SAN DIEGO (September 27, 2022) – Littler, the world’s largest employment and labor law practice representing management, has added Merrili Escue as a shareholder and Nancy Kawano as senior counsel in its San Diego office. Escue, who was an attorney with Littler early in her career from 1996 to 2001, brings more than 20 years of experience in employment law, while Kawano has had a 30-year career as a transactional employment lawyer. They join Littler from Ricketts Case LLP.
“We have a long history of attracting top talent back to the firm and I’m thrilled that Merrili is now among the group of premier attorneys we have welcomed home to Littler,” said Erin Webber, Littler’s managing director and president. “She and Nancy bring impressive and wide-ranging experience counseling and defending employers in complex legal matters that will greatly benefit our clients.”
Escue represents companies in an array of employment law matters, including wage and hour cases; claims of discrimination, harassment and retaliation; wrongful terminations; and reductions in force. She also provides counsel on all aspects of the employer-employee relationship, including those related to hiring and other pre-employment issues, leaves of absence and disability accommodation, employment agreements, and discipline and performance management. Escue also has significant experience conducting employment diligence for mergers and acquisitions, and is a certified workplace investigator. She handles matters in front of several administrative agencies, including the Department of Fair Employment and Housing, the California Labor Commissioner, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
“Merrili and Nancy have deep roots in the San Diego business and legal community and are sought-after counselors to companies navigating the full spectrum of issues that arise in the workplace,” said Al McLaughlin, Littler’s regional office managing shareholder for the San Diego office. “Their in-depth understanding of California’s many unique and stringent employment laws and regulations is a value add for our local clients and national companies with operations in the state.”
Kawano counsels companies on employment issues in mergers and acquisitions; hiring practices, performance management and terminations; leaves of absence and disability accommodations; and employment practices audits. She also assists in the development of employee handbooks, workplace policies, and other employment documents; conducts workplace investigations; and provides training on various employment issues.
“My time with Littler at the start of my career left a lasting impression and I am so excited to be back,” said Escue. “Nancy and I look forward to collaborating with the talented team in San Diego and firmwide and to leveraging Littler’s extraordinary knowledge and resources across the spectrum of labor and employment law to serve our clients.”
Both attorneys received a J.D., cum laude, from the University of San Diego School of Law. Escue earned her B.A. from the University of Southern California and Kawano graduated with a B.A. from the University of California, Riverside.
With more than 1,700 labor and employment attorneys in offices around the world, Littler provides workplace solutions that are local, everywhere. Our diverse global team and proprietary technology foster a culture that celebrates original thinking, delivering groundbreaking innovation that prepares employers for what’s happening today, and what’s likely to happen tomorrow.