Mary Akhimien represents and advises management in employment law disputes involving discrimination charges, internal investigations, employee relations, trade secrets, civil rights, contract disputes, restrictive covenants, including non-compete and non-solicitation agreements, and other aspects of employment relationships. She also provides general legal counsel and risk assessments to employers on business and employment law matters and negotiates and drafts complex contracts, handbooks, employment agreements, independent contractor agreements, severance, separation and settlement agreements for business clients. Mary also has extensive experience conducting depositions, researching and preparing memoranda, managing pre-trial discovery, drafting pleadings, Freedom of Information Act ("FOIA") requests, motions, briefs, notices and other litigation related tasks in a variety of areas including labor and employment law, corporate litigation, commercial litigation, and general business law. She also has jury, bench trial and appellate experience involving employment and business disputes. She conducts employment law in-house training on various topics including diversity in the workplace, sexual harassment, equity in education and legal issues in private-independent schools. Mary also lectures and writes on employment and business tort issues and frequently speaks to university students and professional groups about the value of mentoring.
In 2016 and 2017, Mary was recognized as a Delaware Super Lawyers Rising Star in the area of labor & employment law. In 2014, she was named to the Lawyers of Color Second Annual Hot List, which recognizes high performing early-to mid-career minority attorneys working as in-house counsel. government attorneys, and law firm associates and partners.
In law school, Mary served as a judicial extern to Chief Justice Ralph J. Cappy of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. During law school, Mary was the Associate Editor of the Journal of Law and Commerce. Mary also studied law for a semester abroad in London, England at the University College Faculty of Laws, University of London. While in London, Mary competed in the Pace Law School/Gray’s Inn Moot Court Competition and completed a mini-pupillage at Gray’s Inn.
- Obtained preliminary injunction on behalf of corporate client in a non-compete and misappropriation of trade secrets case against a former employee
- Successfully negotiated a standstill and garden leave agreement on behalf of Fortune 500 bank
- Obtained favorable jury verdict after four day trial for employer in case involving claims of discrimination under Title VII, ADA, FMLA and Delaware discrimination statutes
- Obtained motion to dismiss for Fortune 500 car manufacturer in case involving alleged violations of employment discrimination laws, labor laws, tort law and the terms of an employee insurance policy
- Drafted and negotiated an executive compensation agreement for Executive Vice President
- Obtained enforcement and recognition of Foreign Country Money Judgment on behalf of international client
- Obtained motion to dismiss two discrimination claims and one retaliation claim on behalf of international client in federal court
- Drafted release and indemnification agreement for large retail bank
- Advised board of directors on confidential separation and severance agreement of high-level executive employee
- Obtained summary judgment in ADA, Title VII, ADEA matters in federal court
- Obtained summary judgment for international corporate client in lawsuit alleging claims of age and sex discrimination in state court
- Obtained motion to dismiss on behalf of corporate defendant in non-compete and business tort case
- Obtained a settlement on behalf of major retailer in copyright and trademark infringement case
- Obtained favorable arbitration ruling for employer in breach of contract action
- Obtained favorable ruling on appeal for Delaware nursing school in state court reversing a decision of an administrative board
- Obtained favorable wage garnishment action in state court on behalf of international client
- Successfully represented and advised employer in independent contractor misclassification matter
- Successfully represented and advised employer in Department of Labor wage and hour audit
- Obtained settlement during Department of Labor mediation on behalf of employer in sexual harassment case
- Obtained settlement on behalf of client in the transportation industry in an employment discrimination matter
- Obtained settlement for corporate client in federal court case involving alleged violations of the Cable Communications Act
- Obtained settlement for large restaurant food chain in case involving allegations of unpaid overtime in violation of the FLSA
- Drafted and successfully argued Motion to Expedite Proceedings in Court of Chancery
- Obtained favorable ruling on motion for reargument in federal court on behalf of employer
- Successfully mediated dispute on behalf of German insurance company in federal court
- Drafted opinion letter for British legal counsel regarding the enforcement of a worldwide freezing order and prejudgment attachment in Court of Chancery
- Investigated and drafted report regarding employee complaints of bullying and harassment under bullying and harassment policies for school district
- Report: The 2017 Annual Meeting of the ABA House of Delegates
- Akhimien, Mary, “‘Good Cause’ to Throw in the Towel: Recent Case Law Developments Relating to Voluntary Termination of Employment Under Delaware Law” Del. L. Rev. vol. 14:1 (2013), at 74-77.
