Anna Wermuth

Vice Chair, Labor & Employment Department

Chicago

(312) 474-7876

(312) 878-2023

Who Universities Bring to the Bargaining Table

Anna Wermuth discusses her involvement in the higher education industry, saying that private colleges and universities are unique in their special labor and employment needs. “If you ask some of the attorneys at a few of Chicago’s universities who they turn to for outside help on labor and employment matters, there’s a good chance you’ll hear Anna Wermuth’s name come up.”

Read the full article here.

Anna serves as the vice-chair of Cozen O’Connor’s national Labor & Employment Department, where she has been integral to the growth and success of the firm’s L&E practice. Working out of the Chicago office, employers engage her to represent them in high-stakes, high-profile labor and employment litigation before state and federal courts and administrative agencies.  She is also widely recognized as a “go to” legal resource for institutions of higher education, representing prestigious colleges and universities in leading collective bargaining negotiations and labor arbitrations, developing employee-engagement strategies for union-organizing campaigns, and litigating a myriad of faculty, staff, and student matters.

For over 20 years, Anna has brought both innovative and practical approaches to complex employment law matters to achieve favorable and precedent-setting results, whether in large-scale class actions or single-plaintiff cases involving the full range of employment-related disputes, including discrimination, wage and hour and non-compete agreements. Anna also has a robust traditional labor practice, representing employers in managing unionized workforces, negotiating collective bargaining agreements, developing employee engagement strategies, and litigating labor arbitrations and matters at the NLRB.  She also regularly counsels employers on the full range of novel legal issues facing employers, from addressing the impact of national current events in the workplace, to navigating the patchwork of state and local obligations in the workplace, executing human resources strategies, and conducting internal investigations. Anna is praised by clients for being an “extraordinary litigator and trial lawyer;” and “extremely skilled, very good with clients and strategic.”

Anna is also an active member of the American Bar Association’s Labor & Employment Law Section, where she has held several leadership positions.  In 2021, Anna was appointed employer vice-chair of the ABA L&E Section’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Legal Profession Committee.  She also currently serves as the management co-vice chair for the Section’s National Trial Advocacy Competition.  

She is the past management co-chair of the Section’s Development of the Law Under the NLRA Committee and has served as an associate editor of Developing Labor Law - the leading traditional labor law treatise jointly published by Bloomberg/BNA and the ABA. Anna is also the past-chair of the Chicago Bar Association’s Labor & Employment Law Committee.

In addition, in 2021 Anna was appointed to the Advisory Committee for the Study of the Rules of Practice and Internal Operating Procedures of the District and Bankruptcy Courts of the Northern District of Illinois.

Inducted in 2020 as a fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers (CLEL), Anna has been recognized by several law and business publications for sustained outstanding performance in the legal profession, including Crain’s Chicago Business, the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, and Lawdragon/HRE magazine. She is also consistently recognized by her peers as one of the top labor and employment attorneys in Chambers USA, Best Lawyers and SuperLawyers.

Anna writes and speaks on a variety of contemporary labor and employment topics for the American Bar Association, the National Association of College and University Attorneys, the Corporate Counsel Institute, the Practicing Law Institute, the Society of Human Resource Management, and other business, bar, legal education, and academic associations.

Prior to entering private practice, Anna served as law clerk to the Honorable Rebecca R. Pallmeyer of the District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. In addition to her legal practice, Anna serves on the board of directors of the Chicago Youth Centers, a 64-year-old nonprofit organization that services more than 4,000 children and families in Chicago each year with early childhood education, out-of-school, and teen leadership programs.

Anna received her J.D. from the Loyola University Chicago School of Law where she graduated second in her class and served as an editor of the Loyola University Chicago Law Journal. Anna received an M.A. from Northwestern University and graduated with high honors from DePaul University where she also competed in NCAA Division I Women’s Track and Cross Country. Before practicing law, Anna taught Spanish for the City Colleges of Chicago and worked for community-based nonprofit organizations.

Experience

News

Lawdragon Names six Cozen O’Connor Attorneys Among the Top 500 Leading U.S. Corporate Employment Lawyers

November 19, 2021

Lawdragon has named six members of Cozen O’Connor’s Labor & Employment Department to its 2021 list of the Top 500 Leading U.S. Corporate Employment Lawyers.

More Than 205 Cozen O’Connor Attorneys Named Best Lawyers and Ones to Watch By The Best Lawyers In America

August 19, 2021

Best Lawyers selected 210 Cozen O’Connor lawyers from 23 of the firm’s nationwide offices for inclusion in the 2022 edition of The Best Lawyers in America.

