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Karen Michael Banner


Karen Michael

Karen Michael


Karen Michael


About Karen Michael

With over 15 years of combined employment law and human resources experience, Karen offers expert legal and practical business advice to companies in the private and public sector regarding employment-related matters.


Karen is an attorney who practiced employment law and litigation with a national firm, McGuire Woods, for over 6 years.  In that role, Karen advised clients ranging from international corporations, financial institutions, franchised retail shops, health care organizations, universities, accounting firms and small sole proprietors on all matters relating to employment law and litigation.  Karen was a successful trial attorney, practicing in both state and federal courts.  She understands the complexity of employment cases and the need for front-end handling and prevention before a case becomes a lawsuit.  Karen’s law practice focused heavily on the proactive strategies for organizations and developed a special expertise in the area of training managers and employees.


Karen left McGuire Woods in 1999 and served as First Vice President for Employee Relations in Human Resources at SunTrust Bank, the country’s 9th largest financial institution, for over 8 years.  In that role, Karen consulted with executives, managers and other human resource professionals on the most complex employment-related issues.   Karen also developed and conducted on-going training for managers, employees and HR professionals on many topics, including harassment, workplace violence prevention, performance management, workplace conduct, wage & hour and many areas of employment law compliance.  Karen also conducted high risk investigations involving executives, managers and employees.  In addition, she managed governmental complaints from such agencies as the EEOC, OFCCP and Department of Labor.  Karen’s strategic consulting in all areas of employment-related risk touched virtually every area of the financial institution and all disciplines of human resources.  In her role, Karen was recognized for providing practical advice with a strong focus on the business solution. 


Karen has also served on the faculty of the University of Richmond’s School of Continuing Studies where she has taught human resources and employment law courses to graduate and undergraduate students.


After receiving her bachelors degree from James Madison University, Karen attending the University of Richmond's T.C. Williams School of Law, where she graduated with honors.

Karen has served on the boards of the Urban League of Greater Richmond and Chesterfield County Humane Society.  She has chaired the Urban League’s EEO Workplace Symposium, co-chairing with now Governor Tim Kaine.  She currently serves on the EEO Workplace Symposium committee.

Karen is a member of SHRM and the Virginia State Bar.


Karen has combined these years of experience and is now able to offer this expertise to a wide range of clients through her consulting and law practice.  You may find a lawyer, or HR professional, or professor to meet your needs, but only with Karen Michael will you find all three in one source.  That’s why we’re different.