Winston & Strawn

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Winston & Strawn LLP
Winston & Strawn LLP logo.png
HeadquartersLeo Burnett Building
Chicago, Illinois
United States
No. of offices10 in U.S., 6 outside U.S.
No. of attorneys900 (2017)
No. of employeesapproximately 2,000 total
Key peopleDan K. Webb (Co-Executive Chairman)
Jeffrey L. Kessler (Co-Executive Chairman)
Thomas P. Fitzgerald (Chairman)
Michael S. Elkin (Vice-Chairman)
Date founded1853
FounderFrederick H. Winston
Company typeLimited liability partnership

Winston & Strawn LLP is an international law firm. Headquartered in Chicago, it has nearly 800 attorneys in ten offices in the United States and six offices in Europe and Asia.[1] Founded in 1853, it is one of the largest and oldest law firms in Chicago.[2][3][4]

The firm is known for its litigation practice across a variety of fields.[5][6][7][8]


The firm's largest office by number of employees is Chicago. It maintains other U.S. offices in Charlotte, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Silicon Valley, Miami and Washington, D.C., and international offices in Europe (Brussels, London, Moscow, Paris) and Asia (Hong Kong and Shanghai).[1]

History and timeline[edit]

Frederick Winston

Winston & Strawn LLP was founded in Chicago in 1853 by Frederick H. Winston, who was joined by the firm's other name partner, Silas H. Strawn, in 1892.[9]

The white-shoe firm has made a series of mergers and opened additional offices. The firm operates in the Cravath System tradition, with practices such as lateral hiring.

Notable events in the firm's history include:

  • 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.[10]
  • May 2012: 60 attorneys join from Dewey & LeBoeuf.[11][12]
  • 2016: Winston & Strawn became the first Chicago law firm to match the record starting salary of $180,000 for first-year associates, beginning a "salary war" among large Chicago law firms after years of no change.[13][14]
  • 2016: The firm announced a gender-neutral parental leave policy, allowing both male and female associates to take up to 20 weeks of paid parental leave within the first year of a child's life.[15]
  • February 2017: Firm opens an office in Dallas with 23 partners from eight different law firms in Texas,[16] the move described in the press as a "seismic shift" in the North Texas legal landscape.[17][18]
  • July–September 2017: Adds 12 partners to its employee benefits and executive compensation team, all from McDermott Will & Emery LLP.[19]
  • August 2017: A number of attorneys from the Latin America team of Chadbourne & Parke LLP's New York office leave to join Winston & Strawn's New York office.[20]
  • January 2020: Winston & Strawn announces the closure of their office in Dubai, which the firm opened four years earlier.[21]
  • June 2020: Joel Rubinstein, Jonathan Rochwarger, Elliott Smith and Daniel Nussen resigned to join White & Case, establishing its SPAC practice.[22]
  • August 2020: Winston & Strawn announced the formation of an Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Advisory Team, designed to assist companies navigate their ESG Profiles.[23]
  • 2020: From mid-2020, the firm introduced austerity measures, including cuts to associate numbers and partner compensation, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[24]


The firm's reported revenue was $985 million in 2017, a firm record.[25][26] Its reported 2019 revenue was $1.01 billion.[1] In 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, revenue decreased about three percent, to $981.2 million, and partner profits increased by more than four percent due to reduced expenses.[27]

Notable representations[edit]

Silas Strawn

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."[28][29]
  • 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.[30][31]
  • 2016 - Represented Verizon as Employment & Employee Benefits Counsel in Acquisition of Yahoo![32][33]
  • 2016 - Led by Dan Webb, released report regarding review of the Federal Civil Rights Litigation Division of the City of Chicago Department of Law[34][35]
  • 2015 - Obtained a win before the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of Omnicare Inc.[5]
  • In an antitrust lawsuit led by Jeffrey Kessler,[36] 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[37][38]
  • 2007 - Assisted Lear Corporation in connection with the bid for the company by Carl Icahn.[39]
  • 2006 - Represented the New York Stock Exchange in the Grasso compensation investigation and subsequent litigation[40]
  • 2002 - Achieved a victory for Microsoft Corporation in the remedy phase of its battle against federal and state antitrust claims[41]
  • 2001 - Counseled Barr Laboratories to invalidate a key patent on Prozac in a case Fortune magazine calls "the mother of all patent challenges"[42]
  • 1994 - Defended General Electric in its industrial-diamond price-fixing case, led by Dan K. Webb[43]

