Winston & Strawn LLP at a Glance


  • “Rewarding work”
  • “Great training to start”
  • “Excellent client list”


  • “My life is nothing but work”
  • “Very hierarchical”
  • “The technology is outdated”

The Buzz

  • “Big name”
  • “Aggressive litigators”
  • “Good for sports lit”
  • “Fratty”

About Winston & Strawn LLP

Winston & Strawn has an enviable 160+ year track record. The global law firm is comprised of 18 offices across the United States, Europe, and Asia, with a robust client roster that includes, Discover, Panasonic, Wells Fargo and Verizon.

Diversifying with the Times

Winston & Strawn opened its doors in 1853 under the leadership of Harvard grad Fredrick Hampden Winston (Silas Strawn came aboard in 1892). A Beltway insider, Winston instilled in the firm's culture a proclivity to attract political heavyweights: aside from former Veep Walter Mondale, former Illinois Governor James Thompson and ex-U.S. Attorney Dan Webb have walked Winston's halls (Thompson, currently senior chairman, announced he'll retire at the end of 2015, and Webb currently serves as chairman).

Among the cases that defined the firm's evolution include devising a plan for Chicago & North Western Railroad to sell air rights to Marshall Field & Company (without losing title to the land itself), a deal that resulted in the construction of the tallest building in the world in 1930, and challenging the War Powers Act in 1944 on behalf of department store Montgomery Ward, whose plants had been seized to assist the U.S. war effort.

While Winston maintains its strong roots in the windy city as a Chicago litigation powerhouse with Webb at the helm, its diversification through lateral acquisitions and U.S. and international office openings has solidified the global presence envisioned by Thompson. The 2012 addition of a large team of litigators led by Jeffrey Kessler and others from the former Dewey & LeBeouf has been a significant shot in the arm for the firm's New York office and a wellspring of high-profile client work across the firm.

Earlier this year, Winston litigators in New York and Los Angeles teamed with Chicago-based appellate practice chair Linda Coberly to garner a unanimous decision for health care company Omnicare (previously a long-time Dewey client) before the United States Supreme Court in one of the most important securities case in decades.

Trading on its litigation prowess, the firm has been able to attract top transactional talent as well, recently bringing over a large lateral group from Pillsbury that adds finance and M&A lawyers in Winston's New York, Washington, DC, San Francisco and London offices.

Bringing the A-Game

NFL Players Association go-to litigator Jeffrey Kessler continues to earn notoriety for the firm (and ire from the NFL) for his representation of players such as Tom Brady, Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson in high-profile arbitration hearings.

As a natural extension of the firm's sports litigation practice, Winston launched one of the country's first college sports practices in October 2013, and it soon after made national headlines by filing an antitrust suit on behalf of college football and basketball players against the NCAA, challenging its long-standing policies on amateurism.

The firm's multifaceted sports practice has also handled the financing for the 49ers' Levi's stadium, the acquisition out of bankruptcy of the Los Angeles Dodgers and the negotiation of endorsement deals for numerous athletes.

Growing at Home and Abroad

The firm has grown through the deliberate addition of several new offices in recent years. In June 2013, as part of its strategic expansion efforts, Winston formally opened a Brussels office focused on European Union (EU) merger control, international and national cartels, state aid, trade/sanctions, free movement and all other aspects of EU competition law. It extends Winston's footprint in Europe, puts the firm at the forefront of the European Commission and is part of the firm's strategic expansion in its global antitrust and competition practice.  

To strengthen its presence in the high-tech arena, in September 2013, the firm opened a Silicon Valley office in Palo Alto (and recently moved to new digs in Menlo Park). The office is an important anchor in serving the firm's growing base of Silicon Valley and technology clients and plays a key role in the expansion of Winston's intellectual property and corporate practices.

Moving East, Winston opened a Taipei office in April 2014, reinforcing the firm's position in Taiwan's growing technology sector. The office, which focuses on ITC Section 337 investigations and on U.S. intellectual property and antitrust cases representing Taiwan companies, is positioned to build Winston's presence in intellectual property, corporate, antitrust, energy and disputes. 

Additionally, the firm has grown through lateral hiring. Dozens of attorneys joined the firm from the now dissolved Howrey LLP in 2011, resulting in an expanded IP practice and a Houston office.  Another large group of partners, primarily in New York, joined from Dewey & LeBoeuf in 2012.  In the past two years, Winston's Houston office has continued to add lateral attorneys to significantly expand its corporate and litigation practice, particularly in the oil and gas sector. Most recently, several groups of corporate attorneys joined Winston from Pillsbury, adding a total of 36 attorneys among the firm's New York, San Francisco, Washington, DC and London offices. The firm also has announced it is in the process of opening an office in Dubai to be staffed by several of the recent lateral hires. 

Cornerstone Clients

Winston & Strawn has long been identified with several prominent corporate brands, and the firm represents a range of Fortune 100 companies in diverse transactions and litigation. Its work for Panasonic includes a track record of success in defending against numerous antitrust cartel investigations and litigation around the world.  JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Wells Fargo and other big banks regularly tap Winston to handle a host of matters ranging from large commercial and bond financings, to antitrust and consumer class action litigation, to investigations and regulatory matters.

Abbott Laboratories has depended on the firm since the early 1990s, most recently in the defense of Abbott and AbbVie in the many hundreds of cases alleging personal injuries caused by testosterone replacement therapy AndroGel®. Winston also has a thriving practice representing food and beverage industry companies such as Heinz, Diamond Foods, Beam Suntory and the Corn Refiners Association in consumer fraud class actions alleging mislabeling, false advertising and a failure to properly disclose ingredients and additives.

