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Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP

Scott M. Nelson

Scott M. Nelson

Partner

Profile

Scott has significant experience—and has had great success—with high-profile domestic and international employment matters, as well as complex employment and commercial litigation.

The most valuable asset of a successful business is its people. Clients look to Scott as a seasoned, trusted, and regular advisor who helps them handle their most sensitive people matters in a thoughtful, practical, and strategic manner. He helps clients achieve their business objectives, while complying with ever-changing employment laws. When litigation arises, clients trust Scott to handle everything from day-to-day litigation to mission-critical trial work.

Despite his strong record on summary judgment, Scott is a trial attorney at heart. He is comfortable and compelling in the courtroom, having prevailed for clients in cases ranging from simple labor arbitrations to jury and bench trials with hundreds of millions of dollars in potential liability exposure. He is known for his ease in working with clients, his thoughtful strategic approach, his artful use of diplomacy, and his relentless pursuit of victory.

With nearly 25 years of experience, Scott has dealt with most employment law matters companies face. His mastery of the subject matter allows him to get to the heart of the issue quickly and provide sound, practical advice clients can trust. This, along with his drive to win, gives him a critical edge in the courtroom. Among his more notable cases, Scott successfully defended multinational chemical companies in one of the largest employee trade secrets cases to go to a jury trial, a case in which plaintiffs sought $800 million through economic espionage-type trade secrets claims. He also achieved a total bench trial victory for a multinational mining and chemical company in a large ERISA class action in which plaintiffs sought in excess of $200 million. In arbitration, he recently won more than $3.2 million, including $1.2 million in attorneys' fees, for an employer seeking to claw back signing bonuses from energy traders.

Scott listens to clients and always thinks creatively to find the best possible strategic and tactical solutions to their problems. He is responsive to clients' needs and has the confidence, based on long-earned experience, to give them clear, solid advice. He also has the thoughtfulness, gravitas, and verve to present his clients' cases in their best possible light.

Scott enjoys his practice because he loves getting to know his clients, their business, and their industry. He becomes a critical component of their team, helping them with their day-to-day employee matters, and fighting for them in court when litigation arises.

Relevant Experience

  • Bench trial victory in large ERISA § 204(h) notice class action in which plaintiffs sought a recovery in excess of $200 million.
  • Jensen v. Solvay Chems., Inc., 625 F.3d 641 (10th Cir. 2010) (affirming summary judgment victory dismissing large ADEA collective action related to conversion of pension plan to cash balance formula).
  • Successfully defended multinational chemical companies in one of the largest employee trade secrets cases to ever go to a jury trial, a case in which plaintiffs sought $800 million through economic espionage-type trade secrets claims.
  • Won multimillion-dollar arbitration award, including seven-figure recovery of attorneys’ fees, in favor of energy trading firm in breach of contract action against former executives.
  • Successfully defended multinational energy companies against claims seeking $440 million arising out of a $6 billion LNG project in Indonesia.
  • Neiddu v. Lifetime Fitness, Inc., 977 F. Supp. 2d 686 (SD Tex. 2013) (defeated conditional certification of FLSA collective action for a national fitness club chain).
  • Bourgeois v. The Pension Plan for the Employees of Santa Fe Int’l Corp., 215 F.3d 475 (5th Cir. 2000) (obtained favorable Fifth Circuit opinion on ERISA exhaustion of administrative remedies doctrine).
  • Bourgeois v. The Pension Plan for the Employees of Santa Fe Int’l Corp., 308 F. Supp. 2d 761 (SD Tex. 2004) (won summary judgment for defendants in ERISA enhanced pension benefits litigation in which former Managing Director sought seven-figure recovery).
  • Tiemeyer v. Quality Publ’g, Inc., 144 F. Supp. 2d 727 (SD Tex. 2001) (summary judgment victory for magazine publishing company in executive’s age discrimination case).
  • Simien v. Chemical Waste Management, Inc., 30 F. Supp. 2d 939 (WD La. 1998), aff’d, 174 F.3d 199 (5th Cir. 1999) (obtained summary judgment and subsequent Fifth Circuit affirmance for defendant in race discrimination case).

Education

BSBA, Creighton University, Finance, magna cum laude, 1993
Areas of Practice

Affirmative Action Counseling | Class Action, Multidistrict Litigation | Crisis Management | ERISA Litigation | Health Care and Life Sciences | Labor and Employment | Unfair Competition and Employee Raiding | Wage and Hour Class Actions

Articles

D.C. Circuit Clarifies Boundaries of Protected Employer Expressions
Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP, June 2021

On June 1, 2021, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit overturned a NLRB determination that a manager’s incorrect blaming of a union for discrepancies in an employee’s paid-leave time constituted an unfair labor practice. The pivotal issue was whether the manager’s statements had a reasonable tendency to interfere with employees’ labor rights. As discussed below, the D.C...

Additional Articles

  • DC Circ. Labor Ruling Is A Win For Employer Free Speech, Law360
  • “The Post-COVID-19 Workplace: Mission-Critical Decisions Ahead for Employers,” Top 10 Risk & Compliance Trends for 2021, NAVEX Global eBook

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