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David J. Laurent
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David J. Laurent

Of Counsel

Pittsburgh, PA
 
 
 

How David Helps Clients

David is recognized across the country for his labor and employee benefits experience, especially in the coal industry. 

David focuses his practice on ERISA matters that involve multiemployer trust funds, including withdrawal liability, delinquent contribution and controlled group/alter ego claims. He also has extensive experience with traditional labor law, including unfair labor practice and representation proceedings before the National Labor Relations Board and negotiating collective bargaining agreements with a wide range of unions. By dovetailing his ERISA practice with traditional labor law, David is able to provide unique insight on benefits and single and joint employer issues during collective bargaining negotiations.

In his transactional practice, David helps clients structure acquisitions and divestitures, address Worker Adjustment & Retraining Notification (WARN) issues, negotiate labor agreements as a condition to a closing, conduct due diligence, and prepare sophisticated employment agreements and separation agreements for executive-level employees. 

What Clients Can Expect

David has a distinctive ability to take an unwieldy and complicated legal issue and present it as a more easily understood business concept. By acting as legal translator, he clarifies problems and makes it easier for clients to assess options and make decisions.

David is a reliable and responsive team player who helps clients stay focused on practical outcomes and, whenever possible, a win-win solution that satisfies everyone.

David has been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® consecutively since 2008 under the Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law, Employment Law - Management, Labor Law - Management and Natural Resources Law categories. He was also named “Lawyer of the Year” in the Pittsburgh Labor Law – Management category in 2016 and 2017, and the Pittsburgh – Natural Resources Law category in 2016, 2017 and 2020.

My motto is “Don’t say no; say how.” No matter how difficult or complex the road may be, there is always a path to resolution.

Outside the Office

When he's not working, David works on reducing stress, enhancing flexibility and improving vitality by doing yoga regularly and visiting brewpubs occasionally.  David also is an avid golfer.

David is married with two grown children who have left home and two dogs who have not.

Proof Points

  • Counseled many employers regarding withdrawal liability risks and strategies, including the application of the construction industry rules under Section 4203 of ERISA, the sale of assets exception under Section 4204 of ERISA, partial withdrawal liability, and potential joint and several liability under the controlled group rules
  • Defended companies accused of being a single employer in a trust fund audit and claim for delinquent contributions
  • Defended a company against NLRB charges that it was a single employer and unlawfully refused to hire the seller's union members following an acquisition
  • Counseled a client through a series of layoffs that required multiple state and federal WARN notices
  • Trained many clients’ supervisors on strategies to remain union free.