Carson Sullivan is Chair of Paul Hastings’ Washington, D.C. Employment Law Department and Co-Chair of the Washington, D.C. office. She represents employers in all aspects of employment law, with an emphasis on the defense of class and collective action suits.

As one of the leaders of the firm’s Pay Equity Practice Group, Ms. Sullivan provides sophisticated litigation defense and works with clients to review and analyze their compensation practices for pay equity and legal compliance. She is particularly skilled in developing strategies for the use of complex data in large-scale class litigation and investigation matters. 

Ms. Sullivan also has a particular focus on litigation involving trade secrets and restrictive covenants and is a member of the firm’s Employee Mobility and Trade Secrets Practice Group. In addition to litigation, she regularly provides employment advice and counseling to leading clients, including advice related to pay equity practices, employment policies and procedures, government investigations, and regulatory compliance.

Her client results are recognized by the market. Ms. Sullivan is Chambers-ranked for Labor and Employment law and recognized by The Legal 500 for Workplace and Employment counseling. Clients note to Chambers that she is “an outstanding partner,” and “incredibly responsive and her writing is impeccable.” To Legal 500, they note she is “quite simply phenomenal,” and her “knowledge of employment laws, both in theory and in practice is something we were very lucky to have on our side.”


  • Chambers USA, Top Labor & Employment Lawyer (2021-2024)
  • The Legal 500, Workplace and Employment Counseling (2021-2023)
  • The Legal 500, Labor & Employment Disputes (Including Collective Actions): Defense (2021)
  • The Legal 500, Intellectual Property - Trade Secrets (Litigation and Non-Contentious Matters) (2021)
  • Best Lawyers, Litigation - Labor and Employment (2023)
  • Listed as one of Washington, D.C.’s "Super Lawyers" in Employment Litigation (Annually since 2013)


  • George Mason University School of Law, J.D. (cum laude), 2000 
  • University of Virginia, B.A. (with distinction), 1997 
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, Judicial Clerk for the Honorable Roger L. Gregory


  • Defended numerous clients against Title VII pay and promotion class claims, including defeating certification in multiple pay equity putative class actions
  • Defended clients in collective actions alleging violations of the FLSA and the Equal Pay Act
  • Defended clients before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and local human rights agencies, and the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs
  • Defended clients against individual claims under the ADA, ADEA, and FMLA
  • Conducted numerous employment compliance reviews and provided strategic advice on diversity programs and pay equity

Engagement & Publications

  • Regular speaker on employment law topics, including related to pay equity, the #metoo movement and recent continuing legal education presentations such as “Social Media in the Workplace: Employer Interests vs. Employee Rights,” “FLSA Update: Overtime and Other Developments in the Workplace,” “Essential Components and Practical Drafting Tips for Employee Handbooks,” “Implementing Global IP Solutions,” and “Pre-litigation EEO Investigations”


  • Member, Employment Law Section of the American Bar Association
  • President of the Virginia State Bar Young Lawyers Conference (VSB YLC) for the 2010-2011 bar year
  • Member, Virginia and District of Columbia Bars
  • Admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of the United States and numerous district and federal appellate courts, including the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Third, Fourth, and District of Columbia Circuits

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