Principal & General Counsel
Samford University / Cumberland School of Law
Washington and Lee University
University of Oxford
Postgraduate studies (1999)
“Over the last 18 months, Nick has provided me with representation that saved my job and has ensured my future retirement. During this process I found him to be an anchor during some very stormy times.”
— Client testimonial
Nicholas Woodfield is a seasoned trial attorney with almost 30 years of experience litigating cases. He specializes in civil litigation and appellate advocacy and focuses on representing clients in retaliation cases, along with cases involving discrimination, whistleblowers, qui tam actions, and wage non-payment and misclassification claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Mr. Woodfield is a founding partner at The Employment Law Group® law firm and is the firm’s general counsel.
Mr. Woodfield is known for his record of winning multiple retaliation cases under the federal Whistleblower Protection Act and other statutes. Other notable victories for clients include:
- A $650,000 jury verdict leading to one of the most important appellate decisions in Maryland employment law in the last decade, which ruled that companies are responsible for actions linked to a supervisor’s retaliation;
- A federal court decision expanding the protections of the FLSA to protect all employees who file reasonable, good-faith reports of overtime violations;
- An appellate ruling that whistleblowers only need a reasonable belief of a violation of the law in order to be protected under the Whistleblower Protection Act instead of needing to prove an actual violation;
- The first Sarbanes-Oxley Act decision in favor of a whistleblower to survive appeal;
- And the first Dodd-Frank Act whistleblower retaliation claim to survive a motion to dismiss in federal court.
Mr. Woodfield has helped strengthen and even define laws protecting employees, such as laws that bolster the rights of employees to act collectively when their wages are unlawfully withheld. He has recovered millions in judgments and settlements for his clients, including a $1.13 million Wage Payment Act judgment and multiple seven-figure class action settlements.
Mr. Woodfield also works with clients who are the subjects of workplace investigations into their own conduct. He specializes in minimizing the damages and protecting their careers to avoid clients being disproportionately punished for their actions. “It’s gratifying to help decent people who have made some bad calls,” Mr. Woodfield says. “A mistake that snowballs horribly could easily happen to anyone. Our goal is to stop their lives from hitting a freefall.”
Mr. Woodfield’s significant work in representing employees has led to a peer-nominated fellowship in the prestigious College of Labor and Employment Lawyers.
In Mr. Woodfield’s opinion, his career started at just the right time and place to lay the foundation for this later success. He graduated with his law degree from Samford University in 1995 and began working for a firm in Birmingham, Alabama. At the time, there was a significant peak in civil lawsuits going to trial, which gave Mr. Woodfield ample opportunity to gain more trial experience than many of his peers. He tried (and won) his first jury trial about 60 days after beginning to work at the firm.
In 1999, Mr. Woodfield took a brief break to continue his education as a Visiting Postgraduate Student in Law at the University of Oxford in England. Afterwards, he moved to D.C. and went back to litigating cases, first at a different law firm and then at TELG. He found that his prior experience in Alabama gave him an edge in D.C., where many lawyers were not accustomed to going all the way to trial.
While Mr. Woodfield has many trial wins, he has succeeded just as much outside of the courtroom. Oftentimes, Mr. Woodfield turns the case in favor of his client during depositions. He considers his strategy in choosing when and what questions to ask to be a key advantage in unravelling the opposing argument with new evidence and subsequently reaching a settlement for clients.
Mr. Woodfield has spent decades refining his techniques and expanding his knowledge base to better serve his clients. His extensive experience proves useful in providing creative solutions and guiding clients through the otherwise complex and overwhelming field of employment law.
“Attempting to go through the legal process alone is akin to walking across the Mojave Desert after watching a YouTube video. You’re not prepared for the journey,” Mr. Woodfield says. “Yes, it’s possible you could do it, but it’s almost guaranteed to have a bad outcome. Our experience at TELG can help guide you.”
For a decade, Mr. Woodfield has been recognized by The Best Lawyers in America and Super Lawyers for his work. Washingtonian Magazine and Northern Virginia magazine named Mr. Woodfield to their “Top Lawyers” lists, and Lawdragon ranked him one of the top 500 leading plaintiff-side employment lawyers in the U.S. His recognition extends to the media, where outlets frequently ask for his thoughts on employment law matters.
Mr. Woodfield is a member of the Federal Bar Association and the National Employment Lawyers Association. He was formerly the president of the Virginia Employment Lawyers Association for about eight years.
In the mornings before work, Mr. Woodfield wakes up early to go rowing on the Potomac river. Mr. Woodfield previously rowed during graduate school and picked up the hobby again, now rowing with the Potomac Boat Club. He is married with two kids and has a rescue dog named Wanda.
Mr. Woodfield is admitted to practice law in Alabama, Maryland, Virginia, D.C., and various federal courts including the United States Supreme Court.