Winston & Strawn
|Headquarters||Leo Burnett Building|
|No. of offices||16 total, 7 international|
|No. of attorneys||900 (2017)|
|No. of employees||approximately 2,000 total|
|Key people||Dan K. Webb (Co-Executive Chairman)|
Jeffrey L. Kessler (Co-Executive Chairman)
Thomas P. Fitzgerald (Chairman)
Michael S. Elkin (Vice-Chairman)
|Revenue||US$ 985 million (2017)|
|Founder||Frederick H. Winston|
|Company type||Limited liability partnership|
Winston & Strawn LLP is an international law firm with nearly 1,000 attorneys in 16 offices in the United States, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. Founded in 1853, it is the oldest law firm in the city of Chicago and one of the largest law firms in the world. Known as a "litigation powerhouse", the firm is recognized for its intellectual property litigation and financial-services disputes practices in Silicon Valley and New York, respectively. Winston & Strawn is regarded as an important intellectual property law firm in Texas and is regularly recognized for its sports law practice. In 2016, Winston & Strawn became the first Chicago law firm to match the record starting salary of $180,000 for first-year associates. Winston & Strawn maintains a parental leave policies considered "cutting edge for large law firms". The firm recorded a record revenue in 2017.
History and timeline
Through a series of mergers, office openings, and lateral hires, Winston & Strawn has established a global footprint.
- September 2000: Winston & Strawn acquires Breed, Abbott & Morgan, a law firm with a history dating back more than a century with offices in Greenwich, Connecticut and White Plains, New York.
- May 2012: 60 attorneys join from Dewey & LeBoeuf, bolstering the firm's already strong litigation practice.
- February 2017: Firm opens an office in Dallas with 23 partners from eight different law firms in Texas, the move described in the press as a "seismic shift" in the North Texas legal landscape.
- July–September 2017: Adds 12 partners to its employee benefits and executive compensation team, all from McDermott Will & Emery LLP
- August 2017: Award-winning multidisciplinary Latin America team joins in New York
Winston & Strawn has handled high-profile matters for its clients, including its organizing the Union Stockyard and Transit Company in 1894; challenging the War Powers Act in 1944 on behalf of department store Montgomery Ward; and representing the Atlanta Braves baseball franchise in 1966 litigation involving its relocation from Milwaukee to Atlanta. More recently:
- 2017 - Achieved a favorable settlement for client Beef Products, Inc., BPI Technology, Inc., and Freezing Machines, Inc. (BPI) in a lawsuit against ABC News that has been described as "one of the most high-stakes defamation court battles in U.S. history."
- 2016 - On behalf of Warner Chilcott (owned by Teva Pharmaceuticals), secured a judgment invalidating the patent for NuvaRing®—the first combined contraceptive vaginal ring marketed in the U.S. The judgment struck down Merck & Co's patent infringement claims.
- 2016 - Represented Verizon as Employment & Employee Benefits Counsel in Acquisition of Yahoo!
- 2016 - Led by Dan Webb, released report regarding review of the Federal Civil Rights Litigation Division of the City of Chicago Department of Law
- 2015 - Obtained a win before the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of Omnicare Inc.
- In an antitrust lawsuit led by Jeffrey Kessler, representing a group of current and former college athletes seeking to strike down unlawful compensation restraints imposed by the NCAA on Division I men's basketball and football programs
- Represented Luxottica Group S.p.A. in acquisitions, including its $1.6 billion hostile takeover of U.S. Shoe Corporation, owner of LensCrafters, in 1995 and its 2007 $2 billion acquisition of Oakley
- 2007 - Assisted Lear Corporation in connection with the bid for the company by Carl Icahn.
- 2006 - Represented the New York Stock Exchange in the Grasso compensation investigation and subsequent litigation
- 2002 - Achieved a victory for Microsoft Corporation in the remedy phase of its battle against federal and state antitrust claims
- 2001 - Counseled Barr Laboratories to invalidate a key patent on Prozac in a case Fortune magazine calls "the mother of all patent challenges"
- 1994 - Defended General Electric in its industrial-diamond price-fixing case, led by Dan K. Webb
Notable current and former employees
- James R. Thompson - Former governor of Illinois
- Michael T. Morley - Current law professor at Florida State University College of Law.
- Nathan Sawaya - artist
- Emily Giffin - author of Something Borrowed
- Thomas Kirsch - United States attorney for the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana
- Michael K. Atkinson - Inspector General of the Intelligence Community under the Office of the Director of National Intelligence
- Eric Hargan - Deputy Secretary at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
- Jeffrey Kessler - Winston & Strawn co-executive chairman and antitrust, sports law, and trial lawyer. Represented Tom Brady in Brady v. NFL, which led to the end of the 2011 NFL lockout.
