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Christopher M. Trebilcock

Senior Director, Clark Hill Public Strategies

Christopher Trebilcock litigates labor and employment disputes in federal and state courts and administrative agencies across the country on behalf of Fortune 500 companies, medium and small employers, including governmental agencies.

Unionized employers call on Chris to litigate grievance arbitrations and act as the Chief spokesperson in collective bargaining negotiations. Chris also provides counsel on labor relations and CBA administration, for existing bargaining units ranging from 2 to over 1,500 and covering employees represented by major unions, including the Teamsters, UAW, SEIU, Carpenters & Millwrights, IUOE, and the Laborers International.

Chris’s work with public bodies, school districts, and universities includes providing FOIA and OMA guidance, resolving student disciplinary matters and managing employee discipline and discharge. Chris has significant experience defending public bodies in FOIA and OMA litigation. Chris also routinely advises candidates, elected officials, political action committees, and ballot question committees on all matters involving campaign finance, ballot access, recounts, and other election law issues.


J.D., Wake Forest University School of Law, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
B.A., cum laude, Alma College, Alma, Michigan


Recognized by Michigan Lawyers Weekly as a Michigan Go To Lawyer for Employment Law (2024)

Named 2024 Top Lawyer by DBusiness

Named among The Best Lawyers in America® for Employment Law – Management (2013-2024); Litigation – Labor and Employment (2013-2024); Government Relations Practice (2023-2024)

DBusiness Top Lawyers, Employment and Labor-Management (2014-present)

Named a Leading Lawyer in Detroit by Leading Lawyers℠ (2014-2024)

Chambers USA – Labor & Employment (Michigan) (2017, 2024), Up-and-Coming Individual (2020)

Crain’s Detroit Business “40 Under 40” (2012)

Selected to the Michigan Super Lawyers Rising Stars list for Employment and Labor (2008-2014)


American Bar Association, Labor and Employment Law Section

State Bar of Michigan, Labor and Employment Law and Litigation Sections

Federal Bar Association for the Eastern District of Michigan

Michigan Council of School Attorneys

Metropolitan Affairs Coalition, Board Member (2015-present)

Detroit Institute of Arts, Founders Junior Council, Board of Directors (2006-2014)

Detroit Institute of Arts, Founders Junior Council, President (2011)

Michigan’s Children, Board of Directors (2009-2012)

Michigan Great Lakes Wind Council, appointed by Governor Granholm (2009)

Oakland County Bar Association, New Lawyers’ Council, Board of Directors (2004-2008)

State Bar Licenses


Court Admissions

U.S. Supreme Court
U.S. Court of Appeals, 6th Circuit
U.S. District Ct., E.D. of Michigan
U.S. District Ct., W.D. of Michigan
U.S. District Ct., N.D. of Illinois
  • Representation of a regional commercial painting company during a jurisdictional dispute between rival local unions.
  • Defense of a furniture and assembly company for operating an unlawful double-breasted company to avoid health and welfare and pension contributions.
  • Defense of electrical contractor against claims for delinquent health and welfare and pension contributions.
  • Labor relations compliance training for an auto-supplier in response to a union organizing campaign.
  • Successfully obtained dismissal (by motion) of age discrimination and breach of contract claims on behalf of a tier one auto supplier.
  • Successfully obtained dismissal (by motion) of a sex discrimination and harassment case on behalf of one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical supply services company.


  • “Defending and Managing the Latest Off-the-Clock Claims Involving the Continuous Work Day, Use of Smart Phones/ Mobile Devices Outside of Scheduled Hours, Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) Policies and Working Remotely,” ACI’s 27th National Forum on Wage and Hour Claims and Class Actions, New York, NY, June 2-3, 2016
  • “The Latest DOL Guidance on Independent Contractor vs. Employee; and Defending Federal and State Claims Involving the Improper Labeling of Exempt/Non-Exempt Employees By Key Industry,” ACI’s 26th National Forum on Wage and Hour Claims and Class Actions, Miami, FL, January 28-29, 2016
  • “The Latest on Joint Employer Liability Under the Wage-and-Hour Laws; California Law Nuances; and Defeating Joint Employment Allegations Early in Employment Litigation,” ACI’s 22nd National Forum on Wage and Hour Claims and Class Actions, San Francisco, CA, September 28-29, 2015
  • “Government in the Workplace, of the Workplace, and for the Workplace: Who Can You Hire, What Can They Say About You, What Can You Do About It, and When Do You Have to Pay Them?”ABA Section of State and Local Government 2014 Fall Council Meeting, Denver, CO, October 10, 2014
  • “Assessing the Legal Implications of Proposed FLSA Minimum Wage Increases and Obama Directives Regarding ‘Paycheck Fairness’,” American Conference Institute’s 22nd National Forum on Wage and Hour Claims and Class Actions, Los Angeles, CA, September 29, 2014
  • “Conducting Lawful and Effective Investigations Into Workplace Harassment and Discrimination,” Michigan HR Day, Lansing, MI, April 23, 2014
  • “Pot of Gold or Chimera? Shared Services and Collective Bargaining,” Michigan Public Employer Labor Relations Association, Bellaire, MI, September 15, 2011
  • “Navigating the Trickiest Issues Under the Fair Labor Standards Act,” Institute for Continuing Legal Education, 36th Annual Labor & Employment Law Institute, Plymouth, Michigan, April 15, 2011
  • “Muslim, Arab, and Middle Eastern Discrimination in the Post-9/11 Era,” American Bar Association, Live Webinar and Teleconference, February 2, 2011
  • “Effective Strategies for Labor and Employment Relations,” Michigan Leadership Institute, Grand Rapids, MI, October 14, 2010


  • “National Labor Relations Board Continues Expansion of Joint Employer Doctrine by Blessing Mixed Units of Regular Employees and Staffing Agency Temps,” Human Resource Outlook, Michigan Healthcare Human Resources Association, Summer 2016
  • Quoted in “OT Rule Spinoff: DOL to Study Hours Logged Electronically,” Bloomberg BNA, June 13, 2016 “Campaigning With A Purpose,” The Review, Michigan Municipal League, January/February 2015
  • “Age Discrimination in Employment Law” Chapter Editor, ABA Labor and Employment Law Section and Bloomberg BNA, 2012-2018 Cumulative Supplements
  • “The Developing Labor Law,” Contributing Editor, 2009-2018 Cumulative Supplements
  • “FLSA Amendments Provide Clarity But Stop Short of Changes,” State Bar of Michigan, Labor and Employment Law Section, Lawnotes (Summer 2011)
  • “Wage-and-hour claims could stunt economic recovery for some companies,” Michigan Lawyers Weekly, March 28, 2011
  • “How Independent Are Your Contractors,” Michigan Council of School Attorneys, Council News, Spring 2011
  • “Careful with wellness plans: HIPAA might just getcha,” Michigan Lawyers Weekly, April 26, 2010