Winston & Strawn LLP at a Glance


  • “The interesting cases we handle”
  • “Attorneys are generally team players”
  • “Freedom to work for a variety of partners”


  • “The long hours”
  • “Lack of transparency”
  • “Lack of a system to manage associate workload”

The Buzz

  • “Antitrust”
  • “Lots of talented people”
  • “Very formal”
  • “Culture concerns”

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 listing that includes Philip Morris, 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 & Strawn's halls (Thompson and Webb, in fact, haven't left-they're the senior chairman and current chairman, respectively).

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.

The firm continues to attract high-profile cases. Early in 2014, Winston & Strawn chairman Dan Webb, with the assistance of a team of Winston lawyers, concluded the role as special prosecutor, in the matter of the death of David Koschman, who had been punched by a man later identified as Richard Vanecko, former Chicago mayor Richard M. Daley's nephew.  Webb's team interviewed 146 witnesses, reviewed 300,000 pages of documents, obtained an indictment of Richard Vanecko for involuntary manslaughter and wrote a 162-page report containing 852 footnotes detailing the deficiencies by police and prosecutors in their previous handling of the case. On January 31, 2014, Vanecko pled guilty to the charge of involuntary manslaughter, received a split sentence of jail, home confinement and probation and was ordered to pay expenses to Koschman's mother, to whom he also apologized in open court.

The Chicago Sun-Times described the conviction as a "stunning" and "remarkable" achievement accomplished by a Winston team with "ferocious talent and tenacity."

Bringing the A-Game

As a natural extension of the firm's sports litigation practice, Winston & Strawn launched one of the country's first college sports practices in October 2013, co-led by litigation partner David Greenspan and litigation associate Tim Nevius, who formerly served as a lead investigator at the NCAA. In early 2014, this practice made national headlines by filing a suit on behalf of college football and basketball players against the NCAA and its five-largest constituent conferences, accusing them of colluding to restrict pay for student athletes. The suit, Jenkins v. National Collegiate Athletic Association is widely considered to be the most significant challenge to the NCAA's long-standing policies on amateurism to date.

Growing at Home and Abroad

The firm has grown through the strategic addition of three new offices. In June 2013, as part of its strategic expansion efforts, Winston formally opened a Brussels office. The office is led by Peter Crowther (formerly of Dewey & LeBoeuf), whose practice focuses 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, the firm opened, in September 2013, a Silicon Valley office in Palo Alto.  The office is led by David Enzminger, an IP litigation partner whose practice focuses on intellectual property litigation, with an emphasis on patent, trade secret, trademark and antitrust matters.  Leading the effort with Enzminger are partners Jonathan Retsky, David Bloch, Mike Brody and Aldo Badini, who all will spend a portion of their time in the new office. 

Moving East, Winston opened a Taipei office in April 2014, led by John Alison, who divides his time between Taiwan and Washington, DC.  Working closely with Alison are litigators Tom Jarvis, Steve Anzalone, and Paul Goulet, as well as Vivian Kuo, all based in Washington, DC.; David Wang, based in Silicon Valley; and Mike Tomasulo, based in Los Angeles.  The new office reinforces the firm's position in Taiwan's growing technology sector, and it is positioned to build Winston's presence in intellectual property, corporate, antitrust, energy and disputes.  Initially, the firm will focus on ITC Section 337 investigations, as well as U.S. district court cases involving intellectual property and antitrust claims for Taiwan companies in the technology and pharmaceutical industries.

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.  Another group of partners joined from Dewey & LeBoeuf in 2012.  In the last year, Winston's Houston office has added a number of lateral attorneys to significantly expand its corporate presence. 

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 Philip Morris includes a track record of success in its defense against a series of billion-dollar class action lawsuits accusing the company of deliberately withholding information on the health risks of smoking. Abbott Laboratories has depended on the firm since the early 1990s; Winston recently represented the health care company in a billion-dollar antitrust case brought by GlaxoSmithKline. Cisco Systems also entrusts the firm with high-stakes work, to which Winston has responded with big wins in recent years, including a securities class action brought by shareholders of Cisco-owned Scientific-Atlantic.

In addition to Abbott Laboratories, other pharmaceuticals figure prominently among the firm's client mix, including Teva, Sun/Caraco and Pfizer/Wyeth.

The firm also has carved out a niche serving such accounting and financial services clients as PricewaterhouseCoopers, Ernst & Young, and Grant Thornton.



Litigation for "A Better Life, A Better World"
Winston & Strawn 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.

