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Christopher L. Brigham

Shareholder, Hartford

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Pamela McDonald


Christopher L. Brigham, a Shareholder with the firm and Chairman of the Employment Law Practices Group and the School Law Practice Group, focuses his practice on representing and counseling schools and businesses with respect to workplace and employment law issues. He defends clients in a wide variety of employment claims in both federal and state courts. Mr. Brigham also represents and counsels clients on matters before the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission, State Commissions on Human Rights and Opportunities, the Department of Labor and the Workers’ Compensation Commission. Of particular note, Mr. Brigham counsels clients about issues facing employers during all stages of the employment relationship including but not limited to the hiring, disciplinary and termination processes. Mr. Brigham conducts human resource audits to ensure that employment policies and procedures are in compliance with the most recent state and federal laws pertaining to wage and hour issues and equal employment opportunities. He also conducts internal investigations involving all forms of workplace disputes and claims of discrimination and/or sexual harassment. Mr. Brigham’s School Law practice is focused on advising independent schools on matters such as school investigations, student discipline, mandated reporting obligations and compliance with federal and state law. Mr. Brigham also assists independent schools in the development of enrollment contracts, employment agreements, school policies and handbooks for faculty, employees and students. Mr. Brigham also conducts independent investigations at the secondary school level and Title IX investigations for universities and colleges.

Mr. Brigham is a frequent speaker and presenter for various professional groups including the National Business Institute, the Connecticut Association of Independent Schools, The Association of Boarding Schools (TABS), National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), the Greater New Haven, Greater New Britain Chambers of Commerce, the Connecticut Bar Association, and for the Firm’s clients on employment law matters.

Mr. Brigham and members of the Employment Law Practices Group and School Law Group periodically prepare written Legal Alerts and videos for friends and clients of the firm focusing on recent trends and important decisions impacting employers and independent schools. These alerts can be found by contacting Attorney Brigham directly at or by visiting the Updike, Kelly & Spellacy, P.C. website at




  • J.D., cum laude, Vermont Law School, South Royalton, VT, 1992

  • B.A., American Literature, Middlebury College, Middlebury, VT, 1986

  • Connecticut Bar Association
    • Labor & Employment Section
    • Education Law Section 

  • Meritas Law Firms Worldwide
    • Meritas Board of Directors
    • Co-Chair, Labor & Employment Section

  • Ethel Walker School
    • Board Member

  • Horizons at the Ethel Walker School
    • Board Member

  • St. Thomas's Day School 
    • Foundation Board Member
  • State of Connecticut

  • U.S. District Court, District of Connecticut

  • United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

  • State of Massachusetts 

  • U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts

  • Presenter at NBI Seminar, New Haven, CT, November 8, 2017 – “Hands on Discipline and Discharge Case Studies” and Conducting Internal Investigations: An HR Guide”

  • Presenter at NBI Seminar, Waterbury, CT, April 18, 2017 – “Conducting an Effective Internal Investigation” and “Responding to EEOC and State Agency Charges”

  • Presenter at NBI Seminar, New Haven, CT, November 4, 2015 – “Troubleshooting HR Legal Nightmares”

  • Presenter at TABS Conference in Boston, MA, December 3, 2015 – “Transgender Students: Legal Overview”

  • Presenter at TABS Conference in Washington D.C., December 5, 2014 – “Navigating Employee Leave: Federal FMLA and ADA”

  • Presenter: NAIS Annual Conference - February 2013 – “Wellness: Not Just Child’s Play”

  • Presenter: Connecticut Association of Independent Schools “Bullying on Independent School Campuses” - January 20, 2011, “Bullying, Anti-Bullying and School Safety”

  • Panelist: “The Dos and Dont’s of Workplace Wellness Programs”, Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce Business Expo, January 28, 2009

  • Panelist: Association of Corporate Counsel (“ACC”) 2009 Annual Meeting, Boston Massachusetts, “Corporate Wellness Plans”

  • Panelist: Employment Law Roundtable, Employment Law: Practical Guidance” ALM Media, July 25, 2008

  • Presenter: Connecticut Society of Eye Physicians’ Management Program, June 6, 2008

  • Presenter: “Temps, Independent Contractors, Telecommuters and Other Special Cases”, CBIA Wage and Hour Conference, September 18, 2007

  • Presenter: Update on Employment Law Issues and Overview of Employee Wellness Programs, Meritas Litigation and Labor & Employment Section Meeting on October 29, 2007

  • “Looking for a Healthy Balance – Overly Aggressive Wellness Programs Can Prompt Litigation”, Connecticut Law Tribune, Vol. 34, No. 17, April 28, 2008

  • 2012 Employee Wellness InfoPak prepared for Association of Corporate Counsel by the Meritas Labor and Employment Section.

  • Malpractice Claims Not Always Ripe for Action, Connecticut Law Tribune, April 20, 2001

  • Employment Law Alerts,