Morgan Lewis

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09/10/13 GCs Name 5 Employment Powerhouses, Law360
Morgan Lewis is named as one of five firms five firms that in-house counsel most want to represent them in complex employment litigation, according to the BTI Litigation Outlook 2014.
03/01/13 Q&A With Morgan Lewis' Joseph Costello, Law360
Labor & Employment partner Joseph Costello participates in Law360's Q&A series.
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The Legal Intelligencer features Morgan Lewis as its "Pennsylvania Litigation Department of the Year" for labor and employment in 2012.
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Photo of  Joseph J. Costello

practice accolades

Labor & Employment

The American Lawyer Magazine's Litigation Department of the Year – Labor and Employment Law Finalist 2004, Winner 2006, Finalist 2008, Finalist 2010, and Finalist 2012

Listed in the highest tier for National Labor and Employment Practice in Chambers USA 2014

Ranked in the top tier by The Legal 500 for Labor and Employment Litigation, ERISA Litigation, Labor-Management Relations, and Workplace and Employment Counseling (2014)

Named Employment Practice Group of the Year by Law360 (2014)

Named a top 5 firm for employment in BTI's Litigation Outlook 2014 report

Ranked, National Tier 1: Employment Law – Management, Labor Law – Management, and Litigation – Labor & Employment by U.S. News and Best Lawyers (2011-2012) 

Ranked #1 for "Most Prestigious" Labor and Employment Practice, Vault 2012 Associate Survey

ERISA/Employee Benefits Litigation

Listed in the highest tier for National ERISA Litigation Practice in Chambers USA 2014

Ranked in Tier 1 for ERISA Litigation by The Legal 500 United States (2014)

honors + affiliations

Fellow, College of Labor and Employment Lawyers

Senior Fellow, Wharton School’s Center for Human Resources at the University of Pennsylvania

Member, American Bar Association, Section of Labor & Employment Law

Listed, Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business (2004–2014)

Listed, Human Resource Executive, Most Powerful Employment Attorneys (2010–2014)

Noted in The Legal 500 for Labor and Employment Litigation (2014) and ERISA Litigation (2007–2008)

Listed, The Best Lawyers in America (2005–2011)

bar admissions

  • Pennsylvania

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Second, Third, Fifth, and Tenth Circuits
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Joseph J. Costello

1701 Market St.
Philadelphia, PA 19103-2921
United States
Phone: +1.215.963.5295
Fax: +1.215.963.5001

Joseph J. Costello is the practice group leader of Morgan Lewis's Labor and Employment Practice. He is responsible for the strategic and day-to-day management of more than 250 attorneys in 16 of the firm's 25 global offices. Mr. Costello also represents employers in a broad range of employment litigation matters and administrative agency proceedings, and provides counseling in connection with human resources and benefit-related decisions. His litigation practice includes ERISA class actions challenging the prudence of benefit plan investments, the legality of plan design decisions, and the adequacy of fiduciary disclosures; employment discrimination cases under Title VII, the ADEA, and state law; whistleblower retaliation proceedings; and trade secret and noncompete agreement disputes. Mr. Costello advises employers on legal and practical issues associated with executive terminations, reduction-in-force programs, mergers and acquisitions, workplace investigations, employee discipline, accommodations and leave under the ADA and FMLA, and union-management relations. He has represented employers before various administrative agencies, including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Department of Labor, and the National Labor Relations Board.

From 2004 through 2014, Mr. Costello was named one of the leading U.S. lawyers for employment law by Chambers USA, based on the views of clients, peers, and other industry professionals. Chambers called Mr. Costello "one of the premier ERISA attorneys in the country" and noted that his clients value his ability to "reduce the subject to a user-friendly form so no one comes out of a meeting not understanding."

Mr. Costello is admitted to practice in Pennsylvania and before the U.S. Supreme Court and the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Second, Third, Fifth, and Tenth Circuits.


  • Stanford Law School, 1985, J.D.
  • Cornell University, 1980, M.I.L.R.
  • Pennsylvania State University, 1978, B.A.