April 2014

Fashion Forward
Winston & Strawn represented Sycamore Partners, a private equity firm specializing in consumer and retail-related investments, in its $2.2 billion take-private acquisition of The Jones Group Inc. (NYSE: JNY), a leading global designer, marketer and wholesaler of over 35 brands with product expertise in apparel, footwear, jeanswear, jewelry and handbags.

Winston also represented Sycamore and four of its newly formed portfolio company groups in nine different syndicated loan facilities aggregating approximately $1.7 Billion, all of which closed simultaneously with the merger. The facilities included (a) a $225,000,000 ABL facility agented by Wells Fargo Bank, a $445,000,000 secured institutional term loan facility agented by Morgan Stanley and a $300,000,000 unsecured institutional term loan facility also agented by Morgan Stanley Senior Funding, each for Nine West Holdings, Inc. and its affiliates; (b) a $35,000,000 ABL facility agented by Wells Fargo Bank and a $250,000,000 secured institutional term loan facility agented by Jefferies Finance, LLC both for Stuart Weitzman Acquisition Co. and affiliates; (c) a $175,000,000 ABL facility agented by Wells Fargo Bank and a $90,000,000 secured FIFO/FILO term loan facility also agented by Wells Fargo, both for Jones Apparel (US) LLC and its affiliates; and (d) a £25,000,000 UK ABL facility agented by Burdale Financial Limited and a £70,000,000 UK secured unitranche term loan facility agented by KKR Asset Management LLC, both for Kurt Geiger Limited and its affiliates.

Bridging the Gap to Victory 
Winston & Strawn served as lead trial counsel for Discover Financial Services in the successful defense of a high-profile antitrust multi-district litigation, Ross v. Bank of America, in which plaintiffs claimed that the nation's leading credit card issuers conspired to adopt arbitration provisions with class action waivers in their cardholder agreements. Following years of discovery, a six-week bench trial and months of post-trial briefing, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York ruled that plaintiffs' conspiracy theory was "a bridge too far" and entered judgment in favor of the defendants.

December 2013

Giving the Opposition Heartburn
In a case watched closely by the entire pharmaceutical industry, a Winston team led by partner Jim Hurst scored a huge win in a 15-year-old patent case related to the blockbuster heartburn drug Prilosec®. In that case, Astra Zeneca was seeking more than $140 million in damages from Winston's client Andrx (a subsidiary of Actavis). Andrx had previously lost on liability, so it was facing a trial where the only question for the jury would be how much, if any, to award in damages. Astra's damages theory was premised on the claimed "economic value" of the manufacturing "head start" Andrx would have enjoyed if it had actually won the original case. That theory, if accepted, would deter the entire generic industry from engaging in such ramp-up activity, which is a common practice. Andrx retained Winston to resolve this critical issue. When the trial court granted Winston's motion seeking to exclude AstraZeneca's entire damages theory, Astra agreed to accept judgment in Andrx's favor.

November 2013

It's Totally Greek to Me
In a case with hundreds of millions of dollars at stake, Winston achieved a total victory for its client FAGE Dairy against General Mills. General Mills sued FAGE in federal court in New York for trademark infringement over its supposedly iconic trademark "TOTAL" (as in Total cereal). FAGE, a leading brand of Greek strained yogurt, uses the mark "FAGE TOTAL." General Mills, despite more than a decade of competing uses, failed to find any evidence of actual confusion between TOTAL cereal and FAGE Greek strained yogurt. General Mills nevertheless argued that a likelihood of confusion exists and that it was entitled to hundreds of millions of dollars in damages and an injunction. With the case set for trial before a jury, General Mills dropped its claims for damages and an injunction and the case was dismissed with prejudice. 

Power to the People
Winston represented Highstar Capital in its acquisition of a 50 percent interest in the Linden Cogeneration Plant from GE Energy Financial Services. The Linden Cogeneration Plant, located in Linden, New Jersey, is comprised of an 800-megawatt natural gas-fired combined cycle cogeneration facility, a 178-megawatt gas-fired modified cycle cogeneration facility and related transmission assets. GE Energy Financial Services will continue to own the remaining 50 percent interest.

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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 Partner: Joseph J. Torres
  • Total No. Attorneys 2014: 898

  • Employment Contact
    Joseph J. Torres
    Hiring Committee Chair

  • 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
    Summer associate: $3,077/week

  • Summer Associate Offers
    28 out of 29 (2013)

  • Major Departments & Practices
    Appellate & Critical Motions
    Corporate & Financial
    Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation
    Financial Services
    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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