Connie N. Bertram
For over thirty years, Connie has represented employers, boards and individual executives in employment-related matters, including executive employment contract disputes, “business divorces,” and discrimination, retaliation/whistleblower, trade secret, and restrictive covenant matters. She frequently conducts confidential internal investigations concerning C-Suite level executives for boards and employers, including alleged discrimination, harassment, fraud, theft or misuse of company data, discrimination, harassment and code of conduct violations.
Connie has litigated complex contract, harassment, discrimination, whistleblower, trade secret and restrictive covenant litigation across the United States, including claims brought under Sarbanes-Oxley, Dodd-Frank, the False Claims Act and other federal and state employment and whistleblower provisions. Connie has served as lead counsel in some of the most challenging and hotly contested litigation matters in the country. She has the experience and skills to tailor her prosecution or defense to the needs of her clients, from conciliatory to “pit bull.”
A frequent speaker on a variety of labor and employment, litigation and compliance issues, Connie regularly speaks at programs, seminars and training conferences concerning the whistleblower provisions of the FCA, SOX, and Dodd-Frank, pay equity issues, sexual harassment, and whistleblower policies and investigations, and the development and use of forensic data in litigation. She presents at national conferences and conventions concerning these and other topics, including American Bar Association Annual Conferences. She has been quoted on these and other topics by the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, Legal Times, Compliance Weekly, Law360, Corporate Counsel, Bloomberg Law, Bloomberg Business Week, the Association of Corporate Counsel, and Human Resources Executive.
Connie is the author of Sarbanes-Oxley: A New Whistle Stop for Whistleblowers published in the Labor Lawyer. She authors chapters regarding employment law for the D.C. Bar Manual and is the author of Chamber’s Regional Guide: Employment Law – District of Columbia. For over fifteen years, she has been the editor of the leading blog in the country concerning employment and compliance developments. Connie has been named a Top Employment Lawyer by Washingtonian, Benchmark, Legal 500, Washington Business Journal, Legal Times and National Law Journal. She has been ranked by Chambers & Partners USA, the preeminent attorney research and ranking company, since 2009.
- For a major non-profit in Florida, investigated and successfully resolved sexual harassment allegations made by a female senior vice president who had threatened to report them to the media and Congress. Our investigation revealed that the SVP had colluded with another executive to assert false claims against the organization.
- For the former president and CEO of a California-based logistics company, brought claims against the company for breach of equity, acquisition, retention, and employment agreements.
- For a UK-based executive whose company underwent a go-private transaction, secured payment of more than $8 million in severance, bonuses, and equity.
- For a C-suite executive of an investment and brokerage firm, secured payments exceeding $5 million after a change-in-control transition.
- For six executives of a large Atlanta-based company who were terminated or resigned in connection with acquisitions and restructurings, represented them individually in dealings with the company.
- For an international private property developer, defended it in Texas litigation challenging the distribution of partnership proceeds for multi-family housing developments.
- For U.S.- and Middle East-based executives of a large, publicly traded government contractor, negotiated issues surrounding an ERISA-regulated severance plan in connection with their terminations.
- For a Massachusetts-based manufacturer, defended it in a Sarbanes-Oxley whistleblower action before OSHA, a federal district court, and the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.
- For a Chicago-based Fortune 50 food distributor, successfully represented it in bringing multi-jurisdiction litigation for trade secret theft, breach of contract and breach of the duty of loyalty. • For the same Fortune 50 client, successfully defended numerous claims, including claims under SOX and the FCA, arising from executives’ efforts to set up the CEO for termination.
- For a major government contractor, won the dismissal of whistleblower claims brought by a former employee—and secured monetary sanctions against him—by highlighting his misconduct in Afghanistan, including the theft of trade secrets and spoliation of evidence.
- For a DC-based international investment fund, successfully defended wrongful discharge and contract claims brought by a CEO in the UAE, and successfully asserted counterclaims for theft and trade secret misappropriation.
- For a Virginia-based government contractor, secured the dismissal of a federal False Claims Act whistleblower action, as well as monetary sanctions against the plaintiff for his spoliation of evidence.
- For a large investment advisor, won the partial dismissal (and settled all remaining claims) in a class action lawsuit asserting wage and hour and gender discrimination claims.
- For a major DC-based employer, won summary judgment and an award of sanctions in a gender discrimination and retaliation case brought by in-house counsel.
- For a major New Hampshire-based government contractor, secured summary judgement in federal False Claims Act and trade secret litigation, resulting in a significant damages award plus an award of sanctions.