McDermott Will & Emery LLP at a Glance


  • “The teams are incredible”
  • “Interesting matters”
  • “Real responsibility”


  • “Extremely late bonus”
  • “Unpredictable amounts of work”
  • “The compensation scheme”

The Buzz

  • “Big name”
  • “Good lawyers”
  • “Pay below market”
  • “Stuffy”

About McDermott Will & Emery LLP

A Chicago institution since the 1930s, McDermott Will & Emery has, in recent decades, broadened its gaze from the Windy City to new markets in the United States and abroad. The strategy has paid off in spades, with McDermott firmly ensconced among the world's largest and most elite law firms.

A Little Tax Goes a Long Way

Emerging from the ashes of the Great Depression with Roosevelt's New Deal, McDermott opened for business in 1934 as a tax firm run by Edward H. McDermott and William M. Emery. A mere seven years later, the third and final name partner was added in corporate specialist Howard A. Will. The firm's name has remained the same ever since, a remarkable feat of continuity in the modern atmosphere of shortened firm names, legal mergers and buyouts. McDermott added an estate planning division in 1941, and by 1944 the firm had burgeoned to 16 lawyers.

Over the course of the following four decades, McDermott grew consistently but quickly, reaching 100 attorneys in 1974, 150 in 1984, 500 in 1990, and 1000 in time for its 70th anniversary in 2004. The firm's geographic expansion followed a similar trajectory-in 1977, the firm ventured beyond the familiar confines of Chicago by planting a flag in Miami.  Additional offices soon blossomed in the Northeast and California, and by the close of the millennium, McDermott had reached London. The 21st century has brought continued growth, with McDermott setting up offices in Düsseldorf, Munich, Rome, Brussels, Frankfurt, Houston, Paris and Dallas and establishing a strategic alliance in China.

Something Old, Something New

The firm has moved far beyond its tax and estate planning beginnings, growing its practice offerings to include emerging legal issues and services specific to particular geographic markets. For example, the firm counsels its clients on newer areas such as life sciences, renewable energy, and privacy law, which complement its more traditional practices like M&A, antitrust, intellectual property, litigation, real estate and insurance. In addition, making clear that its practice is in fact international in scope, the firm offers numerous practices tailored to each foreign jurisdiction in which it practices, including five subspecialties in its Brussels office, eleven in London, twelve in Rome, and fifteen in Germany.

Social Media Savvy

McDermott's history may span over 70 years, but the firm has embraced the new wave of communication. With five blogs on its website-an Employee Benefits Blog, Energy & Commodities Law Blog, Health Care Law Reform Blog, ITC 337 update, and a Legal Crisis Strategies Blog-McDermott shares the latest on a variety of legal topics with the blawgosphere. Looking for a quick update? The firm will get it to you in 140 characters or less on Twitter (@McDermottLaw)-it has over 3,000 followers on the social media site.


April 2015

An Exciting Addition

Prominent New York trial attorney Andrew E. Tomback joined McDermott as a partner in the White-Collar & Securities Defense Practice Group. Mr. Tomback, who has 25 years of experience drawn from government service, business ‎and private practice, represents clients in a full range of civil ‎and criminal litigation before the courts, U.S. Securities and Exchange ‎Commission and various other regulators in matters ‎involving federal securities laws, complex litigation and international ‎arbitrations. His white-collar practice has included the defense of ‎individuals facing charges of insider trading, stock manipulation, bank ‎and insurance fraud, violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, inadequate disclosure in derivative transactions and Ponzi ‎schemes, as well as market timing and late trading.

A Healthy Deal

McDermott advised Innate Pharma SA, a biopharmaceutical company discovering and developing therapeutic antibodies for the treatment of cancer and inflammatory diseases, on its co-development and commercialization agreement with AstraZeneca. This partnership will accelerate and broaden the development of Innate Pharma SA's proprietary anti-NKG2A antibody, IPH2201, including in combination with MEDI4736, an anti-PD-L1 immune checkpoint inhibitor developed by Medimmune. The deal, believed to be one of the largest ever in the French biotech industry, involves cash payments of up to US$1.275 billion to Innate Pharma as well as double digit royalties on sales.


McDermott announced the arrival of one of the best known private equity teams in France-a major step in the development of the firm's Paris office, which opened in May 2011 with four partners and has now grown to over 45 lawyers. The new arrivals, comprised of three partners, Henri Pieyre de Mandiargues, Carole Degonse and Grégoire Andrieux, significantly strengthen the firm's Paris capabilities in Corporate areas, including Private Equity, as that office prepares to celebrate its fourth anniversary. Ranked in the top tier by Chambers Europe, the new group represents mid-market private equity fund sponsors in domestic and international transactions, management teams in management buy-outs and buy-ins and French and foreign companies in domestic and cross-border transactional work and restructurings.

