Littler opens in Hawaii with veteran labour law specialist from Jackson Lewis

Wayne Yoshigai joins as shareholder in Honolulu, while firm also re-hires Kyllan Kershaw in Atlanta
A photo of Waikiki beach in Honolulu, Hawaii

Littler opens in Honolulu, its 107th office worldwide Shutterstock

Employment and labour law specialist Littler Mendelson has opened its first office in Hawaii following the arrival of former Jackson Lewis shareholder Wayne Yoshigai.

Yoshigai joins as a shareholder and will be accompanied by existing Littler shareholder Judy Iriye, who will divide her practice between California and the new Honolulu office. 

Yoshigai’s practice focuses on a range of employer-employee relationship issues, representing a number of Hawaiian and national employers in administrative and judicial proceedings in union and non-union matters. He also provides training on workplace issues and advice on matters related to leaves of absence, disability accommodation and wage compliance.

Erin Webber, Littler’s managing director and president, said: “With a career spanning more than three decades, Wayne is a talented lawyer who understands what it takes to be a true business partner to his clients. Given Wayne and Judy’s longtime experience in the Hawaiian business and legal communities, they are the ideal duo to further build our roots in the state.”

The Honolulu office is the firm’s 107th worldwide and adds to its recent expansion in Copenhagen and Zurich. Yoshigai is one of 16 lawyers to join Littler at shareholder-level in the past four months.

Shannon Boyce, Littler’s regional office managing shareholder for the Honolulu office, said: “Wayne encompasses the skillset that clients want in their labour and employment law advisors – including being a trusted counsellor in guiding business strategies and helping maintain employee relations and workforce engagement at a time when so much of the way we work is evolving.”

In addition to Yoshigai’s arrival in Hawaii, Littler’s Atlanta office also re-hired former associate Kyllan Kershaw, who left to join Seyfarth Shaw in 2016 where she was national vice chair of its labour management relations practice. She returns as a shareholder, with her practice focusing on labour management relations, such as collective bargaining negotiations, election campaigns and labour arbitrations.

Webber said: “Having an established traditional labour practice, she is a trusted counsellor to employers in navigating the myriad forces transforming the workplace today and will be an excellent complement to our deep bench of labour management lawyers.”

Earlier this month, French firm Gide Loyrette Nouel added a seven-strong team from Shearman & Sterling in Paris to establish a new employee shareholding practice. The team is led by Shearman’s former head of European governance and benefits Sami Toutounji.

And in September, HFW hired labour law partner Michelle Chance from Memery Crystal to lead its London employment practice.

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