Joseph T. Clees

USA: Arizona

Ogletree Deakins
Esplanade Center III, Suite 800
2415 East Camelback Road
Phoenix, AZ 85016

Tel: 602-778-3701


Joe Clees is a founding shareholder of Ogletree Deakins’ Phoenix office and represents employers throughout the United States in employment litigation and labor relations.  He also counsels clients on a wide array of state, federal and tribal compliance laws.

Joe has been singled out by Chambers USA America’s Leading Lawyers as one of the top labor and employment lawyers in the country for many years and as a Chambers USA Top Leader in his Field.  He has been applauded for his “integrity and common sense” as well as his “pragmatic style.”  Joe was honored as one of the “100 Most Powerful Employment Lawyers in America” by HR Executive magazine each year from 2009 to 2019.  He was named an “Eminent Practitioner” by Chambers in 2014, 2015 and 2016 and he is ranked in the “Number 1” tier among Arizona employment lawyers by Chambers, and has been selected as one of Arizona’s Finest Lawyers. In addition, Joe has been named a “Top 100” Lawyer by Arizona Business Magazine from 2015 to 2018.

In 2014, Joe was named a Fellow in The College of Labor and Employment Lawyers.  He also has been recognized for several years as one of the Best Lawyers in America and honored as one of the Best Lawyers in the United States.  Joe has been singled out as one of the “The Legal 500” nationally and the Arizona Business Magazine has recognized him as an “Arizona Business Leader” and one of the “Top Attorneys of Arizona.”  He also has been designated as a “Best of the Bar” by the Phoenix Business Journal and has been rated as a “Southwest Super Lawyer” for many years.  He has been recognized as one of the “Top 50 Southwest Super Lawyers” from 2010 to 2015.

In 2016, Joe was honored as the “Phoenix Lawyer of the Year” for Labor Law-Management by Best Lawyers and in 2013 was “Phoenix Lawyer of the Year” for Employment Law-Management.  He has served as the Chair of the Executive Committee of the State Bar of Arizona’s Employment and Labor Law Section, a member of the Board of Directors of the Arizona Affirmative Action Association and Board of Directors of the Metro Phoenix Human Resources Association (SHRM).  He is employment law counsel to many industry and trade groups and he regularly speaks on labor and employment law topics, both regionally and nationally.

Ogletree Deakins is one of the largest labor and employment law firms representing management in all types of employment-related legal matters. The firm has a reputation for legal excellence and responsive client service. Ogletree Deakins’​ labor and employment practice is complemented and supported by related practice groups in the areas of business immigration, litigation, employee benefits, occupational safety and health, and construction law.

With offices throughout the United States and in Europe, Canada, and Mexico, the firm represents a diverse range of clients. Our depth of experience in labor and employment law has produced a successful track record for our clients – Fortune 50 corporations to start-up companies.

Although the size and scope of our practice has grown over the past quarter century, our core values remain constant. We are committed to personalized attention, innovative solutions and old-fashioned hard work.

Our approach to providing clients with the resources to solve today’s business challenges is always forward-thinking and strategic. We remain committed to providing our clients with an insider’s view of the workplace issues of the day.

“The “extremely well-connected” Joseph Clees is described by sources as “a highly experienced” employment litigator and “a go-to” practitioner in this area. He continues to offer guidance and counsel to employers on a national scale.”
Chambers & Partners