Cozen O’Connor Attorney Anna Wermuth Receives Women in Law Honor from Chicago Daily Law Bulletin & Chicago Lawyer

July 09, 2021

Anna Wermuth, vice-chair of Cozen O’Connor’s national Labor & Employment Department, has been named to the second annual Salute! Women in Law Award list by the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin and Chicago Lawyer magazine.

Cozen O’Connor Attorney Anna Wermuth Named to Illinois Northern District Rules Advisory Committee

June 24, 2021

Anna Wermuth, Vice-Chair of Cozen O’Connor’s national Labor and Employment Department, has been appointed to the Rules Advisory Committee of the U.S. District Court, of the Northern District of Illinois.

82 Cozen O’Connor Lawyers, 19 Practices Earn Top Recognition in Chambers USA 2021 Guide

May 26, 2021

Chambers USA, the leading annual guide to the top lawyers and law firms in the United States, has ranked 82 Cozen O’Connor lawyers as leaders in their respective fields in the guide’s 2021 edition; of those, 15 lawyers have been recognized nationally.

Legal Groups Back White Castle's 7th Circ. Bid To Curb BIPA

April 06, 2021

Meredith C. Slawe, Michael W. McTigue Jr., Stephen A. Miller, Marie Bussey-Garza, Michael de Leeuw, Tamar S. Wise, and Anna Wermuth, the attorneys for the amici curiae, were featured in an article published by Law360.

7th Circuit Considers Scope of IL Biometric Info Privacy Act

April 06, 2021

Mike McTigue, Meredith Slawe, and Marie Bussey-Garza in the Class Actions Practice Group; Anna Wermuth in the Labor & Employment Practice Group; and Michael De Leeuw, Stephen Miller, and Tamar Wise in the Appellate & Supreme Court Practice Group collaborated on an amicus brief that was filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit on Monday, April 5.

Eleven Cozen O’Connor Attorneys Named 2021 Illinois Super Lawyers

January 29, 2021

Super Lawyers has named eleven attorneys at Cozen O’Connor to its 2021 lists of top practitioners in Illinois.

Leading Lawyers Network Recognizes 26 Cozen O’Connor Lawyers as Top Illinois Practitioners

January 26, 2021

The Leading Lawyers Network has named 24 Cozen O’Connor lawyers to its annual list of Illinois’ top practitioners and named two others as Emerging Lawyers in its 2021 survey results.

Lawdragon names six Cozen O’Connor Attorneys among the Top 500 Leading U.S. Corporate Employment Lawyers

December 14, 2020

Lawdragon has named six members of Cozen O’Connor’s Labor & Employment Department to its 2020 list of the Top 500 Leading U.S. Corporate Employment Lawyers.

Member Monday: Anna Wermuth

October 26, 2020

Anna Wermuth was highlighted by the Women's Bar Association of Illinois in recognition of her contributions to her practice and community.

Cozen O’Connor Attorney Anna Wermuth Named One of Chicago’s “Notable Women in Law”

September 08, 2020

Anna Wermuth was recently named to the list of Chicago’s “Notable Women in Law” by Crain’s Chicago Business.

More Than 200 Cozen O’Connor Attorneys Named Best Lawyers and Ones to Watch By The Best Lawyers In America

August 20, 2020

Best Lawyers selected 201 Cozen O’Connor lawyers from 23 of the firm’s nationwide offices for inclusion in the 2021 edition of The Best Lawyers in America© (Copyright 2020 by Woodward/White, Inc., of Aiken, SC).

Thomas Giotto, Anna Wermuth Elected Fellows of The College of Labor and Employment Lawyers

July 07, 2020

Cozen O’Connor labor and employment attorneys Thomas Giotto and Anna Wermuth have been elected Fellows in The College of Labor and Employment Lawyers.

63 Cozen O’Connor Lawyers, 16 Practices Earn Top Recognition in Chambers USA 2020 Guide

May 14, 2020

Chambers USA, the leading annual guide to the top lawyers and law firms in the United States, has ranked 63 Cozen O’Connor lawyers as leaders in their respective fields in the guide’s 2020 edition.

Six Cozen O’Connor Attorneys Named 2020 Illinois Super Lawyers

January 29, 2020

Super Lawyers has recognized six Cozen O'Connor attorneys to its 2020 lists of top practitioners in Illinois, including Joe Tilson who was again named one of the "Top 100" Illinois Super Lawyers.

Anna Wermuth and Joe Tilson lead ABA Student Trial Advocacy Competition in Chicago

December 03, 2019

Anna Wermuth and Joe Tilson led the ABA Student Trial Advocacy Competition Midwest Regionals in Chicago, Illinois.