Notable current and former employees[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Firm Profile: Winston & Strawn LLP". Chambers Associate. Retrieved September 6, 2020.
  2. ^ Ray Gibson & Hanke Gratteau, Partner in Winston & Strawn is Ousted, Chicago Tribune (May 5, 1994).
  3. ^ A Theft Scandal Ravages a Career At a Leading American Law Firm, New York Times (May 13, 2016).
  4. ^ Winston & Strawn : the first 150 years / [editor, Michael Winkleman ; writers, James Bowman ... and others]. [New York, N.Y.?] : Produced for Winston & Strawn by American Lawyer Media Custom Pub., ©2004.
  5. ^ a b Newsham, Jack (August 9, 2016). "Litigation Powerhouse: Winston & Strawn". Law360.
  6. ^ Qualters, Sheri (August 20, 2015). "Winston & Strawn". The National Law Journal.
  7. ^ Nevitt, Heather (September 12, 2016). "Texas Lawyer Announces Its 2016 Litigation Departments of the Year". Texas Lawyer.
  8. ^ "Winston & Strawn LLP". U.S. News - Best Law Firms.
  9. ^ "Winston & Strawn LLP". Vault.
  10. ^ "About us". Whitman Breed. Retrieved 4 November 2019.
  11. ^ "Dewey's Jeffrey Kessler Heading to Winston & Strawn". The New York Times. May 9, 2012.
  12. ^ Leonhardt, Megan (May 9, 2012). "Leadership At Dewey Dwindles As Partners Bolt To Rivals". Law360.
  13. ^ "Winston & Strawn to pay junior lawyers $180,000". Crain's Chicago Business. June 8, 2016.
  14. ^ Bushey, Claire (June 25, 2016). "At Chicago law firms, a salary war breaks out after years of deep freeze". Crain's Chicago Business.
  15. ^ Ferro, Shane (May 18, 2016). "This Big Law Firm Just Stepped Into The 21st Century". HuffPo.
  16. ^ Sullivan, Casey (February 6, 2017). "Winston Hires 23 Partners, Opens Dallas Office". Bloomberg Big Law Business.
  17. ^ Hunter, Glenn (February 6, 2017). "Chicago Law Firm Raids DFW Firms, Snagging 'Apex Predators' for New Dallas Office". D Magazine.
  18. ^ Roberson, Jason (June 23, 2017). "Legal shock and awe in Dallas: Inside Winston & Strawn's prominent talent haul". Dallas Business Journal.
  19. ^ Simpson, Dave (July 13, 2017). "Winston & Strawn Lures McDermott Worker Benefits Team". Law360.
  20. ^ Muskett-Ford, Thomas (August 1, 2017). "Chadbourne's NYC LatAm group pulls out of Norton Rose merger". Latin Lawyer.
  21. ^ Winston & Strawn Shutters Dubai Base as Squire Grabs Seven Lawyers, (January 6, 2020).
  22. ^ "The Law Firm of White & Case Acquires the Winston & Strawn SPAC Team", by Kristi Marvin, SPAC Insider, June 17, 2020. Retrieved November 10, 2021.
  23. ^ "International Law Firm Winston & Strawn Launches ESG Advisory Team". ESG Today. 2020-08-07. Retrieved 2020-08-14.
  24. ^ "Top 50 Biglaw Firm That Laid Off Associates Hands Out Market Bonuses If You Bill Enough ", by Kathryn Rubino, Above The Law, December 17, 2020. Retrieved November 10, 2021.
  25. ^ Strom, Roy (December 1, 2017). "Winston & Strawn's Expansion Drive Pushes the Firm Toward a Record Year". The American Lawyer.
  26. ^ Strom, Roy (March 12, 2018). "Winston & Strawn's Record Year Sees Revenue Rise 19 Percent". The American Lawyer.
  27. ^ "With Trials on Hold, Winston Sees Revenue Slide But Profits Lift" by Andrew Maloney, American Lawyer, March 24, 2021.
  28. ^ Huffstutter, P.J.; Graybow, Martha (March 4, 2013). "Special Report: Did Diane Sawyer smear "pink slime"?". Reuters.
  29. ^ Kludt, Tom (August 9, 2017). "Disney paying at least $177 million to settle 'pink slime' lawsuit". CNN Money.
  30. ^ Grzincic, Barbara (August 29, 2016). "Judge invalidates Merck's NuvaRing patent claims". Reuters.
  31. ^ Penton, Kevin (August 30, 2016). "Merck Patent For Contraceptive NuvaRing Nixed As Obvious". Law360.
  32. ^ Swisher, Kara (July 25, 2016). "As expected, Verizon says it will buy Yahoo for $4.83 billion".
  33. ^ Edwards, Blake (July 25, 2016). "Verizon and Yahoo Ink Deal: Eight Big Law Firms Involved".
  34. ^ St. Clair, Staci (July 21, 2016). "Report recommends dozens of reforms at Chicago's Law Department".
  35. ^ Mills, Jack (January 11, 2016). "Ex-federal prosecutor named in third-party review of city's Law Department".
  36. ^ Koroma, Salima; Gregory, Sean (October 8, 2014). "The Long and Winding Road to Paying College Players". Time.
  37. ^ TAGLIABUE, JOHN (April 18, 1995). "Luxottica to Acquire U.S. Shoe for $1.4 Billion".
  40. ^ 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.
  41. ^ Shiver, Jube (March 17, 2002). "Legal Heavyweights Add Punch to the Microsoft Case". Los Angeles Times.
  42. ^ "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". Retrieved 2015-09-19.
  43. ^ Frantz, Douglas (1994-12-06). "G.E. Wins in Diamond Price Case". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-12-20.
  44. ^ Pearlman, Jeffrey (December 19, 2003). "For the love of Legos, a lawyer makes his case". Los Angeles Times.
  45. ^ 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.
  46. ^ "President Donald J. Trump Announces Intent to Nominate Personnel to Key Administration Posts". November 2, 2017 – via National Archives.
  47. ^ Rasmussen, Kristen (October 11, 2017). "Former Greenberg Traurig Partner Named as Acting HHS Secretary". The National Law Journal.
  48. ^ Waldron, Travis (August 7, 2017). "A Trip To The Men's Room Turned Jeff Kessler Into The NCAA's Worst Nightmare". The Huffington Post.
  49. ^ Gartland, Dan (August 28, 2017). "Report: NFLPA Hires Deflategate Lawyer Jeffrey Kessler to Assist With Ezekiel Elliott Appeal". Sports Illustrated.
  50. ^ Strom, Roy (September 1, 2017). "Lifetime Achiever: Dan Webb, Winston & Strawn". The American Lawyer.
  51. ^ "Nationally Recognized White Collar Defense and Trial Attorney Joins Winston & Strawn". Winston & Strawn LLP. May 23, 2018.

External links[edit]