Steptoe & Johnson
|No. of offices||9|
|No. of attorneys||> 500|
|Major practice areas||General practice|
|Key people||Philip R. West (Chairman)|
|Founder||Philip Pendleton Steptoe, Louis A. Johnson|
Steptoe & Johnson LLP is an international law firm headquartered in Washington, D.C. with offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Phoenix, London, Brussels and Beijing. Founded in 1913, the firm advises multinational and Fortune 500 corporations on significant transactional, litigation, arbitration, regulatory, intellectual property, white collar defense, tax and public policy matters and is considered a part of the group of elite American "white shoe" law firms. According to the Am Law 100 it is the 93rd highest-grossing law firm worldwide and is constantly ranked as a top tier law firm.
Philip Steptoe and Louis A. Johnson, both graduates of the University of Virginia School of Law, and John Rixie, formed Steptoe, Rixey & Johnson 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 United States Assistant Secretary of War in 1937.
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. Among its first clients were the members of the growing airlines 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 began a period of growth, starting with the amicable separation of the Washington and West Virginia offices. The West Virginia firm known as Steptoe & Johnson PLLC is still based in Clarksburg, WV.
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 & Johnson attorneys have frequently served in high-level government positions, and are often quoted on current business, political, and legal happenings in national media. The firm is notable for being one of the first to establish a blockchain practice and to accept payment in bitcoin.
Steptoe ranked 19th among Am Law 200 firms in The American Lawyer's 2015 pro bono report, 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, the John Carroll Society, the Children’s Law Center, the Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation, and the ABA Death Penalty Representation Project, among others.
Recent awards and rankings
- Band 1 law firm in Chambers Global 2018 in China (International Trade/WTO)
- Constantly listed as a Top 30 law firm according to the Global Investigations Review (GIR)
- Constantly listed as a Top 100 law firm according to the Global Competition Review (GCR)
- Constantly listed as a Top 100 law firm according to the Global Arbitration Review (GAR)
- Bloomberg Law recognized Steptoe for having a record of promoting women to partner (2017)
- Chambers Asia-Pacific recognized two practice areas and three attorneys (2017)
- Chambers Europe recognized three practice areas and three attorneys (2017)
- Chambers Global recognized 14 practice areas and 26 attorneys (2017)
- Chambers UK recognized one practice area and five attorneys (2017)
- Chambers USA recognized 20 practice areas and 57 attorneys (2016)
- China Law & Practice recognized Steptoe as International Trade Firm of the Year
- Global Arbitration Review recognized Steptoe in the 10th Edition of the GAR 100 (2017)
- Law360 named the firm one of "The 100 Best Law Firms For Minority Attorneys" list (2015)
- The Legal 500 Europe, Middle East & Africa recognized 5 practice areas and 11 attorneys (2017)
- The Legal 500 United Kingdom recognized 13 practice areas and 12 attorneys (2016)
- The Legal 500 United States recognized 28 practice areas and 114 attorneys (2017)
- The National Law Journal named Steptoe the DC Litigation Department of the Year in White Collar (2017)
- U.S. News & World Report recognized 23 practices in national and 45 in metropolitan rankings, and named the firm Railroad Law Firm of the Year (2016)
- Vault Law 100 ranked Steptoe as No. 19 in the Energy, Oil and Gas Sector (2017/2018)
- Who's Who Legal recognized 39 experts from Steptoe & Johnson 
Notable current and former attorneys
- Stephen Ailes, former United States Under Secretary of the Army and former United States Secretary of the Army.
- Shara L. Aranoff, former Chairman of the United States International Trade Commission.
- Bruce Babbitt, former United States Secretary of the Interior and Governor of Arizona.
- Stewart Baker, former General Counsel of the National Security Agency and first Assistant Secretary for Policy at United States Department of Homeland Security.
- John D. Bates, U.S. District Court Judge for the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.
- David S. Biderman, Executive Director & CEO, [Solid Waste Association of North America]].
- Steve Bullock, current Governor of Montana.
- Paul K. Charlton, former prosecutor.
- Shannen W. Coffin, General Counsel to Vice President of the United States Dick Cheney.
- Luis Fortuño, former Governor of Puerto Rico.
- Jerome Holmes, federal judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.
- Louis A. Johnson, former United States Secretary of Defense and former Assistant Secretary of War.
- J. Bennett Johnston, former United States Senator for Louisiana.
- Robert E. Jordan III, former General Counsel of the Army.
- Debra L. Lee, Chairman and CEO of Black Entertainment Television (BET).
- Monroe Leigh, former Legal Advisor of the Department of State under Henry Kissinger.
- Wilma A. Lewis, chief judge of the District Court of the Virgin Islands and first female United States Attorney for the District of Columbia
- Ken Ludwig, Theatre Director and Playwright.
