Pepper Hamilton

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Pepper Hamilton LLP
Pepper Hamilton logo.png
HeadquartersTwo Logan Square
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
No. of offices14 offices
No. of attorneysapproximately 500
No. of employeesapproximately 1,200 total
Major practice areasGeneral Practice, Health Sciences, IP Litigation, Blockchain
Key people
Revenue$341.8 million (2017)
Date founded1890; 129 years ago (1890)
FounderGeorge Wharton Pepper
Company typeLimited liability partnership
SloganWe counsel each client as if it were our only client.

Pepper Hamilton LLP is a U.S.-based law firm with 14 offices and around 500 attorneys.[1] The firm is ranked among the 100 largest firms by revenue in the United States and is one of the 100 most prestigious firms according to Vault's surveys of the legal industry.[2] The firm’s largest practices include defense of pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers in product liability litigation and related matters, patent enforcement and prosecution, corporate transactions, and commercial litigation.


George W. Pepper, founder

The firm was founded in 1890 in Philadelphia by George Wharton Pepper, who joined the practice of Bayard Henry. Pepper emerged as a leading lawyer in Philadelphia and the nation, and was prominent in Republican politics. Pepper's essays on conflicts of laws were cited by Justice Brandeis in the landmark ruling Erie Railroad v. Tompkins (1938).[3] Pepper was also instrumental in Supreme Court arguments that lead to many New Deal provisions being struck down as beyond the Federal Government's commerce power.[4].

In 1954, the Pepper firm and another Philadelphia law firm — Evans, Bayard & Frick — merged as Pepper, Bodine, Frick, Scheetz & Hamilton creating a 35-lawyer entity. This merger brought John Johnson, an eminent antitrust lawyer who represented Standard Oil and U.S. Steel and went on the argue 168 cases before the U.S. Supreme Court.[5] In 1955, shortly after the merger of the Pepper and Evans firms, George Wharton Pepper retired from practice because of failing health. He was succeeded as chairman of the firm by John D.M. Hamilton, who was chairman of the Republican National Committee in 1940. In 1960, another merger brought in the firm of Moffett, Frye & Leopold. The firm grew significantly in the 1980s, 1990s and in recent years.

In 2007, the partnership elected Nina M. Gussack as chairwoman of Pepper’s Executive Committee, the first woman to be elected to that position.[6] Pepper partner A. Michael Pratt became the Philadelphia Bar Association’s 81st Chancellor in 2008.[7] He is the third African-American to serve in that office since the Association’s founding in 1802.

Notable cases[edit]

Some of Pepper Hamilton's notable cases in more recent times include the Dover, Pa. school district "intelligent design" dispute dubbed "Scopes II;" precedent-setting defense rulings on behalf of drug and device manufacturers; acting as special counsel to the city of Detroit in its bankruptcy case; big wins in patent litigation before the International Trade Commission; obtaining defense jury verdicts-twice in three years-in a long-running antitrust case for Mack Trucks; conducting investigations into misconduct at institutions of higher learning; representing several Guantanamo Bay detainees; successfully arguing against federal organ transplant rules that unfairly limited transplants for individuals under the age of 12 on behalf of two children battling cystic fibrosis; working with organizations in Delaware to improve solitary confinement conditions and mental health treatment services for inmates; and representing refugee students in Lancaster, Pa. in a case that will protect the rights of immigrant students going forward. [8]


The firm's chairman is Thomas M. Gallagher, who succeeds Louis Freeh (Feb 2013—Oct 2014). Prior to Freeh, Nina Gussak held this role.

Pepper Hamilton is organized into four departments, to streamline operations and management of complex client matters. Each department is a dynamic and cross-disciplinary team to meet the needs of modern businesses.

Commercial Department[edit]

Department Chair: Julie D. Corelli

  • Corporate & Securities
  • Corporate Restructuring & Bankruptcy
  • Employee Benefits
  • Financial Services
  • Real Estate
  • Tax & Estates

Intellectual Property Department[edit]

Department Chair: Bill Belanger

  • Litigation
  • Transactions
  • Prosecution

Health Sciences Department[edit]

Department Chair: Rachael Bushey

Organized as one practice with wide-ranging expertise in intellectual property, regulatory work, transactions, products liability, white-collar criminal defense, and other related areas.

Litigation & Dispute Resolution Department[edit]

Department Chairs: Jeremy Heap & Michael Schwartz

  • Trial and Dispute Resolution
  • Construction
  • Environment & Energy
  • Labor & Employment
  • White Collar Litigation & Investigations



  1. ^ "Organizational profile of Pepper Hamilton LLP". The National Law Review.
  2. ^ "Vault 100". Vault.
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  6. ^ Mondics,Chris. Female law-firm head: 'Not a big deal', The Philadelphia Inquirer, November 26, 2007. Accessed December 22, 2014.
  7. ^ Mondics,Chris. Bar's new chancellor aims at tax, diversity, The Philadelphia Inquirer, December 04, 2007. Accessed December 22, 2014.
  8. ^}
  9. ^ Archived 2016-04-07 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ D-Mass IP Litigation
  11. ^ Law360
  12. ^ "Pepper Hamilton Opens Silicon Valley Office - New Office Marks Third Pepper Office in California". 12 November 2013. Retrieved 28 January 2014.
  13. ^ "Pepper Hamilton Opens Rochester Office". 19 February 2019.

External links[edit]