Brian Matthew Rhodes

Senior Counsel
Located in

Philadelphia, PA

“I am relentless and fearless. I can be this way because I pride myself on being knowledgeable, resourceful, legally sound, thorough, and punctual - my five fingers of success. ”

- Brian Matthew Rhodes

“I am relentless and fearless. I can be this way because I pride myself on being knowledgeable, resourceful, legally sound, thorough, and punctual - my five fingers of success. ”

- Brian Matthew Rhodes

Brian is an attorney in Obermayer’s Labor and Employment department. He provides advice and strategic counsel to a diverse array of industries, including nonprofit organizations, municipalities, state governments, health care, financial services, information technology, universities, and secondary schools. Brian’s practice covers critical areas such as wage and hour law, human resource management, employee relations, and collective bargaining matters.

Brian also provides training in EEO and HR laws, regulations, and policies.  He positions himself as a strategic ally and partner to company officials across all levels. He excels in effectively managing and defending complex cases throughout every phase of the legal process, whether in state or federal court, the United States Department of Labor, the United States Equal Opportunity Commission, the United States Department of Justice, and state and local agencies and authorities.

Outside of the office, Brian is an avid, self-proclaimed bad golfer. When not on the golf course, he prioritizes spending quality time with his family or reading a book. Brian finds joy in live music and has leveraged his career to work with various artists, providing contract analysis.

With over 25 years of experience, Brian brings a distinctive viewpoint to his practice. Having embraced this noble calling from every angle – as a plaintiff’s attorney, a federal government attorney, a city attorney, and an in-house counsel – he understands each side’s plight in an employment or labor matter and can offer sound advice by taking into consideration each side’s viewpoint.   

During his tenure with the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EOOC), his first job as a lawyer, Brian represented hundreds of U.S. citizens in a multitude of cases involving unfair and discriminatory treatment in the workplace, achieving favorable outcomes in over 95% of the cases.

As an in-house counsel for a major oil refiner, Brian handled a diverse array of matters on the opposite front, defending against charges, Unfair Labor Practices (ULPs), grievances, Department of Labor (DOL) audits, arbitrations, and lawsuits. He negotiated collective bargaining agreements, conducted EEO and HR law training, and worked closely with C-suite level executives and the Board. Brian also gained valuable experience on the business side as the HR director for the largest business unit within the company.

Brian served as a Chief Legal Officer for three different companies, all of which advocated for individuals with behavioral and mental ailments, children facing psychological challenges, and those denied employment based solely on the lack of a four-year college degree.

Brian also served as an attorney within the City of Philadelphia’s Solicitor’s Office, where he handled labor and employment matters brought against the City of Philadelphia and provided advice and counsel to City operational units on EEO and civil rights matters.

Some of the most notable achievements in Brian’s legal career include:

  • Managed Labor Relations team, Alternative Dispute Resolution function, and HR/EEO
  • Counselors at a Fortune 50 company
  • Served as First Chair and lead counsel on numerous matters in litigation, arbitrations, mediations, civil service hearings, and EEO matters both as Plaintiff and Defense counsel
  • A lead internal executive champion on numerous projects resulting in key, measurable
  • Improvements to the company – such as Outside Counsel Fees Reduction, Outside Counsel
  • Guidelines and Policy, Comprehensive Contingent Workforce Management Manual, Compliance
  • Platform and Policies, and Contract Management System.
  • Managed personnel budgets of $10 million with under-budget efficiency
  • Managed project budgets with under-budget efficiency
  • Managed 100s of cases in litigation, including pre-litigation, in the area of labor and employment
  • Assessed budget reserves for liability and legal costs
  • Settled hundreds of matters at less than half the original demand by Plaintiff.

Beyond his professional pursuits, Brian actively contributes to his community as a dedicated board member for several organizations that provide support to individuals needing a helping hand.  Brian is married with four children and two grandsons.

In law school, Brian served as the Vice President of the Black Law Students Association. He was a member of the Lugar Trial Association, and the American Bar Association- Student Division. Brian was a volunteer at Haitian Refugee Center Sant Refujie Ayisyin, Incorporated, Miami, Fl., and Kennedy Center Federal Correctional Institute.