Sarah Kate Hawley Counsel

Sarah is a seasoned litigator who counsels and represents corporations and employers with regard to employment litigation, complex commercial disputes, and traditional labor law. She currently focuses her practice on defending employers in disputes involving wage and hour, discrimination, harassment, noncompetition, and leave and accommodation issues. Sarah has successfully litigated complex commercial, financial services, and employment matters in state and federal courts as well as before administrative agencies and arbitration panels.

Sarah returned to McGuireWoods after serving as Corporate Counsel, Employment for a Fortune 150 Retailer. In that role, she represented management in all aspects of state and federal court employment-related litigation and arbitration, and she managed the company’s national portfolio of state and federal agency charges. For each charge filed against the Fortune 150 Retailer across 48 states, Sarah investigated the claims asserted by the employee and/or customer; drafted the position statement and any additional responses to discovery requests; made early case assessment determinations and recommendations; handled mediations, fact-finding conferences, and conciliations; and handled all day to day interactions with the assigned state and federal investigators. In doing so, she built valuable relationships with EEO investigators and agencies throughout the country. She brings extensive experience in the retail industry as well as insight into the challenges facing corporate employers to her litigation practice.

Sarah also has experience identifying employment related compliance issues within companies and strategizing with various business partners including Human Resources, Risk Management, Operations, and Asset Protection departments to implement solutions. This includes partnering with companies to manage and defend city, state, and federal compliance investigations. She also has extensive experience in alternative dispute resolution, having served as both in-house and outside counsel in numerous successful mediations.


First and second chair attorney in various complex commercial, financial services, and employment litigation matters, including but not limited to claims asserted under Title VII, Section 1981, ADA, ADEA, and related state laws, as well as state and federal claims brought under or relating to FCRA, FDCPA, SCRA, HAMP, loan servicing, modification and mitigation efforts, and foreclosure

Managed employment litigation, arbitration, attorney demands, and EEO matters for a Fortune 150 retailer (and subsidiaries, including distribution centers) with over 100,000 employees in 48 states. Significant experience with the EEOC, state Civil Rights agencies, federal and state Departments of Labor and the U.S. Department of Justice.

  • University of Pennsylvania Law School, JD, 2010
  • The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, BA, English, BS, Psychology, 2007
Named to "Virginia Rising Stars," Business Litigation; Civil Litigation: Defense; Construction Litigation: Business, Super Lawyers, Thomson Reuters, 2013-2015
  • Virginia
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