- Dan Webb - Winston & Strawn co-executive chairman and U.S. trial lawyer who achieved successful prosecution of retired Admiral John Poindexter in the Iran-Contra affair. Previously the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois. In 2017, he was named a Lifetime Achiever by The American Lawyer.
- Abbe Lowell - His practice focuses on litigation, complex investigations and regulatory enforcement.
Pro bono and community service
Winston & Strawn was one of the first large law firms in the country to adopt a written pro bono policy (in 1991), to become a signatory to the Pro Bono Institute's Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge, to establish a well-funded charitable foundation, and to hire a full-time director of public-interest law.
The firm's pro bono policy was revised in 2004 to incorporate Winston's 150th-anniversary Pro Bono Pledge to devote at least 35 hours per lawyer to pro bono work each year. Winston has provided representation in matters involving community economic development, criminal defense, First Amendment/free speech, contested guardianship, landlord/tenant, not-for-profit corporate organization, political asylum, postconviction relief in death penalty cases, and public assistance.
The firm has helped the Innocence Project, an advocacy organization that seeks to exonerate persons convicted of criminal offences based on DNA evidence. The firm's collaboration with the project has been successful, involving hundreds of attorneys, paralegals, IT staff, summer associates, and others at the firm; more than 200 persons who were wrongfully convicted have now been exonerated.
In 2008, the firm led the Chicago Bar Foundation's "Campaign for Justice", which was a citywide effort to raise more than $1 million to support the city's 250 public-interest lawyers and the 40 legal-aid organizations they work for.
Created in 2011, the Winston & Strawn LLP Fellowship Program places incoming associates in positions at local public-interest law organizations of their choice during the period following graduation and prior to their official start date at the firm. The fellowship program was created to provide participating associates an opportunity to gain hands-on legal experience, and also provide much-needed service to public interest law organizations.
Winston & Strawn provides financial support to civic and charitable organizations through the Winston & Strawn Foundation, established in 1990.
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- Grzincic, Barbara (August 29, 2016). "Judge invalidates Merck's NuvaRing patent claims". Reuters.
- Penton, Kevin (August 30, 2016). "Merck Patent For Contraceptive NuvaRing Nixed As Obvious". Law360.
- Swisher, Kara (July 25, 2016). "As expected, Verizon says it will buy Yahoo for $4.83 billion".
- Edwards, Blake (July 25, 2016). "Verizon and Yahoo Ink Deal: Eight Big Law Firms Involved".
- St. Clair, Staci (July 21, 2016). "Report recommends dozens of reforms at Chicago's Law Department".
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- Koroma, Salima; Gregory, Sean (October 8, 2014). "The Long and Winding Road to Paying College Players". Time.
- TAGLIABUE, JOHN (April 18, 1995). "Luxottica to Acquire U.S. Shoe for $1.4 Billion".
- "OAKLEY TO MERGE INTO LUXOTTICA GROUP FOR US$29.30 PER SHARE". June 21, 2007.
- "IN RE: LEAR CORPORATION SHAREHOLDER LITIGATION". FindLaw. June 15, 2007.
- Lucchetti, Aaron (October 20, 2006). "Grasso Is Ordered To Repay Millions In Compensation". The Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on 2015-09-05.
- Shiver, Jube (March 17, 2002). "Legal Heavyweights Add Punch to the Microsoft Case". Los Angeles Times.
- "A Bitter Pill Prozac made Eli Lilly. Then along came a feisty generic maker called Barr Labs. Their battle gives new meaning to the term 'drug war.' - August 13, 2001". money.cnn.com. Retrieved 2015-09-19.
- Frantz, Douglas (1994-12-06). "G.E. Wins in Diamond Price Case". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-12-20.
- Pearlman, Jeffrey (December 19, 2003). "For the love of Legos, a lawyer makes his case". Los Angeles Times.
- Lyons, Craig; Jacobs, Becky (November 21, 2017). "Public corruption, pipe bombs and the importance of tips: New U.S. attorney for northern Indiana speaks out". Chicago Tribune.
- "President Donald J. Trump Announces Intent to Nominate Personnel to Key Administration Posts". The White House. November 2, 2017.
- Rasmussen, Kristen (October 11, 2017). "Former Greenberg Traurig Partner Named as Acting HHS Secretary". The National Law Journal.
- Waldron, Travis (August 7, 2017). "A Trip To The Men's Room Turned Jeff Kessler Into The NCAA's Worst Nightmare". The Huffington Post.
- Gartland, Dan (August 28, 2017). "Report: NFLPA Hires Deflategate Lawyer Jeffrey Kessler to Assist With Ezekiel Elliott Appeal". Sports Illustrated.
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- "Nationally Recognized White Collar Defense and Trial Attorney Joins Winston & Strawn". Winston & Strawn LLP. May 23, 2018.
- "LAW FIRM PRO BONO PROJECT MEMBERS". Pro Bono Institute.
- Winston & Strawn LLP official Web site