Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP at a Glance


  • “High level work for innovative clients”
  • “Great colleagues”
  • “Market salary and bonuses”


  • “No credit for business development”
  • “Length of time to make partner”
  • “Unpredictable workflow”

About Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP

With a full name like Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, it's no surprise that this firm is the product of big mergers between well-established practices. The firms that created today's Pillsbury have long, proud heritages that go back to the 1800s.

Giants Combined

Pillsbury began on the west coast in 1874 as the practice of Evans S. Pillsbury, who represented a local banking and delivery service called Wells Fargo. In the 1880s, Pillsbury and his partners began a long relationship with the U.S. oil industry, working with the Pacific Coast Oil Company, which later evolved into Chevron. Frank Madison and Alfred Sutro joined in 1895 as associates, forming Pillsbury, Madison & Sutro. The early twentieth century posed a number of challenges (the firm's offices were destroyed in the 1906 San Francisco earthquake), but Pillsbury et al. persevered, rebuilding the practice and representing area companies who were wrangling with their insurers. After World War II, Pillsbury developed its real estate practice, drafting the first condominium law in California and expanding to Washington, DC and other parts of the Golden State.

Meanwhile, a firm called Winthrop, Stimson, Putnam & Roberts was establishing its own practice in New York. Winthrop Stimson's story inevitably focuses on Henry L. Stimson, a Harvard Law grad who got a job in 1891 at a firm called Root & Clark (a venerable practice that dated to 1868). When the firm's founder, Elihu Root, left private practice for public service in 1899, Stimson took over the firm along with Bronson Winthrop. Stimson rose to the highest echelons of American politics: he served as President William Howard Taft's Secretary of War, a WWI colonel, an emissary to Nicaragua, the governor general of the Philippines, President Hoover's Secretary of State, and Secretary of War under presidents Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman. He also created what is now known as "the Stimson doctrine," which asserts non-recognition of territorial gains taken by force, a principle he developed after studying Japan's aggressive tactics in 1930s Manchuria.

In 2001, Pillsbury Madison and Winthrop Stimson joined forces. Four years later, the combined firm merged with Washington, DC-based Shaw Pittman, which was well-known for global sourcing, energy, technology and communications law.

Changing with the Times

Given its pedigree, the Pillsbury of today can boast that it has had a hand in some of the most important matters in modern American history, from the creation of the Patent Act, to the formation of Intel, to the registration of the first dotcom trademark.

More recently it has worked with Facebook, ZTE, Chevron, Deutsche Bank, Medtronic, the ACLU of Northern California, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Wells Fargo, the California Public Employees' Retirement System, San Diego ComicCon, New York University, Delta Airlines, Jack in the Box, Duke Energy, Sony, Nubank, Costco, and the Virginia Conservation Legacy Fund.

The energy & natural resources, financial services, real estate & construction, and technology sectors remain the firm's bread and butter, although it has also developed region-specific practices aimed at clients in China, Japan, Latin America, and the Middle East. Pillsbury also maintains a unique "emerging issues" program. These focus teams-which are regularly reviewed and adjusted to reflect market trends-empower multidisciplinary teams to pioneer new and novel areas of the law. These currently encompass crisis management; digital currency and blockchain technology; privacy, data security and information use; public-private partnerships; unmanned aircraft systems; and water resources.

In recognition of its cutting-edge work, Pillsbury made The Financial Times' Innovative Law Firms list in 2015. The firm placed 39th on The American Lawyer's 2016 Diversity Scorecard out of 220 firms and has been a Working Mother magazine Top 100 Company for 10 years running.


April 2017
Global M&A Network Recognizes Pillsbury for "Restructuring of the Year"
The Global M&A Network presented Pillsbury with its "Restructuring of the Year" award in the Energy category at its 9th Annual Turnaround Atlas Awards gala ceremony in New York City. The award was for those restructurings valued between $5 million and $500 million. Pillsbury was honored for its work as committee counsel for the Linc USA reorganization and its sale of assets.

February 2017
The Future is Female
Pillsbury has been named to the 2017 NAFE Top 50 Companies and 10 Nonprofits for Executive Women by the National Association for Female Executives (NAFE). The list recognizes organizations whose policies and practices encourage women's advancement and demonstrate that commitment based on the number of women executives who hold leadership positions. "Law firms are often tough places for women to succeed, but Pillsbury is working to reverse that," says Dr. Betty Spence, NAFE president.

