Josh Van Kampen, Esq.

If you are litigating an employment matter in a conservative state, you need the best possible advocate in your corner. In 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, and 2023 SuperLawyers rated Josh Van Kampen in its “Top 100” attorney list for all of North Carolina and in its “Top 25″ attorney list for Charlotte. This follows Josh being named in the Top 100 List in 2017 as well. These are not lists ranking the top employment lawyers. Josh has been ranked among the top attorneys in any practice area for six years running. At 50, Josh is among the youngest attorneys in North Carolina to receive these recognitions and among an elite group to receive these prestigious recognitions so consistently. 

The road to SuperLawyers’ top lists for North Carolina started in Chicago, Illinois in 1998, where Josh trained as an associate at two nationally recognized employment law defense firms in Chicago: Seyfarth Shaw and Franczek Sullivan. During his six years as a defense attorney, Josh defended Fortune 500 companies as well as smaller businesses in age, race, sex, disability, sexual harassment, traditional labor, and wage and hour litigation. Josh’s defense experience also included counseling employers on litigation avoidance and sexual harassment training.

In 2004, Josh relocated to Charlotte, North Carolina, and transitioned his practice from defending employers to exclusively representing victims of discrimination, sexual harassment, unequal pay, wrongful discharge, retaliation, and wage and hour violations. A significant portion of his practice also includes negotiations and litigation involving executive employment agreements, severance agreements and stock/long-term incentive disputes.

Prior to forming Van Kampen Law PC in July 2011, Josh was a partner at two of the premier, plaintiff-side employment law firms in North Carolina: Fosbinder & Van Kampen, PLLC and Patterson Harkavy, LLP.

Josh’s Approach to Employment Law

Van Kampen Law’s primary clients are professional and executive-level victims of employment discrimination and sexual harassment. Josh leverages his training as a management-side employment attorney to anticipate and counteract strategies and tactics utilized by employers. Being a member of the defense bar has also been useful to Josh in helping clients to properly value their cases, and to assess when to push and when to concede during settlement negotiations.

The firm also strategically takes on fewer cases so that it can devote sufficient resources to match up favorably against the large defense firms employers invariably hire. By concentrating his practice exclusively on employment law in North Carolina for the last fifteen years, Josh has also established close working relationships with many of the area’s employment law defense attorneys and in-house counsels, which can sometimes facilitate early settlement. To that end, many of the cases referred to Josh are from defense attorneys against whom he has litigated. Josh was even retained by a large law firm in Charlotte, which he litigated against many times, to join its defense team when it was sued for discrimination.

Ultimately, Van Kampen Law strives to be regarded as the most aggressive employment litigation firm in the state and a firm to be feared at trial. That said, the firm also works effectively and in good faith with area employers to settle matters amicably and confidentially where possible. While litigation is ultimately often necessary, Van Kampen Law’s initial approach with employers emphasizes diplomacy, open-mindedness and mutual interests.

Josh has assumed several leadership roles within the plaintiff-side employment law bar in North Carolina. He is currently vice-chairman of the Mecklenburg County Bar Association’s Labor and Employment section and has previously served as chairman and ethics chair of the North Carolina Advocates for Justice’s Employment Law Section. Josh has served on the North Carolina Bar Association’s Employment Law Executive Committee for several years. He is also a member of the National Employment Lawyers Association and Southern Trial Lawyers Association.

Josh is a frequent lecturer on employment law issues and negotiation strategy.

Legal Recognitions

Business North Carolina's Legal Elite

Business NC’s Legal Elite
2011 – 2012 and 2014 – 2022

Super Lawyers Recognizes Van Kampen as Rising Star

Super Lawyers 2012 – 2022
Super Lawyers Rising Star 2009 – 2011

Best Lawyers Recognizes Van Kampen

Best Lawyers 2015 – 2023

VanKampen recognized as Top 25 Attorney in Charlotte, NC
VanKampen Recognized as Top 100 NC Law Firm

Scholarly Lectures and Writings

“Changes to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure,” North Carolina Advocates for Justice Annual Employment Law Program, Cary, N.C, February 3, 2017

“Changes to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure,” North Carolina/ South Carolina Bar Associations Annual Labor & Employment Law Program, Asheville, N.C., October 2016

“Introduction to Federal Employment Discrimination Law,” North Carolina Bar Association, Cary, NC, February 2, 2016

“North Carolina State Law Employment Claims, The Why and How to Litigate Employment Matters in State Court,” Mecklenburg County Bar Association Annual Employment Law Program, January 11, 2013

“Mediation Strategies – Insights from a Mediator, Plaintiff Attorney and Management Attorney, North Carolina/ South Carolina Bar Associations Annual Labor & Employment Law Program, October 27, 2012

“The Art of the Deal – Getting the Most Out of Mediation,” North Carolina Advocates for Justice Annual Employment Law Program, February 2012

“Negotiations Strategy Demand Letter Through Summary Judgment: How to ‘Make’ Good Settlements Happen,” North Carolina Advocates for Justice Annual Employment Law Program, Cary, N.C, February 2011

“ADA Amendments Act: Major Changes / Major Impact,” Mecklenburg County Bar Association Employment Law Program, January 2011

“Lessons to be Learned for Employers from a Plaintiff-Side Employment Attorney,” Union County Chamber Of Commerce, 2008


Purdue University, B.A. 1993

University of Illinois College of Law, J.D. 1998, magna cum laude

Memberships and Leadership Positions

North Carolina Advocates for Justice, Employment Law Section: Past Chairman, Executive Committee Member and Ethics Chair

North Carolina Bar Association Employment Law Council Executive Committee Member (2012-2014)

Federal Bar Association – Labor and Employment Section

Law 360’s Employment Law Editorial Advisory Board

Southern Trial Lawyers Association

National Employment Lawyers Association


North Carolina Prima Facie Tort Manual, Lexis-Nexis, contributing author to Fifth (2013) and Sixth (2014) editions

“Should the ADAAA’s Disability Definition Apply to North Carolina Common Law Wrongful Discharge Claims”, by Joshua R. Van Kampen and Maggie Souders, North Carolina Bar Association, Labor and Employment Law Newsletter, October 2010

“Lipstick on a Pig: North Carolina Employment Law Needs a Makeover” North Carolina Advocates for Justice Trial Briefs, June 2009

“The Fair Housing Act’s Protections of Children” GP Solo and Small Firm Lawyer, Volume 15, Number 5, October/November, 1998

Licensed in North Carolina