- Shirley D. Peterson, former Assistant Attorney General in the Tax Division of the United States Department of Justice and former Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service.
- Intisar Rabb, Professor at Harvard Law School.
- Robert Rizzi, former CIA lawyer, political vetter.
- John Rizzo, former CIA General Counsel.
- John Shadegg, former U.S. Representative for Arizona's 3rd congressional district.
- Laurence Silberman, United States federal judge for United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
- Karl Tilleman, former member of the Canadian National Basketball Team who played in the 1984 and 1988 Olympics; current Olympic record-holder for the most three-point baskets in a single game.
- Michael Vatis
- Richard Verma, United States Ambassador to India and former Assistant Secretary of State for Legislative Affairs.
- Reid Weingarten, White-Collar Criminal Defense Attorney.
- Kimba Wood, federal judge for the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.
- "Firms Ranked by Gross Revenue". The American Lawyer. ALM Media Properties, LLC. Retrieved 19 December 2016.
- Renowned rankings e.g. Legal 500: https://www.legal500.com/firms/52535-steptoe-johnson-llp/52981-washington-dc-usa
- 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.
- Guida, Victoria; Hanna, Andrew. "Banks not looking to rip up Dodd-Frank". Politico. Retrieved 14 December 2016.
- Wilson, Megan R. "Schumerland ascends to new heights in Senate". The Hill. Retrieved 14 December 2016.
- Versprille, Allyson. "What Mnuchin Should Expect From Senate Vetting: Tax Primer". Bloomberg BNA. Retrieved 14 December 2016.
- DeNisco, Alison. "Bitcoin & Blockchain, Attorneys at Law: One firm's big switch". TechRepublic. Retrieved 15 December 2016.
- Friedman, Gabe. "Will Work for Bitcoin, Steptoe & Johnson Says". Bloomberg Law. Retrieved 14 December 2016.
- "Pro Bono Report 2015: The Charts". The American Lawyer. ALM Media Properties, LLC. Retrieved 19 December 2016.
- "Pro Bono: Giving Back to the Animal Community" (PDF). The Animals' Advocate. 32 (3): 6. Winter 2013. Retrieved 19 December 2016.
- "The Red Mass". John Carroll Society. Archived from the original on 7 April 2013. Retrieved 19 December 2016.
- "Steptoe Receives Pro Bono Champion Award from Children's Law Center". Children's Law Center. Retrieved 19 December 2016.
- "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.
- "ABA Death Penalty Representation Project presents Volunteer Service Awards". American Bar Association. ABA. Retrieved 19 December 2016.
- Renowned ranking Chambers and Partners: https://www.chambersandpartners.com/60/2167/editorial/8/1#3661_editorial
- "These Law Firms Made the Most Women Partners in 2016 | Big Law Business". Bloomberg Law. Retrieved 2017-08-15.
- "Steptoe & Johnson LLP - Washington, DC - Law Firm Profile - Chambers Asia-Pacific 2017 - Chambers and Partners". Chambers & Partners. Retrieved 2017-08-15.
- "Steptoe & Johnson LLP - Washington, DC - Law Firm Profile - Chambers Europe 2017 - Chambers and Partners". Chambers & Partners. Retrieved 2017-08-15.
- "Steptoe & Johnson LLP - Washington, DC - Law Firm Profile - Chambers Global 2017 - Chambers and Partners". Chambers & Partners. Retrieved 2017-08-15.
- "Steptoe & Johnson LLP - Washington, DC - Law Firm Profile - UK Guide, 2017 - Chambers and Partners". Chambers & Partners. Retrieved 2016-12-14.
- "Steptoe & Johnson LLP - Washington, DC - Law Firm Profile - Chambers USA 2016 - Chambers and Partners". Chambers & Partners. Retrieved 2014-09-30.
- "The China Law & Practice Awards 2016 fetes the industry's finest". China Law & Practice. ALM Media Properties, LLC. Retrieved 19 December 2016.
- "The GAR 100: A guide to the leading international arbitration firms". Global Arbitration Review. Retrieved 2017-08-15.
- "The 100 Best Law Firms For Minority Attorneys". Law360. Retrieved 2015-09-15.
- "Steptoe & Johnson LLP". The Legal 500. Retrieved 2017-08-14.
- "Steptoe & Johnson". The Legal 500. Retrieved 2016-12-19.
- "Steptoe & Johnson LLP". The Legal 500. Retrieved 2017-08-15.
- "The 2017 D.C. Litigation Departments of the Year ". The National Law Journal. Retrieved 2017-08-15.
- "Steptoe & Johnson LLP". Best Law Firms - U.S. News. U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved 14 December 2016.