March 2015

Tax is Tops

McDermott welcomed a team of three leading tax lawyers to the firm's partnership: M. Todd Welty, Mark P. Thomas and Laura L. Gavioli. The new team is an important addition to the firm's Tax Controversy practice, which was named "Tax Litigation Firm of the Year" by U.S. News & Best Lawyers in 2014. The three joined McDermott from another global law firm, where they represented a broad range of multinational clients in international and national tax controversy and litigation matters. They are based in McDermott's Dallas office.

A New Partner and a New Practice

Leigh-Alexandra Basha, one of the nation's most prominent private client lawyers, joined McDermott as a partner in the Private Client Practice Group. With the addition of Ms. Basha, the firm will establish a Private Client practice in the nation's capital with Ms. Basha as the head of the practice in that office. Ms. Basha formerly chaired Holland & Knight's International Private Client Practice for the past decade. She was recently elected to Council of the International Bar Association's Legal Practice Division and is past Chair of the IBA's Individual Tax and Private Client Committee.  Ms. Basha focuses her practice on domestic and foreign estate and tax planning. She counsels an affluent international client base on a wide range of sophisticated matters.

January 2015

Government Insider

Congressman James P. "Jim" joined McDermott's DC office as Senior Legislative Advisor. After serving twenty-four years in Congress (1991 to 2015), Mr. Moran will bolster the firm's lobbying practice in such specialty areas as defense, government contracting, trade, foreign governments and technology. During his time in Congress, Mr. Moran was a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee and served as Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on the Interior and Environment. Mr. Moran was also a senior member on the Defense, Military Construction and Legislative Branch Subcommittees. 

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McDermott Will & Emery LLP

227 W. Monroe Street Suite 4400
Chicago, IL 60606-5096
Phone: (312) 372-2000


  • Employer Type: Private
  • Co-Chairs: Peter John Sacripanti and Jeffrey E. Stone
  • National Hiring Partner: Linda M. Doyle
  • Total No. Attorneys 2015: 1,080

  • Employment Contact
    Amy Johnson
    Legal Recruiting Coordinator
    Phone:  (202) 756-8624
    Carine Servais
    Office Administrator
    Heidi Bradish
    Legal Recruiting Coordinator
    Phone: (312) 984-7516
    Valerie Hayes
    Office and Human Resources Manager
    Phone: (713) 653-1919
    Doris Binek
    Office Administrator
    Rechtsanwälte LLP Frankfurt
    Doris Binek Houston
    Valerie Hayes
    Office and Human Resources Manager
    Phone: (713) 653-1919
    Katharine Greenfield
    Human Resources Manager Los Angeles
    Samantha Matthews
    West Coast Legal Recruiting Manager
    Phone: (949) 757-7133
    Email: Miami
    Marilyn Collazo
    Office Administrator
    Phone: (305) 347-6521
    Email: Munich
    Doris Binek
    Office Administrator
    Rechtsanwälte LLP New York
    Danielle D. Peck
    Senior Manager of Legal Recruiting and Human Resources
    Phone: (212) 547-5385
    Email: Orange County
    Samantha Matthews
    West Coast Legal Recruiting Manager
    Phone: (949) 757-7133
    Email:  Paris
    Ana Cristina Barriendo
    Legal Recruiting Manager
    Email: Rome
    Alessandra Marinucci
    Office Manager
    Email: Silicon Valley
    Kristine Sajan
    Human Resources and Administrative Services Coordinator
    Phone: (949) 757-7133
    Email: Washington, DC
    Erika Gardiner
    Legal Recruiting Manager
    Phone: (202) 756-8282         

  • Base Salary
    Level 1: 1st year: $160,000
    Level 1: For more than one year: $175,000
    Level 2: 185,000
    Level 2: For more than one year:  $210,000
    Level 3: $230,000
    Level 3: For more than one year:  $230,000
    Summer associate: $3,076/week
    The firm has a three-tiered, merit-based compensation system. The bonuses are based on performance and hours. 

  • Summer Associate Offers
    30 out of 32 (2014)

  • Major Departments & Practices
    •    Trial
    •    Intellectual Property Litigation
    •    IP Prosecution, Transactions & Strategy
    •    White Collar & Securities Defense
    •    Discovery & Dispute Services Center
    Regulatory & Governmental Affairs
    •    Antitrust / Competition
    •    Government Strategies
    •    Regulatory
    •    Employee Benefits, Compensation, Labor & Employment
    •    Private Client
    •    State & Local Tax
    •    U.S. & International Tax
    •    Corporate Advisory
    •    Energy Advisory
    •    Financial Institutions Advisory
    •    Health Industry Advisory

Major Office Locations

  • Boston, MA
  • Chicago, IL
  • Dallas, TX
  • Houston, TX
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • Miami, FL
  • New York, NY
  • Orange County (Irvine), CA
  • Silicon Valley (Menlo Park), CA
  • Washington, DC
  • Brussels
  • Düsseldorf
  • Frankfurt
  • London
  • Milan
  • Munich
  • Paris
  • Rome
  • Seoul
  • Shanghai (strategic alliance with MWE China Law Offices)
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