Barbara-Ellen Gaffney

Senior Counsel
Gaffney, Barbara-Ellen


Barbara-Ellen Gaffney is a litigation attorney in Holland & Knight's Dallas office. Ms. Gaffney focuses her practice on the representation of management in all aspects of employment and labor matters. Her experience includes assisting in the defense of clients during U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) investigations and civil trials, as well as representing employers in negotiations and/or proceedings with the U.S. Department of Labor, EEOC and Texas Workforce Commission.

Ms. Gaffney provides advice and counsel to employers concerning employment issues, including strategies for minimizing risks of litigation. She has developed internal policies and procedures for various clients, including drafting and revising employee handbooks as well as negotiating and drafting employment contracts, non-compete and confidentiality agreements, separation agreements and independent contractor agreements.

Prior to rejoining Holland & Knight, Ms. Gaffney served as corporate counsel - labor and employment for a large multinational beverage manufacturer and distributor. She previously was an attorney in Holland & Knight's Dallas office following the merger with Thompson & Knight in August 2021.

Representative Experience

  • Acted as lead attorney in a complex Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) class action lawsuit involving claims for unpaid minimum wage and overtime
  • Assisted in securing summary judgment for clients in both federal and state civil litigation involving Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), FLSA, Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), sexual harassment and retaliation claims
  • Advised multiple business owners on employment eligibility issues arising under the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, including an employer's obligations relevant to its employees' employment verification (I-9) forms and avoiding claims of national origin or citizenship discrimination
  • Assisted with representation of prestigious private university in multifaceted tenure dispute involving defamation and retaliation allegations under Title VII


  • Baylor Law School, J.D.
  • Texas A&M University, B.A., magna cum laude
Bar Admissions/Licenses
  • Texas
Court Admissions
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas
  • State Bar of Texas
  • Texas Young Lawyers Association
  • Dallas Bar Association
  • Dallas Association of Young Lawyers
  • Fort Worth-Tarrant County Young Lawyers Association, Past Vice President, 2006
  • St. Thomas Aquinas Parents Association, Board Member