A certified specialist in South Carolina employment law, Nekki Shutt built on her experience working in a corporate human resources department to create a legal practice focusing on civil litigation.

Nekki’s goal as an attorney is to treat every client with dignity and to strive for justice.  These values were instilled at an early age, as she watched her mother, a public defender who went to law school when Nekki was in second grade, advocate for people trapped in the system.

Similarly, Nekki represents clients in their fights against the system. Her emphasis is on employee benefits under ERISA.

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act is the federal law governing all benefits under pension and health plans. Private companies aren’t required to provide those benefits, but if they do, they must meet certain standards. This includes having a written plan and maintaining funding levels.

Nekki’s clients include employees who believe the company has wrongfully denied them disability benefits. She works with them from the time of the initial claim, on through internal appeals and into the court system if necessary. She also assists those denied life insurance benefits.

Her work in employee benefits also includes cases involving federal COBRA and South Carolina health insurance continuation laws.

A co-founder of Burnette Shutt & McDaniel, Nekki’s practice includes a range of other employment law issues as well, such as wage disputes, discrimination and wrongful termination.

Nekki earned her Juris Doctor at the University of South Carolina School of Law after working for several years for a publicly traded insurance company. She rose through the human resources department to the position of corporate recruiter, responsible for hiring employees for more than 225 positions a year.

In addition to her legal career, Nekki has long been committed to the cause of social justice. In 2002 she was a founder SC Equality, the state’s LGBTQ civil rights organization. She served on its board and related boards for 15 years. Her legal work at times has overlapped her commitment to the cause.

Nekki and Burnette Shutt & McDaniel co-founder Malissa Burnette led the legal team that paved the way for same-sex marriage in South Carolina nine months before the U.S. Supreme Court ruled all states must recognize same-sex marriage.

Nekki also is deeply committed to helping the next generation of lawyers. She’s presented, moderated, planned and created a number of Continuing Legal Education programs for the SC Bar. She’s developed innovative programs, such as a CLE on Modern Family Law that addresses issues related to lesbian, bisexual, gay and transgender clients. Another CLE she co-created, “Against The Wind: A Legal History of Civil Rights in South Carolina,” received a national Award of Professional Excellence from the Association for Continuing Legal Education.