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Vanessa Griffith
Vanessa Griffith
Partner — Labor & Employment
Partner — Labor & Employment

Vanessa Griffith

Vanessa Griffith

Trammell Crow Center
2001 Ross Avenue
Suite 3900
Dallas, TX 75201

start quote symbolI find counseling the most rewarding side of my practice. My clients are looking for someone to bring not just perspective, but also independence, to their investigations. In this day and age, I don’t know that you can say you’ve seen it all, but there isn’t any kind of complaint or investigation into workplace conduct that I would not feel equipped to handle.end quote symbol
Vanessa Griffith

Vanessa Griffith represents and advises employers in all aspects of employment law, including internal client investigations. Her work often focuses on sensitive, high-level employment disputes involving senior executives or board members. Vanessa draws upon her deep experience to devise solutions that balance the needs of various constituents with the interests of her clients.

Vanessa also assists clients in drafting executive employment and severance agreements, non-competition agreements, and company-wide arbitration programs. She has advised companies in an array of industries, including insurance, finance, construction, oil and gas, health, and retail. She handles pro bono employment matters as well and has worked with numerous nonprofit organizations and charities.

Vanessa has a background in litigation, having acted as first-chair on trials and appeals involving a wide variety of claims including discrimination, harassment and retaliation claims, collective actions under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), unfair competition and trade secret litigation, and various ERISA matters.

Vanessa’s experience as a clerk with the Southern District of Texas shaped the way she approaches counseling clients about employment litigation. During her clerkship, she interviewed juries after each trial, providing her valuable insights into how juries decide cases.

Vanessa has been recognized in multiple publications, including Chambers USA, where reviewers praised her “a problem solver” who “helps [clients] get to a result that makes all parties happy” (2019).

Experience Highlights

  • Principal counsel for a national consumer goods company in defense of a race discrimination suit brought by a large group of former employees alleging systemic race discrimination in job assignment, promotions, and work environment

  • Principal counsel for an energy services firm in defending a claim by a former executive that the company denied her stock options based on her gender

  • (S.D. Tex.); (5th Cir.) — Principal counsel in a race discrimination suit brought by multiple plaintiffs alleging systemic race discrimination in pay and promotion practices. Obtained summary judgment on all claims and successfully defended judgment in the Fifth Circuit

  • Principal counsel for a private equity fund in defending claims by a former executive arising from the termination of employment and her equity investment in a portfolio company

  • Principal counsel for a national insurance company in defending multiple suits, including class and mass action suits arising from claims adjustors employed by the company accepting payments in connection with the settlement of certain personal injury claims


  • The University of Texas School of Law, J.D., 1994 (Chancellors; Order of the Coif)
  • Rice University, B.A., Economics, 1988
  • Judicial clerk to The Honorable David Hittner, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, 1994–1996
  • D Magazine, “Best Lawyers in Dallas,” 2015–2017
  • Legal 500 U.S., Employee Benefits, Executive Compensation and Retirement Plans (Transactional), 2018
  • Chambers USA, Labor & Employment (Texas), 2008 and 2012–2020
  • The Best Lawyers in America© (BL Rankings, LLC), Employment Law−Management, 2010–2015; 2017−2021; Labor Law−Management, 2010–2015; 2017−2021
  • The Best Lawyers in America© (BL Rankings, LLC), “Lawyer of the Year” in Employment Law – Management (Dallas/Fort Worth), 2020
  • Selected to the Texas Super Lawyers list, Super Lawyers (Thomson Reuters), 2014−2020
  • Board Certified in Labor and Employment Law: Texas Board of Legal Specialization
  • Member: EEO Committee of the Labor Section of the American Bar Association; Houston Young Lawyers Association; Houston Bar Association
  • Chapter Chair: 1998 and 2000 Supplements to Employment Discrimination Law
  • Texas
  • U.S. District Courts for the Southern, Eastern, Northern, and Western Districts of Texas
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third, Fourth, Fifth, and Eleventh Circuit
  • “Diversity Matters: Making the Most of Board Diversity,” V&E Houston Office, March 29, 2018 (panelist)
  • “Conducting Internal Investigations and Avoiding Retaliation Claims,” V&E Houston Office, June 22, 2017 (speaker)
  • “Update on Department of Labor Regulatory Activity,” 2016 American Employment Law Conference (AELC) Discussion Leader, October 21, 2016
  • “Social Media in Today’s Workplace,” 2016 SMU Corporate Counsel Symposium, October 28, 2016
  •  “Recent Reminders that Employers with Non-Unionized Workforces Face Union Issues,” V&E Employment, Labor and OSHA Update E-communication, May 20, 2013 (author)
  • “Non-Compete Agreements with Employees,” Practical Law The Journal, January 2012
  • “False Claims Act: Certain General Releases Are Enforceable,” V&E False Claims Act Update E-communication, April 12, 2010 (co-author)
  • Co-author of several seminar papers, including “Communications with Class Member Pre- and Post-Certification,” and numerous papers on various arbitration