- Akhimien, Mary, “Top Ten Things Law Students Should Know to Survive and Thrive in the Legal Profession.” Corporate Counsel Women of Color, June 2, 2012.
- Akhimien, Mary (Contributing Author). Delaware Statutory Trusts Manual. 2010 Edition. LexisNexis, 2010. Print.
- Akhimien, Mary, “The Cost of Free Speech in Garcetti’s America.” Delaware Government Legal Quarterly Spring 2010: 4-5.
- Akhimien, Mary, Cimini, Sally Griffith, and Antonelli, Stephen A., “Violence in the Workplace” – A Guide to the Prevention of Violence in the Workplace Pub. No. 5036, published August 2007 Pennsylvania Bar Institute (PBI).
- Speaker, “Common Ethical Pitfalls that Lawyers Make When Using Social Media,” Widener University Delaware Law School (2018).
- Panelist, "To Whom is the Responsibility Owed When Representing a Corporate Entity," Delaware Sate Bar Association, Wilmington, DE (2017).
- Moderator, "Bar Leadership Wired to Add Value," American Bar Association YLD Spring Leadership Conference, Montreal, QC, Canada (2017).
- Moderator, "Five Strategies on How to Build an Internal Roster of Law Firm Clients," Corporate Counsel Women of Color and K&L Gates LLP One-Day Career Strategies Conference, New York, NY (2017).
- Panelist, "Avoid Burn Out, Stress, and Fatigue by Managing Your Billable Hours with Work/Life Balance," Corporate Counsel Women of Color Law Firm Associates Conference, New York, NY (2017).
- Panelist, "Navigating the Choppy Waters of Social Media: A Lawyer's Guide," The 21st Annual Rubenstein-Walsh Seminar on Ethics and Professionalism, Wilmington, DE (2016).
- Speaker, “Deans Workshop: Legal Issues in Private-Independent Schools,” Wilmington, DE (2015).
- Moderator, “Think Long-Term When Exploring Your Career Path Opportunities: From Associate to Senior Attorney – From Senior Attorney to Of Counsel or Partner – to Going In-House,” Corporate Counsel Women of Color and K&L Gates LLP One-Day Career Strategies Conference, New York, New York (2015).
- Speaker, “What Government Employees and Employers Should Know About Sexual Harassment,” Dover, DE (2015).
- Moderator, “Labor and Employment Law Update 2015,” Labor and Employment Law Section of the Delaware State Bar Association (2015).
- Panelist, “What the Technologically Savvy Attorney Needs to Know about Ethics, Confidentiality & Data Privacy,” Richard K. Herrmann Technology Inn of Court (2014).
- Speaker, “Athletic Director’s Workshop: Legal Issues for Athletic Directors,” Stowe, VT (2013)
- Speaker, “The Post-Incorporation Process: Important Steps to Take After Incorporating Your Business,” Incorporating Services, Ltd. Corporate Seminar Series, Washington, D.C. (2013).
- Panelist, “Branding Yourself as an Associate,” Corporate Counsel Women of Color and K&L Gates LLP One-Day Career Strategies Conference, New York, New York (2013).
- Speaker, “Employer’s Guide to Navigating Unemployment Benefits,” Delaware State Bar Association (2013).
- Panelist, “Cloud Computing Key Issues,” The Cloud Pupillage Group, Richard K. Herrmann Technology Inn of Court (2013).
- Speaker, “Employment and School Law for Private School Deans,” Philadelphia, PA, (2012).
- Panelist, “Sources of Electronically Stored Information: What to Discuss with the Client and Opposing Counsel,” Richard K. Herrmann Technology Inn of Court (2012).
- Panelist, “Legal Mobile Computing: Top 10 Blackberry Applications,” Richard K. Herrmann Technology Inn of Court (2011).
- Speaker, “To Be or Not to Be a Delaware Limited Liability Company, That is the Question,” Incorporating Services, Ltd. Corporate Seminar Series, Washington, D.C. (2011).
- Panelist, University of Delaware’s Each One Reach One Mentorship Program: The Value of Mentoring, (2010, 2011).