138 Cozen O’Connor Attorneys Named to the Best Lawyers in America

August 28, 2019

Best Lawyers selected 138 Cozen O’Connor lawyers from 21 of the firm’s national offices for inclusion in the 2020 edition of The Best Lawyers in America.

LawDragon/HRE names Joseph Tilson, Anna Wermuth, A. Martin Wickliff, Jr., and Jeremy Glenn among the Nation’s Top Labor & Employment Lawyers

June 07, 2019

Four members of Cozen O’Connor’s Labor & Employment Department have been named to the 2019 LawDragon/Human Resource Executive (HRE) magazine’s top Labor & Employment lists.

Leading Lawyers Network Recognizes 17 Cozen O’Connor Lawyers as Top Illinois Practitioners

May 21, 2019

The Leading Lawyers Network has named 17 Cozen O’Connor lawyers to its annual list of Illinois’ top practitioners - including one Emerging Lawyer - in its 2019 survey results.

57 Cozen O’Connor Lawyers, 16 Practices Earn Top Recognition in Chambers USA 2019 Guide

April 25, 2019

Chambers USA, the leading annual guide to the top lawyers and law firms in the USA, has ranked 57 Cozen O’Connor lawyers as leaders in their respective fields in the Guide’s 2019 edition.

Six Cozen O'Connor Labor & Employment Attorneys Recognized by Benchmark Litigation

January 28, 2019

Benchmark Litigation has named six attorneys from Cozen O'Connor’s Labor & Employment department as Labor & Employment Stars for their respective regions.

Seven Cozen O’Connor Attorneys Named To 2019 Illinois Super Lawyers Lists

January 24, 2019

Super Lawyers has named seven attorneys at Cozen O’Connor to its 2019 lists of top practitioners in Illinois.

126 Cozen O’Connor Attorneys Named to the Best Lawyers in America

August 22, 2018

One hundred twenty-six Cozen O’Connor lawyers from 20 of the firm’s national offices have been selected for inclusion in the 2018 edition of The Best Lawyers in America.

Cozen O’Connor Attorney Anna Wermuth Named one of Chicago’s “Most Notable Women Lawyers”

July 30, 2018

Anna Wermuth, co-chair of Cozen O’Connor’s Higher Education Industry Practice Group, and vice chair of the law firm’s Labor & Employment Department, has been honored for the second year in a row by Crain’s Chicago Business.

Lawdragon/HRE names Joseph Tilson, A. Martin Wickliff, Jr., Anna Wermuth, and Jeremy Glenn Among the Nation’s Top Labor & Employment Lawyers

June 16, 2018

Four members of Cozen O’Connor’s Labor & Employment Department have been named to the 2018 Lawdragon/Human Resource Executive (HRE) magazine’s top Labor & Employment lists.

Twelve Cozen O’Connor Attorneys Named To 2018 Illinois Super Lawyers Lists

January 26, 2018

Super Lawyers has recognized 12 Cozen O'Connor attorneys to its 2018 lists of top practitioners in Illinois, including Joe Tilson who was again named one of the "Top 100" Illinois Super Lawyers.

Leading Lawyers Network Recognizes 22 Cozen O’Connor Lawyers as Top Illinois Practitioners

November 29, 2017

Leading Lawyers Network has recognized 22 Cozen O'Connor attorneys as top Illinois practitioners, including 19 "Leading Lawyers" and 3 "Emerging Lawyers" for its 2017 survey results publication.

Anna Wermuth selected by Crain's Chicago Business as one of the "Most Influential Women Lawyers" in Chicago

July 31, 2017

Anna Wermuth, vice chair of Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment department, was selected by Crain's Chicago Business as one of the "Most Influential Women Lawyers" in Chicago.

Cozen O’Connor Earns Client Recognition in 2017 Chambers USA Rankings

May 26, 2017

Chambers USA recognized 47 Cozen O’Connor lawyers as leaders in their respective fields; 14 attorneys were recognized nationally and 11 were ranked in the top band.

Anna Wermuth Featured in Loyola University Chicago School of Law Student Spotlight

April 20, 2017

Anna Wermuth, vice chair of Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment department, was featured in Loyola University Chicago School of Law's Student Spotlight.

Anna Wermuth, Joseph Tilson, A. Martin Wickliff, Jr., and Jeremy Glenn Among Nation’s Top Labor & Employment Lawyers According to LawDragon/HRE

April 18, 2017

Four members of Cozen O’Connor’s Labor & Employment group have been named to the 2017 LawDragon/Human Resource Executive (HRE) magazine’s top Labor & Employment lists.

