The firm's roots trace back to its formation in Chicago in 1866
and the firm is preparing for 150th anniversary. Historical clients
included former first lady Mary Todd Lincoln, then the widow of
President Abraham Lincoln, and the Western Union Telegraph Company
(which developed into AT&T), Sidley Austin LLP now has offices
in key commercial, financial and regulatory centers of the world
and experience representing a wide scale of clients, from Fortune
500 companies to startups, in myriad industries. The firm is known
for its experience in life sciences, international capital markets
and investment funds, as well as its litigation, regulatory and
M&A prowess. While many firms boast the oft-touted buzzword of
"global," Sidley prides itself on having "seamlessly connected"
lawyers on four continents. Sidley is also one of the few U.S. law
firms to have maintained a continuous presence in Asia for three
decades. Beyond its reserve of in-house talent and its legal coups,
the firm is committed to maintaining a culture of collaboration and
There must be some kind of rule that any discussion of Sidley's
Executive Committee Chair Carter Phillips must lead with his
impressive number of Supreme Court appearances-he has had 71 since
joining Sidley and another 9 from his previous gig as assistant to
the U.S. Solicitor General (for a total of 80). Carter also has
argued more than 100 cases in United States courts of appeals,
including at least one in every Circuit in the country, and more
than 25 in the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Regularly
recognized-seven years running-by Chambers USA with for its highest
level of rankings in Appellate Law (Nationwide), in 2013. The
National Law Journal named him one of the "Top 100 Most
Influential Lawyers in America," and the National Chamber
Litigation Center gave him its first Lewis F. Powell Award for
Summer Associate in Chief
While most firms pride themselves on having alumni move on to
prestigious government posts, Sidley has a unique feather in its
cap: President Barack Obama worked at the firm as a summer
associate while in law school. Make that two unique feathers-while
at Sidley, President Obama met then-junior associate Michelle
Robinson, who served as his mentor, and who is better known now as
First Lady Michelle Obama.
Other exports to Washington include Solicitor General Rex Lee;
his son Senator Mike Lee (Utah); and David Tatel, a judge on the
Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. But Sidley's relationship with the
federal government hasn't been a one-way street. Newton Minow
returned after serving as chairman of the Federal Communications
Commission under President Kennedy. In recent years, Gary Cohen
returned to the firm after a year working with the Financial Crisis
Inquiry Commission, as did Joseph Guerra after a two-year position
with the Department of Justice. Additional returns included Peter
Keisler, former Acting Attorney General of the United States and
nominee to the DC Circuit; Richard Klingler, former Counsel to the
National Security Council; James Stansel, former General Counsel to
the Department of Health and Human Services; and Roger Martella,
former General Counsel to the Environmental Protection Agency .
Sidley continues to be a destination firm for lawyers coming out
of government positions. In the past year the firm's Washington, DC
office has welcomed: James Cole directly from the U.S. Department
of Justice where he served as Deputy Attorney General of the United
States; Geoffrey Aronow directly from the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission where he served as general counsel and
International Affairs chief counsel (he also previously served as
director of the Division of Enforcement at the Commodity Futures
Trading Commission); Cameron Kerry directly from the U.S.
Department of Commerce where he served as the General Counsel and
Acting Secretary; and Maria Early directly from the Office of
Enforcement at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau where she
served as enforcement counsel. The DC office also welcomed back
Virginia Seitz from the U.S. Department of Justice where she served
as the Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel.
The New York office welcomed George Madison directly from the U.S.
Department of the Treasury, where he served as the General Counsel,
and welcomed back Former Delaware Supreme Court Justice Jack
Jacobs. Additionally, the firm welcomed back Peter Huston to the
San Francisco office directly from the U.S. Department of Justice
Antitrust Division, where he served as assistant chief in the San
Francisco office; and Jacques Bourgeois to the Brussels office
directly from the European Commission, where he served as Chairman
of the Competition Commission.
They join the ranks of former government officials from the
recent past, including: Jeffrey Senger, former Deputy Chief Counsel
to the Food and Drug Administration; David Hoffman, the former
Inspector General for the City of Chicago; Timothy Treanor, former
Deputy Chief of the Organized Crime Unit in the United States
Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York;
Congressman Rick Boucher, who joined Sidley's Washington, DC office
to lead its Government Strategies practice; James Brigagliano,
former Deputy Director of the Division of Trading and Markets at
the Securities and Exchange Commission; David Rody, a former Unit
Chief of the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern
District of New York; William McConagha, who spent more than 17
years in high-level positions with the FDA; and, most recently,
William Blumenthal, a former General Counsel of the Federal Trade
Commission, Kenneth L. Glazer, a former Deputy Director of the
Bureau of Competition at the Federal Trade Commission and Susan L.
Merrill, former head of enforcement at FINRA.
IN THE NEWS
Sidley Austin LLP was named a LearningElite organization by
Chief Learning Officer magazine for the fifth consecutive
year. Sidley remains the only law firm to have earned the
LearningElite recognition since the inception of the program.
Organizations chosen for this honor employ exemplary workforce
development strategies that positively impact the organization's
An Equality Employer
Sidley Austin LLP received a "perfect" 100 score on the Human
Rights Campaign's 2015 Corporate Equality Index report. The CEI
evaluates companies based on policies and programs that provide
parity and support for their LGBT employees. Sidley was also named
to the Human Rights Campaign's annual list of "Best Places to Work
for LGBT Equality," a distinction awarded to businesses that score
100 percent on the CEI report. Sidley has received "perfect" 100
scores on each report since 2008.
A First-Tier Firm
Sidley Austin LLP has, for the fifth year in a row and each year
since the survey's inception, received more first-tier national
rankings than any other U.S. law firm in the 2015 U.S.
News-Best Lawyers® "Best Law Firms" survey. Sidley also
received the U.S. News-Best Lawyers "Law Firm of the Year"
recognition in the International Trade and Finance Law and
Litigation-Securities categories. "Law Firm of the Year"
designations are based on law firms' overall performance in a given
practice area and represent a significant showing in the 2014
U.S. News-Best Lawyers "Best Law Firms" survey
What Glass Ceiling?
Working Mother magazine and Flex-Time Lawyers LLC once
again have named Sidley Austin LLP to their annual list of the 50
Best Law Firms for Women. Firms on this prestigious list are
selected based on several factors, including family friendly
benefits and policies; flexibility, leadership and advancement of
women; and the development and retention of women lawyers. Sidley
continues to offer programs and opportunities for the advancement
of its talented women lawyers.
Deep New York Roots
Sidley Austin LLP commemorated 100 years in New York by giving back
to the community with a $1 million donation to benefit New York
Cares and United Way of New York City. The firm has long provided
leadership on the boards of both New York Cares and United Way of
New York City, two of New York City's most important not-for-profit
organizations. Each organization received $500,000.
Don't Touch That Dial!
A team of Sidley Austin LLP lawyers secured an important victory
for Universal Remote Control, Inc. in a patent infringement action
started by Universal Electronics. Following a two-week trial in
Santa Ana, California, the jury found in URC's favor on all claims
and affirmative defenses, resulting in a decision of
noninfringement, invalidity and unenforceability. The court also
granted Sidley a post-trial award of attorneys' fees for client