Neil Jacobs

Retired Partner

Jacobs, Neil

Neil Jacobs was a partner in the Labor and Employment Practice Group. He joined the firm in 1977 and retired in 2016. Mr. Jacobs had extensive experience in the negotiation and administration of collective bargaining agreements. He also had significant experience in employment and labor law litigation in state and federal courts, and administrative proceedings before state and federal fair employment agencies, including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Office of Federal Contract Compliance Program, and Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination. He was admitted to practice before the US District Court for the District of Massachusetts, the US Court of Appeals for the First and Seventh Circuits and in all state courts in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.


Mr. Jacobs acted as counsel in employment and labor law matters to numerous clients of the firm. His clients included technology and life sciences companies, healthcare institutions, professional sports teams, transportation companies, warehouse and distribution companies, accounting firms, manufacturers in a variety of industries and educational institutions. He had experience negotiating with the major unions in the following areas: warehouse and distribution, trucking, education, healthcare, manufacturing and retail sales.

Mr. Jacobs was responsible for acting as lead trial or appellate counsel in major employment litigation involving ERISA litigation, unfair labor practice proceedings before the National Labor Relations Board and in the US Courts of Appeals, predatory hiring cases, employee theft of trade secrets, wrongful discharge litigation and discrimination litigation.

Prior to joining the firm in 1977, Mr. Jacobs worked in the Appellate Enforcement Division of the National Labor Relations Board.

As a member of the American Bar Association's Developing Labor Law Committee, Mr. Jacobs wrote an article published by the committee, "Striker Replacements: The Duty to Bargain Over Terms and Conditions of Employment." He was also a contributing editor to The Developing Labor Law and was the editor of the MBA Labor Section newsletter.

Honors & Awards

  • Recognized as a leader in labor and employment in every edition of Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business since 2003, with sources saying he "remains an exalted figure" and is "acclaimed for his extensive collective bargaining expertise"
  • Selected by peers for inclusion in the 2006-2018 editions of the Best Lawyers in America in the area of labor and employment law
  • Named a "New England Super Lawyer" (formerly "Massachusetts Super Lawyer") in employment litigation in the 2004-2016 issues of Boston Magazine

Publications & News


August 16, 2017

WilmerHale Lawyers Named Among the 2018 Best Lawyers in America®, Nine Recognized as Lawyers of the Year

Best Lawyers in America®—the oldest and most respected peer-review publication in the legal industry—recognizes 107 WilmerHale lawyers and names nine partners as Lawyers of the Year in its 24th edition.

August 15, 2016

WilmerHale Lawyers Named Among the 2017 Best Lawyers in America®, Six Recognized as Lawyers of the Year

Best Lawyers in America®—a respected peer-review publication in the legal industry—recognizes 101 WilmerHale lawyers and names six partners as Lawyers of the Year in its 23rd edition.

May 24, 2013

Chambers USA 2013 Final Results Announced

Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business today announced its final rankings for the 2013 edition, in which 93 WilmerHale lawyers and 44 firm practice areas have been recognized as leading in their field.

June 7, 2012

Chambers USA 2012 Final Results Announced

March 30, 2012

Chambers USA 2012 Preliminary Results Announced

February 13, 2012

Massachusetts LGBTQ Bar Association, Boston-area Law Firms Encourage Legal Profession to Take Lead in Promoting Transgender Rights in the Workplace

March 15, 2011

Chambers USA 2011 Preliminary Results Announced

August 12, 2010

90 WilmerHale Lawyers Named to The Best Lawyers in America® 2011

Best Lawyers is based on an exhaustive peer-review survey in which more than 39,000 leading attorneys cast almost 3.1 million votes on the legal abilities of lawyers in their practice areas.

June 11, 2010

Chambers USA 2010 Reveals Final Results Ranking 101 WilmerHale Lawyers and Dozens of Practices

One-hundred and one WilmerHale lawyers are recognized in the eighth edition of the guide and the firm is listed as among the best in dozens of practice areas throughout its six US locations.

March 18, 2010

Chambers USA 2010 Honors WilmerHale, Ranking Over 100 Lawyers and Dozens of Practices

One-hundred and two WilmerHale lawyers will be recognized in the eighth edition of Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business.

Professional Activities

Mr. Jacobs was an adjunct professor of labor law at Northeastern University, and lectured at presentations sponsored by the Boston Bar Association and Massachusetts Bar Association on various aspects of labor law. He also served as a trustee at the Jewish Vocational Services, The Fessenden School and the Meadowbrook School.
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JD, Harvard Law School, 1976

AB, magna cum laude, Harvard University, 1973, Phi Beta Kappa, John Harvard Scholar

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