Scott M. Nelson

Baker & McKenzie LLP


Scott Nelson has significant experience with domestic and international labor and employment matters, as well as complex commercial litigation. Texas Monthly magazine has recognized Mr. Nelson as a Texas Super Lawyer and the Texas Board of Legal Specialization has board certified him in labor and employment law. Legal 500 has recognized him as a leading US lawyer in Labor & Employment Litigation and also in Workplace & Employment Counseling. In addition to representing a wide variety of clients, he serves as the Firm’s lawyer for internal employment law matters within its North America operations. He also frequently speaks on employment and general litigation issues and has published numerous articles.

Practice Focus

On the litigation side, Mr. Nelson has prevailed for clients in a wide variety of cases before trial courts, appellate courts, arbitrators, and government agencies. He has litigated all major types of employment law claims, wage and hour claims, ERISA claims, whistleblower claims, complex traditional labor law (union-related) matters, non-compete and trade secrets cases, class actions, collective actions, and complex commercial litigation matters.

On the advice side, Mr. Nelson is a trusted, regular advisor to many clients on compliance and strategy issues. He also frequently manages international legal matters for global clients. In addition, he supervises internal company investigations and is often asked to train groups of executives.

Representative Legal Matters

  • Bench trial victory in large ERISA § 204(h) notice class action in which plaintiffs sought a recovery in excess of USD200 million.
  • Neiddu v. Lifetime Fitness, Inc., 977 F. Supp. 2d 686 (S.D. Tex. 2013) (defeated conditional certification of FLSA collective action for a national fitness club chain)
  • Jensen v. Solvay Chems., Inc., 625 F.3d 641 (10th Cir. 2010) (affirming summary judgment victory dismissing large ADEA collective action related to conversion of pension plan to cash balance formula)
  • Successfully defended multinational chemical companies in one of the largest employee trade secrets cases to ever go to a jury trial, a case in which plaintiffs sought USD800 million through economic espionage-type trade secrets claims.
  • Successfully defended multinational energy companies against claims seeking USD440 million arising out of a USD6 billion LNG project in Indonesia.
  • Bourgeois v. The Pension Plan for the Employees of Santa Fe Int’l Corp., 215 F.3d 475 (5th Cir. 2000) (obtained favorable Fifth Circuit opinion on ERISA exhaustion of administrative remedies doctrine)
  • Bourgeois v. The Pension Plan for the Employees of Santa Fe Int’l Corp., 308 F. Supp. 2d 761 (S.D. Tex. 2004) (won summary judgment for defendants in ERISA enhanced pension benefits litigation in which former Managing Director sought seven-figure recovery)
  • Tiemeyer v. Quality Publ’g, Inc., 144 F. Supp. 2d 727 (S.D. Tex. 2001) (summary judgment victory for magazine publishing company in executive’s age discrimination case)
  • Simien v. Chemical Waste Management, Inc., 30 F. Supp. 2d 939 (W.D. La. 1998), aff’d, 174 F.3d 199 (5th Cir. 1999) (obtained summary judgment and subsequent Fifth Circuit affirmance for defendant in race discrimination case)

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Houston Bar Association - Labor & Employment Section, International Section
  • State Bar of Texas - Labor & Employment Law Section, Litigation Section
  • Mensa - Member


  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit~United States (2009)
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit~United States (2008)
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Kentucky~United States (2008)
  • U.S. Supreme Court~United States (2000)
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Texas~United States (1998)
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas~United States (1998)
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Texas~United States (1997)
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit~United States (1997)
  • Texas~United States (1996)
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Texas~United States (1996)


  • Creighton University (J.D. cum laude) (1996)
  • Creighton University (B.S.B.A. Finance magna cum laude) (1993)


  • English