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W. Carl Jordan
W. Carl Jordan
General Counsel — Labor & Employment
General Counsel — Labor & Employment

W. Carl Jordan

W. Carl Jordan

1001 Fannin Street
Suite 2500
Houston, TX 77002

W. Carl Jordan

Carl Jordan has been with the law firm of Vinson & Elkins LLP his entire career. For approximately 40 years, he practiced in the field of employment and labor law, while also serving in various leadership roles of the firm, including as a member of its management committee. He currently serves as the firm’s general counsel.

Carl has been recognized as a leading employment and labor practitioner. Chambers USA has described Carl as being held “in high esteem for his knowledge of all facets of labor and employment work”, as “equally comfortable in big-ticket litigation or in the boardroom” and as continuing to “carve out a place for himself at the leading edge.” Human Resource Executive and LawDragon have described him as “one of the most powerful employment attorneys in America.”

Experience Highlights

  • Represented a major energy company in litigation involving severance pay and executive compensation claims by numerous former officers and managers displaced as the result of a merger

  • Represented a national insurance company in an age discrimination and fraud lawsuit brought by several former officers displaced as a result of a nationwide reorganization

  • Represented an international construction company in the jury trial of a sexual harassment lawsuit (jury verdict for the employer)

  • Represented a major oil-refining company in arbitration of random drug testing issues in several states (obtained awards upholding validity of testing program)

  • Represented major corporations in several public policy wrongful discharge litigations, including trials, brought by former executive and professional employees alleging they were discharged for refusing to engage in illegal activities 

  • Represented clients in connection with numerous class action employment discrimination lawsuits involving issues of disparate treatment and disparate impact, including trials on the merits and negotiation of consent decrees 

  • Represented clients in collective actions under Fair Labor Standards Act 

  • Assistance to clients concerning the development of dispute resolution programs and defense before courts of such programs 

  • Represented clients in OFCCP glass ceiling reviews and defense of affected class discrimination findings 

  • Represented clients in several administrative proceedings involving claims under federal whistleblower statutes, including the Sarbanes-Oxley Act 

  • Conducted numerous sensitive investigations for Boards of Directors, CEO’s, and General Counsels of major clients 


  • Harvard Law School, J.D. with honors, 1974
  • Baylor University, B.A. with honors, 1971
  • Chambers USA, Labor & Employment (Texas), 2003-2016 and 2020; Senior Statesman in Labor & Employment (Texas), 2014–2019
  • The Best Lawyers in America© (BL Rankings, LLC), Labor and Employment Law, 1989–2021; Litigation–Labor and Employment, 2017−2021
  • The Best Lawyers in America© (BL Rankings, LLC), “Lawyer of the Year” in Labor and Employment Law (Houston), 2011, 2012 and 2020; Litigation – Labor and Employment (Houston), 2014 and 2020
  • Human Resource Executive, one of the Top 10 Employment Lawyers in America,  2008
  • The International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers (Law Business Research Ltd.), Labor and Employment, 1997–2009
  • Who’s Who Legal (Law Business Research Ltd.), Texas, Management Labor and Employment Law, 2007 and 2008; Labor, Employment & Benefits, 2016 and 2017
  • Legal Media Group’s (Euromoney’s) Guide to the World’s Leading Labor and Employment Lawyers, 2004
  • Selected to the Texas Super Lawyers list, Super Lawyers (Thomson Reuters), 2003–2020
  • Selected to the Top 100 Houston Region Super Lawyers list, Super Lawyers (Thomson Reuters), 2003–2005
  • The National Law Journal, one of “The Best Employment Litigators in the Nation,” 1992
  • Conference Chair and Director: American Employment Law Council, 1998–1999 and 1999–2018
  • Member: Labor and Employment Section, and Section’s Committee on Equal Employment Opportunity Law, American Bar Association (various leadership positions)
  • Member: Texas Board of Legal Specialization, Labor and Employment Law Advisory Commission, 2001–2006 (Chair: 2005–2006)
  • Fellow: American College of Labor and Employment Lawyers
  • Texas
  • United States Supreme Court
  • U.S. Courts of Appeal for the Third, Fourth, Fifth, Ninth, Tenth, and Eleventh Circuits
  • U.S. District Courts for the Northern, Southern, and Eastern Districts of Texas
  • “SEC’s Final Rules Reject Requirement That Whistleblowers Report Internally Before Going to the SEC,” V&E’s Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Provisions Update, May 26, 2011
  • Supplement to Employment Discrimination Law 3rd Edition, BNA (editor in chief)
  • Author of numerous articles, treatise chapters, and other publications on employment laws