aspects of its $4bn acquisition of McAfees Enterprise business, which employs thousands of staff across 42 jurisdictions. The team advised on the employee transition process, and consultation and communication with works councils, labour unions, and employee representative bodies, as well as contracts, bonus schemes, and other elements of the multi-jurisdictional workforce transfer. 

This ability to leverage multi-jurisdictional expertise was also demonstrated in advice to Booz Allen Hamilton on the EUs Workers Amendment Directive, which entered into force in 2020, and how it related to the clients business across nine countries. Horne led the mandate alongside Stéphane Henry in Paris, and co-counselled with firms in Belgium, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Spain, and Switzerland.

The team is also adept at taking on intellectual property-related matters, including those associated with remote working, trade secrets, and restrictive covenants, as well as issues impacting c-suite professionals.


  • American International Group
  • Principal Real Estate Investors Europe
  • AT&T
  • PwC
  • Facebook
  • Google

Experts based in…

France, Hong Kong, United Kingdom, and the United States.

Profile provided by Paul Hastings

Paul Hastings has grown strategically to anticipate and respond to our clients’ needs in markets across the globe, since it was founded in 1951. Our innovative approach and unmatched client service has helped guide our journey to becoming one of the world’s leading global law firms in such a short time.

We have a strong presence throughout Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the U.S. We offer a complete portfolio of services to support our clients’ complex, often mission-critical needs—from structuring first-of-their-kind transactions to resolving complicated disputes to providing the savvy legal counsel that keeps business moving forward.

In managing an internationally mobile workforce, today’s top global companies face dual challenges: competing for talent while complying with increasingly complex regulatory environments that can vary enormously between countries. Our Employment Practice understands that global businesses need to balance their international strategies with local realities, and we advise leading global brands on how to manage that tension. With the longest-established international employment practice in the legal profession, we provide advisory work, litigation and transactional support. We complement our own strong office network with a highly developed 100 plus country network of first-tier employment and employee benefits practitioners. This enables us to ensure that our client projects are appropriately staffed to provide cohesive, worldwide 24/7 support.

We advise companies on employment and benefits issues across the globe. These projects may involve a discrete and sensitive human resources (HR) matter in one country or the movement of 9000 employees across 43 countries. We work with clients on the full range of employment issues facing businesses today, including:

  • Hiring and separating employees
  • Expanding and downsizing
  • Protecting confidential information, intellectual property and trade secrets
  • Advising on HR and employment laws aspects of ESG 
  • Managing all data issues and risks under GDPR and beyond
  • Advising on share options and other employee incentive plans
  • Assisting on sensitive investigations (including harassment, all forms of discrimination, and whistleblowing)
  • Navigating global information and consultation requirements
  • Preventing and resolving pre-litigation disputes
  • Defending litigation and the use of mediation

Employment law has been a cornerstone of our firm since the beginning. Today, Paul Hastings is recognized as one of the world’s top employment law firms.

“I have nothing but the highest admiration for the people at Paul Hastings LLP, given their professionalism, conduct, facilities and the client-first nature of their dealings.”

─ Chambers USA 2022

Our employer defense attorneys provide the strategic advice and innovative legal services necessary to help employers minimize litigation risk through effective workplace strategies.

Twice named the best “Class Action Killers”

─ The American Lawyer

We consider that Paul Hastings sits on the top rung of the employment law ladder. The firm’s level of service is exceptional. Its attorneys are highly competent and possess the integrity we look for in our outside counsel.

— Legal 500

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