Who Universities Bring to the Bargaining Table

February 23, 2017

Anna Wermuth and Joe Tilson, vice chair and chair of Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment department, discuss their involvement in the higher education industry in this Chicago Daily Law Bulletin article.

Thirteen Cozen O’Connor Attorneys Named to 2017 Illinois Super Lawyers Lists

February 03, 2017

Super Lawyers represents the top five percent of all practicing lawyers in each state. The publishers of Super Lawyers identify preeminent attorneys based on surveys and interviews with thousands of attorneys, plus consideration of civic service and pro bono activities.

Anna Wermuth Quoted in Sports Illustrated Article About Northwestern Football

February 25, 2016

Anna Wermuth, vice chair of Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment department, was quoted in a recent Sports Illustrated article regarding the Northwestern Football teams attempt to unionize last year.

Publications

Employers Must Vigilantly Evaluate WARN Obligations As Pandemic Continues [Alert]

July 28, 2020

Dave Hackett and Anna Wermuth discuss what employers must do to ensure they are complying with all applicable laws.

Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act – What You Need to Know [Alert]

August 16, 2019

Adam Gutmann and Anna Wermuth discuss what employers should do to comply with the new Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act.

Newly Issued Mandatory Advice Submissions List Reveals NLRB GC’s Priorities [Labor & Employment Alert]

December 05, 2017

Joseph Tilson and Anna Wermuth discuss the general counsel memorandum that signals to many employers that new agency officials will take a more employer-friendly approach.

Illinois Ban on Salary History Inquiries Dies on Governor’s Desk [Labor & Employment Alert]

August 28, 2017

Joseph E. Tilson and Anna Wermuth discuss why Governor Rauner’s veto is good news for Illinois employers.

NLRB General Counsel Takes a Bold Stance on Student Athletes [Labor & Employment Alert]

February 07, 2017

Joseph Tilson and Anna Wermuth discuss the NLRB General Counsel Richard Griffin's announced that scholarship football players at Division I FBS private colleges and universities are employees entitled to protection under the National Labor Relations Act.

Events & Seminars

Past Events

COVID-19 Update

January 10, 2022 - Webinar

Hot Topics in Labor and Employment

September 26, 2019 - Chicago, Ill.

Labor Relations in the Trump Era

June 23, 2019 - Denver, CO

2017 Labor and Employment Law Update - Chicago

October 05, 2017 - Chicago, IL

56th Annual Corporate Counsel Institute

September 28, 2017 - Chicago, IL

NACUA Annual Conference 2017

June 25, 2017 - Chicago, IL

Industry Sectors

Education

  • Loyola University Chicago School of Law, J.D., 1999
  • Northwestern University, M.A., 1992
  • DePaul University, B.A., 1991

Awards & Honors

Chambers USA, 2017-2021

Top 20 Lawyers in Traditional Labor and Employment Law by Lawdragon, 2017-2021

Woman Leader in the Law, ALM and Martindale Hubbell, 2020

Crain's Chicago Business, Most Influential Women Lawyers, 2017; Notable Women in Law, 2018, 2020

Woman Making an Impact, Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, 2014

Best Lawyers in America 2019-2022

2022 Employment Law - Management Lawyer of the Year in Chicago by The Best Lawyers in America 

Illinois Super Lawyer, 2010, 2012-2015, 2018-2021

Illinois Rising Star, 2008-2009

Leading Lawyers Network Illinois 2009-2019

Benchmark Labor & Employment Star for the Midwest, 2019

Fellow, College of Labor and Employment Lawyers

  • Illinois
  • U.S. District Court -- Central District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court -- Northern District of Illinois
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

The Honorable Rebecca R. Pallmeyer, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois

American Bar Association, Section of Labor and Employment Law:

  • Management Program Co-Chair for the Development of the Law under the NLRA Committee
  • Former Employer Vice-Chair, National Programs (BASICS) Subcommittee
  • Former Employer Vice-Chair for Membership Development Retention Subcommittee
  • Participant in Labor & Employment Law Section’s Leadership Development Program

Chicago Bar Association: 

  • 2012-13 Chair, Labor & Employment Law Committee,
  • 2011-12, Vice-Chair, Labor & Employment Law Committee,
  • Alliance for Women Member

Fellow, American Bar Foundation

Women’s Bar Association of Illinois Member

Coalition of Women’s Initiatives in Chicago Law Firms - Delegate

Nominated,  American Institute of Legal Counsel