Steptoe LLP

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Steptoe LLP
Steptoe LLP
HeadquartersWashington, D.C.
No. of offices9
No. of attorneys> 500
Major practice areasGeneral practice
Key peopleGwendolyn Prothro Renigar (Chairwoman)
Date founded1913
FounderPhilip Pendleton Steptoe, Louis A. Johnson
Company typeLLP

Steptoe LLP formerly known as Steptoe & Johnson LLP is an international law firm headquartered in Washington, D.C., with offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, San Francisco, London, Brussels, Beijing, and Hong Kong.


Philip Steptoe and Louis A. Johnson, both graduates of the University of Virginia School of Law, and John Rixie formed Steptoe, Rixey, & Johnson[1] in 1913 in Clarksburg, West Virginia. The following year, Rixey left the firm, which became Steptoe & Johnson.

In 1928, Steptoe & Johnson opened an office in Charleston, West Virginia, to meet the expanding legislative and regulatory work available in the state capital. Meanwhile, Johnson, a veteran of World War I, helped found the American Legion, bringing national prominence to himself and the firm when he served as the organization's commander in the mid-1930s. President Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed Johnson as United States Assistant Secretary of War in 1937.[2]

After leaving the Roosevelt administration, Johnson opened the Washington D.C., office of Steptoe & Johnson in 1945. In March 1949, President Harry S. Truman appointed Johnson as United States Secretary of Defense, and he served in that job until September 1950.

The firm's Washington office grew quickly under Johnson's influence. Amongst its first clients were members of the growing airline industry, as well as pipelines, railroads, and foreign companies whose assets had been seized during World War II. In assisting these clients, Steptoe & Johnson became known as a prominent firm in regulatory law, tax, and international trade.

In 1980, the firm separated into two firms, with the DC-based firm being called Steptoe & Johnson Chartered (now Steptoe LLP) and the founding firm remaining a West Virginia partnership called Steptoe & Johnson (now Steptoe & Johnson PLLC).

In 1987, a combination of client needs and business opportunities led to the opening of a Steptoe & Johnson office in Phoenix. Since 1997, the firm has opened offices in Los Angeles (1997), London (2001), Brussels (2002), New York (2005), Chicago (2007), Beijing (2010), and Palo Alto (2014; relocated to San Francisco in 2017).

Steptoe attorneys have frequently served in high-level government positions, and are often quoted on current business, political, and legal happenings in national media.[3][4][5] The firm is notable for being one of the first to establish a blockchain practice[6] and to accept payment in bitcoin.[7]

In November 2021, Gwendolyn Prothro Renigar was elected as the firm's new chairperson.[8]

In December 2023, the firm removed reference to Johnson in its registered legal name and rebranded as Steptoe LLP. [9]

Pro bono[edit]

Steptoe ranked 19th among Am Law 200 firms in The American Lawyer's 2015 pro bono report,[10] based on average hours spent on and breadth of commitment to pro bono work. The firm's pro bono efforts have been recognized by the Animal Legal Defense Fund,[11] the John Carroll Society,[12] the Children's Law Center,[13] the Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation,[14] and the ABA Death Penalty Representation Project,[15] among others.


Steptoe is an American "white shoe" law firm and according to the Am Law 100 is the 93rd highest-grossing law firm worldwide.[16][17]

Notable current and former attorneys[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ McFarland, Keith D.; Roll, David L. (2005). Louis Johnson and the Arming of America: The Roosevelt and Truman Years. Indiana University Press. pp. 13–14. ISBN 9780253111647. Steptoe & Johnson.
  2. ^ "Louis A. Johnson". Retrieved 2022-05-18.
  3. ^ Guida, Victoria; Hanna, Andrew (December 2016). "Banks not looking to rip up Dodd-Frank". Politico. Retrieved 14 December 2016.
  4. ^ Wilson, Megan R. (29 November 2016). "Schumerland ascends to new heights in Senate". The Hill. Retrieved 14 December 2016.
  5. ^ Versprille, Allyson. "What Mnuchin Should Expect From Senate Vetting: Tax Primer". Bloomberg BNA. Retrieved 14 December 2016.
  6. ^ DeNisco, Alison. "Bitcoin & Blockchain, Attorneys at Law: One firm's big switch". TechRepublic. Retrieved 15 December 2016.
  7. ^ Friedman, Gabe. "Will Work for Bitcoin, Steptoe & Johnson Says". Bloomberg Law. Retrieved 14 December 2016.
  8. ^ "Steptoe Elects Gwendolyn Prothro Renigar as Chair and Alfred Mamlet as Vice Chair". Steptoe & Johnson. November 8, 2021.
  9. ^ "Steptoe Loses Its Johnson - Above the Law". 11 December 2023.
  10. ^ "Pro Bono Report 2015: The Charts". The American Lawyer. ALM Media Properties, LLC. Retrieved 19 December 2016.
  11. ^ "Pro Bono: Giving Back to the Animal Community" (PDF). The Animals' Advocate. 32 (3): 6. Winter 2013. Retrieved 19 December 2016.
  12. ^ "The Red Mass". John Carroll Society. Archived from the original on 7 April 2013. Retrieved 19 December 2016.
  13. ^ "Steptoe Receives Pro Bono Champion Award from Children's Law Center". Children's Law Center. Retrieved 19 December 2016.
  14. ^ "Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation and LexisNexis Recognize Five Lex Mundi Member Firms for Outstanding Pro Bono Contributions in 2012". Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation. Lex Mundi. Retrieved 19 December 2016.
  15. ^ "ABA Death Penalty Representation Project presents Volunteer Service Awards". American Bar Association. ABA. Retrieved 19 December 2016.
  16. ^ "Firms Ranked by Gross Revenue". The American Lawyer. ALM Media Properties, LLC. Retrieved 19 December 2016.
  17. ^ Renowned rankings e.g. Legal 500:
  18. ^ Michalopoulos, Pantelis (2023). "Pantelis Michalopoulos Linkedin Profile". Linkedin.

External links[edit]