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Leann M. Walsh

Fax +1.919.743.7358
Leann Walsh is a senior associate in the firm’s Raleigh office where she is a member of the labor, employment & workplace safety practice group and health care practice group.

Ms. Walsh focuses her practice on counseling businesses on difficult employee relations issues, conducting internal employment investigations, advising clients regarding complex labor and employment issues relating to mergers and acquisitions, and defending employers in civil and administration employment litigation matters.

Ms. Walsh’s client base spans numerous industries and sizes, from start-ups to publicly traded companies, with concentrations in health care, high education, technology, and life science.

Professional Background

Prior to joining the firm, Ms. Walsh served as a senior associate at a Global 50 law firm where she counseled clients on employment matters, conducted internal employee investigations, drafted and negotiated employment-related policies and agreements, and gained significant employment litigation defense experience, including civil cases at both the state and federal levels. In addition, she routinely provided employment law guidance in multi-million and multi-billion dollar corporate transactions.

In 2016, Ms. Walsh was temporarily assigned to a highly competitive six month program prosecuting crime on behalf of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. In that role, she served as lead or co-counsel on fifty bench and jury trials and motions which involved a wide array of criminal conduct, including the crimes of larceny, receiving stolen property, operating under the influence, assault and battery, distribution of narcotics, criminal harassment, strangulation, and conspiracy.

During law school, Ms. Walsh served for two years as a teaching and research assistant in a Legal, Research, Reasoning & Writing Class of Boston College Law School. She also served as a student attorney in the Boston College Legal Assistant Bureau Housing Clinic, where she successfully appealed the termination of Section 8 Housing benefits in an administrative hearing and favorably settled and mediated eviction and condominium conversion cases.

Ms. Walsh interned in 2009 for the Office of the Solicitor of the U.S. Department of Labor in Boston, Massachusetts where she produced policy analyses and provided litigation support for OSHA investigations and findings. Ms. Walsh interned from 2004 to 2008 with Jabil, a Fortune 500 publicly-traded company, where she analyzed international employment law compliance issues, assisted with the company’s internal investigations, and drafted company policies and procedures.


  • Recipient of James W. Smith Award at Boston College Law School for graduating with the highest academic rank
  • Recipient of Sheila McGovern Award at Boston College Law School for achieving personal goals under extraordinary circumstances
  • Recipient of Dean Dooley Award at Boston College Law School for outstanding first year scholarship average
  • Anderson Scholar of the Highest Distinction at the University of Florida
  • Recipient of Robert B. Fraser Award from Goodwin Procter LLP for outstanding pro bono work and for making a special contribution to the enhancement of the pro bono programs at the firm

Professional/Civic Activities

  • Ms. Walsh has served on the Board of Directors of the Wily Network, a non-profit organization working to improve college graduation outcomes for youth with foster care experience at four-year residential colleges, since 2016. She is currently President and Co-Chair of the organization
  • Ms. Walsh is also a member of the Board of Directors of the West End House Support, Inc., a non-profit organization supporting the West End House Boys & Girls Club of Allston, Massachusetts
  • From 2013 to 2018, Ms. Walsh coordinated a law firm’s participation in the “Lawyer for the Day” Program in Boston Housing Court that provided pro bono legal aid to low-income tenants facing eviction

Speaking Engagements

  • “Under the Wire 2019: Internal and External Investigations in the Employment Context,” January 31, 2019.
  • “Employment Law Overview” for a K&L Gates General Counsel University Program, January 11, 2019.
  • “Imperative Information That Every Employee Handbook Should Contain” as part of the National Business Institute’s Human Resource Law from A to Z Program, December 27, 2018.
  • “Workplace Privacy and Employee Monitoring” as part of the National Business Institute’s Human Resource Law from A to Z Program, December 27, 2018.
  • “Accidental Domination and Interference with ‘Labor Organizations’ by the Modern Health Care Employer.” K&L Gates Health Care Triage Podcast Series, August 2, 2018.
  • “United States Department of Labor, Wage & Hour Division – Pilot PAID Program,” K&L Gates Working Wise Podcast Series, Episode 10, May 15, 2018.
  • “Conversation to Action: Preventing Sexual Harassment through Legally Sound Policies and Practices,” Contributing author and researcher, International Center for Not-for-Profit Law, January 2018.
  • “Contract Drafting: When Ambiguities Lead to Lawsuits,” Substitute Adjunct Instructor, New England School of Law, February 2014.
  • “Employee Duty of Loyalty; Covenant Not to Compete; Trade Secrets; and Tortious Interference,” Contributing editor, American Bar Association, Section of Labor and Employment Law State-by-State treatises, 2013-2016.
  • “Employee Privacy Laws: Massachusetts,” Practical Law Company, September 11, 2015.
  • “Proposed OSHA Workplace Data Program Could Lead to More Targeted Employer Inspections, Client Alert, January 8, 2014.
  • “In Harnett, First Circuit Rejects Bright Line “First Contact” Rule for Non-Solicitation Agreement,” Client Alert, November 1, 2013.

Additional Information

  • Graduate of the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination’s Conducting Internal Discrimination Complaint Investigation Program (2014)
  • Completed University of Minnesota’s Managing Employee Compensation course via Coursera (March 2017)
  • Completed University of Michigan’s Managing Talent course via Coursera (November 2015) and Inspiring and Motivating Individuals via Coursera (October 2015)
  • Obtained administrative dismissal by Equal Employment Opportunity Commission of racial discrimination and retaliation charge in favor of emergency medical services billing provider
  • Provided transactional assistance on employment matters relating to acquisition by private equity client of national global litigation support services company
  • Obtained dismissal of charge of discrimination on the basis of race, national origin, age, and disability as well as retaliation by the Washington State Human Rights Commission on behalf of global technology consulting and services company
  • Provided transactional assistance on employment matters relating to strategic acquisition by molecular diagnostics company of a medical biomarker sample collection company
  • Advised regarding complex strategic employment issues relating to corporate asset purchase by global market research and consulting firm
  • Litigated on behalf of a nationwide transportation company in numerous civil suits arising out of alleged misclassification of independent contractors
  • Provided transactional assistance on employment matters relating to investments by a multinational investment bank and financial services provider into a cryptocurrency financial services company and a global payments platform company
  • Secured a favorable jury verdict on behalf of a global investment services company under the Family and Medical Leave Act
  • Advised regarding employment issues relating to acquisition by a multi-national clinical studies contract research organization of a multi-national life sciences consulting company
  • Obtained dismissal of an unfair labor practice charge on behalf of a national professional organization by the U.S. National Labor Relations Board relating to alleged protected concerted workplace activity
  • Provided transactional assistance on employment matters relating to private equity client investment into medical animation and illustration publisher
  • Assisted with defense of class action lawsuit against fintech company relating to alleged unpaid employee overtime
  • Successful resolution of former employee claims against former employer and related estate involving breach of contract and the North Carolina doctrine of necessities for home health services
  • Provided transactional assistance on employment matters relating to private equity client investment into provider of signage and mailbox solutions in the building industries with employees in multiple states
  • Investigated allegations relating to Title IX and federal Clery Act compliance in a highly publicized pro bono matter on behalf of Roxbury Community College
  • Advised regarding employment law matters relating to a client investment in two vegetation management services providers with almost 1,000 employees across eight states