Fresh off its big win at Managing Intellectual Property's North America Awards, which honored Winston & Strawn for national Pharma IP Litigation, the firm continues to rack up patent litigation victories for clients Teva, Actavis, Sun/Caraco, West-Ward and other generic pharmaceutical makers. Litigation department chair and nationally recognized patent litigator George Lombardi also took home a Managing IP Award for Outstanding IP Litigator in Illinois.



Litigation for "A Better Life, A Better World"

Winston represents Panasonic Corporation in ten separate cartel investigations and related litigations around the world, involving products ranging from cathode ray tubes (CRTs) and lithium ion batteries to automobile parts and optical disk drives (ODDs). Many of these engagements involve simultaneous direct and indirect purchaser class actions, government investigations, State Attorney General actions and hundreds of millions of dollars at risk. The firm's October 2014 defeat of the indirect purchasers' motion for class certification as lead counsel for the joint defense group in In re: Optical Disk Drive Products Antitrust Litigation was recognized as a Top 20 Defense Result in the Daily Journal's "Top Verdicts of 2014."

March 2015

Barcode Buyout

Winston deal lawyers inked the $3.45 billion sale of client Motorola Solutions' Enterprise business unit, which includes enterprise mobile computing, barcode scanning technology and wireless local area networking in more than 60 countries, to Zebra Technologies, a maker of barcode scanners, printers and other tools. The transaction was recognized as "North America M&A Deal of the Year" in the $1-5 billion range at the 7th Annual M&A Atlas Awards.

SCOTUS Sticks to the Facts

Winston client Omnicare scored a unanimous victory in the U.S. Supreme Court that strengthens the standards plaintiffs must meet when bringing a claim for false or misleading statements in Registration Statements filed with the SEC. In Omnicare v. Laborers District Council Construction Industry Pension Fund, the Court stressed that a plaintiff "cannot just say the issuer failed to reveal its basis." The plaintiff "must identify particular (and material) facts going to the basis for the issuer's opinion… whose omission makes the opinion statement at issue misleading to a reasonable person reading the statement fairly and in context. That is no small task…." This was the most important Securities Act case in decades. 

January 2015

How Many Courts Does it Take To…

Continuing its patent litigation win streak, Winston convinced three courts to allow West-Ward Pharmaceutical to launch the first generic version of Takeda Pharmaceuticals' gout drug Colcrys® (colchicine) in a $600 million/year market. A Delaware federal court judge initially issued a written decision to support a temporary restraining order against West-Ward. After further briefing and argument, the judge reversed and denied Takeda's request for a preliminary injunction but stopped short of approving West-Ward's generic product launch pending an expedited appeal. A three-judge panel in the Federal Circuit affirmed the denial of Takeda's motion for preliminary injunction, and later that day a District of Columbia federal court judge rejected claims in related cases brought by Takeda and its investors seeking to rescind the FDA's approval of West-Ward's generic colchicine product.

December 2014

Food Fight

Well-known for representing McDonald's in the infamous "obesity case," Winston was tapped to defend a first-of-its-kind products liability suit claiming that food ingredient manufacturers were liable for plaintiff's overconsumption of sweetened foods and resulting type 2 diabetes. A New York federal court dismissed the claims against Archer Daniels Midland, Cargill, Tate & Lyle, and Ingredion, and in December 2014 the Second Circuit affirmed the decision in favor of Winston's clients. A Forbes article titled "Demonization By Litigation: Food Ingredient Makers Face Frivolous Charges" described the suit as "the most notorious illustration of how a baseless lawsuit can effectively demonize one disfavored food ingredient."

Gushing With Praise

Winston's growing oil and gas practice earned Texas Lawyer "Deal of the Week" honors for two recent deals. The December 8, 2014 issue featured the firm's representation of Weatherford International in the $750 million sale of its oilfield chemicals business (Engineered Chemistry) and its drilling fluids business (Integrity Industries) to Lubrizol Corp. Earlier last year, the August 19, 2014 issue featured the firm's representation of Cameron International in the $850 million sale of its centrifugal compression business to Ingersoll-Rand. Cameron provides flow equipment products, systems and services for the worldwide oil, gas and process industries. Both deals closed at the end of 2014.

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Winston & Strawn LLP

35 West Wacker Drive
Chicago, IL 60601
Phone: (312) 558-5600


  • Employer Type: Private
  • Managing Partner: Thomas P. Fitzgerald
  • Hiring Committee Co-Chairs: Suzanne Jaffe Bloom and Bill O’Neil
  • Total No. Attorneys 2015: 900

  • Employment Contact
    Lisa A. McLafferty
    Director of Attorney Relations

  • Base Salary
    1st year: $160,000
    2nd year: $170,000
    3rd year: $185,000
    4th year: $210,000
    5th year: $230,000
    6th year: $250,000
    7th year: $265,000
    8th year+: $280,000
    Summer associate: $3,077/week

  • Summer Associate Offers
    55 out of 55 (2014)

  • Major Departments & Practices
    Appellate & Critical Motions
    Corporate & Financial
    Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation
    Government Regulations & Regulatory Affairs
    Health Care
    Intellectual Property
    International Arbitration
    Labor & Employment
    Maritime & Admiralty
    Real Estate
    Restructuring & Insolvency
    Trusts & Estates

Major Office Locations

  • Charlotte, NC
  • Chicago, IL
  • Houston, TX
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • New York, NY
  • Newark, NJ
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Silicon Valley
  • Washington, DC
  • Beijing
  • Brussels
  • Geneva
  • Hong Kong
  • London
  • Moscow
  • Paris
  • Shanghai
  • Taipei
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