Bienvenidos a Miami
Pillsbury announced the opening of its newest office, in Miami, as well as the addition of a prominent six-lawyer team from Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP that will strengthen the firm's highly regarded commercial litigation and tax practices in both Florida and New York. Partners Jennifer Altman, Shani Rivaux and senior counsel Aryeh Kaplan join the firm's Litigation group, while partners Michael Kosnitzky, Keith Blum and special counsel Ivan Mitev join Pillsbury's Tax practice.

November 2016
Dude, You're Getting a Dell!
Pillsbury advised Japan-based NTT Data Corp. in its $3.06 billion purchase of Dell's IT services arm, Dell Systems. Bloomberg reported that the transaction was NTT Data's largest acquisition and that Dell is likely divesting some assets before its reported $67 billion acquisition of EMC Corp, a provider of software and storage systems.

Securing the Cyber
Spurred by the growing and often contradictory cybersecurity regulatory burden facing companies, Pillsbury has joined with Thomson Reuters and FireEye in an industry-first collaboration to help corporations manage cybersecurity compliance and risk in the face of new regulations. This alliance offers a holistic, multi-pronged approach to cybersecurity risk assessment and due diligence that combines legal counsel, technical assessments and legal managed services to help meet a variety of internal, external and regulatory standards.

October 2016
How Innovating
Three Pillsbury matters were honored by Financial Times for legal innovation in 2016. In the "Innovation in Unlocking and Delivering Value" category, Pillsbury's Insolvency & Restructuring team took top honors for guiding nonprofit VCLF in its novel $860 million acquisition of bankrupt Patriot Coal. Pillsbury won the "Innovation in Changing and Influencing Regulation" award for its work with the state of Delaware and client Symbiont to create the Delaware Blockchain Initiative. Pillsbury's Global Sourcing team achieved a "Highly Commended" ranking in the "Great Legal Ideas" category for its role in creation of the Golden Contract Coalition.

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Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP

1540 Broadway
New York, NY 10036
Phone: (212) 858-1000


  • Employer Type: Private
  • Chairman: David Dekker
  • Hiring Partner: Mariah Brandt (Firmwide Chair); Ed Flanders (New York); Kim Buffington and JiJi Park (Los Angeles); David Lillevand (San Francisco); Armando Castro (Silicon Valley); James Lloyd (Houston); Conor Civins (Austin); Brian Bodor (Washington, DC); Matthew Swartz (Northern Virginia); Carrie Bonnington (Sacramento); Rich Segal (San Diego)
  • Total No. Attorneys 2017: 700

  • Base Salary

    U.S. Offices
    1st year: $180,000
    2nd year: $190,000
    3rd year: $210,000                                                    
    4th year: $235,000
    5th year: $260,000
    6th year: $280,000
    7th year: $300,000
    Counsel: $315,000
    Summer associate: $3,462/week

  • Summer Associate Offers

    41 out of 43 (2Ls) (2016)

  • Major Departments & Practices

    Aviation, Aerospace & Transportation • China • Clean Technology • Climate Change & Sustainability • Communications • Consumer & Retail • Corporate & Securities • Crisis Management • Education • Emerging Growth • Employment • Energy • Environment, Land Use & Natural Resources • Estates, Trusts & Tax Planning • Executive Compensation & Benefits • Finance • Financial Services • Global Sourcing • Government Contracts & Disputes • Health Care & Life Sciences • Hospitality, Food & Beverage • Indian Law (American) • Insolvency & Restructuring • Insurance Recovery & Advisory • Intellectual Property • International Trade • Japan • Latin America • Litigation • Middle East • Nonprofit Organizations • Political Law • Privacy, Data Security & Information Use • Public Policy • Real Estate • Regulatory • Social Media, Entertainment & Technology • Tax • Technology • Venture Capital

Major Office Locations

  • Austin, TX • Houston, TX • Los Angeles, CA • McLean, VA • Miami, FL • Nashville, TN • New York, NY • Palm Beach, FL • Palo Alto, CA • Sacramento, CA • San Diego, CA • San Diego, CA (North County) • San Francisco, CA • Washington, DC Abu Dhabi • Beijing • Dubai • Hong Kong • London • Shanghai • Tokyo