Leigh Anne St. Charles
Nashville Managing Partner
Leigh Anne is the Managing Partner of the Nashville office of Sanford Heisler Sharp and a Co-Chair of the firm’s Discrimination and Harassment Practice Group.
Since joining Sanford Heisler Sharp, Leigh Anne has been recognized in the legal community as a Mid-South Rising Star by Super Lawyers, was named one of the Top 40 Under 40 Lawyers in Tennessee by the National Trial Lawyers Association, and was recognized in the 2021 and 2022 edition of The Best Lawyers in America “Ones to Watch” in the field of Employment Law – Individuals.
At Sanford Heisler Sharp, Leigh Anne’s practice has focused on discrimination and harassment, and financial services litigation. As part of her discrimination and harassment practice, Leigh Anne has represented individuals and classes in claims of gender, age, FMLA, and disability discrimination, and retaliation. As part of her financial services practice, Leigh Anne represents classes of workers from around the country who have invested through their employer’s 401(k) plan in their claims of breach of fiduciary duty and 401(k) plan mismanagement. Leigh Anne’s representations have included:
- Securing an $8.3 million arbitration verdict on behalf of the co-founder of a global semi-conductor company following his termination in Chen v. InnoGrit Corporation, et al.
- Securing a settlement of over $2 million on behalf of the former CEO of the Nashville airport following litigation of his claims of FMLA and disability discrimination in Wigington v. Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority et al.
- Negotiating settlements on behalf of female partners at multiple AmLaw 200 law firms for claims of gender discrimination, inequitable pay, and failure to promote
- Negotiating settlements on behalf of multiple female in-house counsel at a Fortune 100 corporation for claims of gender discrimination and retaliation
- Securing a settlement on behalf of more than 700 auto-workers in a class age discrimination claim against Volkswagen in Manlove v. Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft et al.
- Litigating as class counsel on behalf of a certified class of current and former 401(k) plan participants alleging claims of fiduciary breach against Home Depot in Pizarro v. The Home Depot, Inc. et al.
- Serving as interim-class counsel in ongoing class litigation on behalf of current and former 401(k) plan participants in claims of fiduciary breach against UnitedHealth Group in Snyder v. UnitedHealth Group, Inc. et al.
- Litigating an ongoing class matter on behalf of current and former 401(k) plan participants in claims of fiduciary breach against The Allstate Corporation in Cutrone v. The Allstate Corp. et al.
Leigh Anne received her law degree from Columbia Law School and her Bachelor of Arts cum laude from Western Kentucky University. While at Columbia Law School, Leigh Anne was a James Kent and Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar. She served as a notes editor for the Journal of Law and Social Problems, a board member for the American Constitution Society and Workers’ Rights Student Coalition, and a teaching assistant for Disability Law. She also tutored middle school students through the Harlem Tutorial Project.
A member of the Tennessee and District of Columbia bars, Leigh Anne co-authored an article, Brokerage Windows in 401(k) Plans: The Total Abdication of Fiduciary Responsibility, in the Winter 2021 edition of the Benefits Law Journal.
Before joining Sanford Heisler Sharp, Leigh Anne was an associate at Arnold & Porter, LLP, where she gained substantial experience in complex commercial litigation.
When Leigh Anne is not lawyering, she enjoys spending time with friends and family and gardening. Leigh Anne is also a certified doula.
- J.D., Columbia Law School
- Notes Editor, the Journal of Law and Social Problems
- B.A., Western Kentucky University
- District of Columbia, 2015
- Tennessee, 2018
- U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, 2017
- 2024 Best Lawyers in America: Ones to Watch
- 2023 Profiles in Diversity Journal Women Worth Watching® in Leadership Award
- 2022 Business Insider Rising Star
- 2022 Best Lawyers in America: Ones to Watch – Recognized for work in the field of “Labor and Employment Law – Employee
- 2021 Best Lawyers in America: Ones to Watch – Recognized for work in the field of “Employment Law – Individuals”
- 2020 Mid-South Rising Star Super Lawyer
- 2019 Mid-South Rising Star Super Lawyer
I Am Able to Enjoy Life Because All of You
“I just wanted to tell you how wonderful my life is now. I am able to enjoy life because all of you supported me and helped me get through the worst time of my life. I am so grateful for your support.”
– Former Client
Deciding to take action and pursue a legal case was a complicated and emotional decision. Ed, Cara, Jonathan, Leigh Anne, Kaitlin, and the rest of the team at Sanford Heisler Sharp supported me through this journey, providing expert guidance, caring, and compassion. They took the time needed to absorb the nuances of my situation, continued to navigate through roadblocks, demonstrated the patience of true professionals, and led my case to a successful outcome for me and my family. I will be forever grateful!
– Former Client
I highly recommend them
Kaitlin Leary, Leigh Anne St. Charles, and Kevin Sharp went above and beyond to guide and support me through a legal matter. They always came prepared, listened, showed the utmost care and professionalism, and solved the issues at hand. Having Kaitlin, Leigh Anne, and Kevin in my corner during a life changing situation allowed me to remain calm with paths to move forward. I highly recommend them and their firm.
– Former Client
Passionate Care for Justice
“As a client of Sanford Heisler Sharp, I had the opportunity of working with its attorneys at multiple locations: Ms. Ella Zheng and Mr. Yikai Wang (in San Francisco), Ms. Leigh Anne St. Charles and Messrs. Kevin Sharp and Jonathan Tepe (in Nashville), and Mr. Andrew Melzer (in New York). Collectively the SHS team represented the highest level of professionalism, integrity, and passionate care for justice that I have ever witnessed in my career.
Like many individual plaintiffs, I was faced with a corporate defendant that was much more resourceful. The SHS team never showed any hesitation in representing me or wavered in their resolution to right the wrong. The attorneys and assistants worked through maternity, coronavirus infection, over-night depositions and many other challenges for nearly three years to ultimately deliver a resounding success!
I am forever indebted to Sanford Heisler Sharp's‘s perseverance and kindness. Last three years were such a lifetime experience that I will never forget.”
– David Chen
This class action accuses the fiduciaries of UnitedHealth’s 401(k) plan of violating their fiduciary duties under ERISA by keeping one of the worst-performing target date investment options in the entire market, the Wells Fargo Target Fund Suite, as the plan’s default investment for over a decade.
The German automakers’ “Pact for the Future” labor campaign eliminates 7,000 jobs in the Americas primarily held by workers born between 1955 and 1960.
Sanford Heisler Sharp is currently evaluating whether Allstate mismanaged its 401(k) plan.
The plaintiff is former Ogletree equity partner Tracy Warren, who filed the representative action on behalf of herself and other similarly situated current or former female attorneys employed in California at the storied defense-side labor and employment firm. Ms. Warren filed the action under the California Labor Code Private Attorneys General Act of 2004 (PAGA).
The complaint asserts that Ogletree uses a number of tactics to shortchange female shareholders in pay and promotions. The firm manipulates allocation of origination credits by unfairly attributing such credits to male shareholders, even when women at the firm are the ones who bring in the client.
The Complaint on behalf of InnoGrit’s co-founder Yuhui (David) Chen alleges breach of contract, promissory fraud, retaliation, wrongful termination, and shareholder direct and derivative claims.
According to the complaint, Home Depot has selected multiple poorly-performing funds for its 401(k) plan, allowed investment advisers to charge its employees unreasonable fees, and turned a blind eye to a kickback scheme between an investment adviser and the plan’s recordkeeper.
- Home Depot Workers Ask 11th Circ. To Revive 401(k) Suit, Law360, February 06,2023
- Crypto In 401(k) Plans Highlights Brokerage Window Duties, Law360, September 02, 2022
- Sanford Heisler Sharp Announces an $8.3 Million Arbitration Award in Co-Founder Dispute Case Against InnoGrit Corporation, Shanghai InnoGrit, and InnoGrit CEO, Sanford Heisler Sharp, LLP, October 05, 2021
- Eight Sanford Heisler Sharp Attorneys Listed In 2022 Best Lawyers, Sanford Heisler Sharp, LLP, August 09, 2021
- Home Depot, Workers Both Seek Early Win In 401(k) Class Suit, Law360, July 13, 2021
- Sanford Heisler Sharp Files Motion For Summary Judgment Against Home Depot For Mismanagement Of Its 401k Plan, GlobeNewswire, July 13, 2021
- Allstate Says Employees In ERISA Suit ‘Lost Nothing’, GlobeNewswire, June 10, 2021
- Four Sanford Heisler Sharp Women Partners Selected To The National Trial Lawyers Top 40 Under 40 Civil Plaintiff Trial Lawyers Membership, Sanford Heisler Sharp, LLP, May 11, 2021
- Sanford Heisler Sharp Promotes Felicia Gilbert to San Francisco Managing Partner, Sanford Heisler Sharp, LLP, January 08, 2020
- Ex-Ogletree Atty Says Arbitration Pact ‘Rife With Defects’, Law360, February 26, 2019
- Arbitrator Lets VW Age Bias Accuser Seek Court Injunction, Law360, February 26, 2019
- VW Worker Urges Court To Block Alleged Age Discrimination, Sanford Heisler Sharp, LLP
- Sanford Heisler Sharp Files Motion for Preliminary Injunction Against Volkswagen to Stop Continued Discriminatory Treatment, Sanford Heisler Sharp, LLP
- VW Says Worker Must Arbitrate ‘Rebranding’ Age Bias Claims, Sanford Heisler Sharp, LLP
- Ogletree Gender Bias Suit Shouldn’t Be Arbitrated, Atty Says, Law360, October 03, 2018
- In Gender Discrimination Suit, Ogletree and Ex-Partner Clash Over Firm’s Arbitration Agreement, Sanford Heisler Sharp, LLP, October 03, 2018
- Ogletree Must Show Judge Contract In Atty Gender Bias Suit, Law360 Employment Authority, August 15, 2018
- Volkswagen Accused Of Age Discrimination In New Lawsuit, Sanford Heisler Sharp, LLP, July 01, 2018
- VW Accused Of ‘Purging’ Older Workers In Rebranding Effort, Law360, June 29, 2018
- General Electric 401(k) Lawsuits Poised for Law Firm Battle, Bloomberg Law, December 05, 2017
- ,Some in Nashville’s music industry say Lauer dismissal is sign of change for working women, Fox17, November 30, 2017
- Brokerage Windows in 401(k) Plans: The Total Abdication of Fiduciary Responsibility, Benefits Law Journal, Winter 2021. Co-Author.
- Banning Bans on Competition: D.C. Passes Sweeping Prohibition on Non-Compete Agreements in the District
- Workers Succeed in Class Age Discrimination Settlement, But Much Remains to be Done
- The Women Fighting For Equal Pay in BigLaw Have a Message For Others on Equal Pay Day: You Are Not Alone.
- Technological Advances Debunk Common Excuses for Failure to Promote Women