Winston & Strawn LLP at a Glance

Uppers

  • “Interesting and unique cases”
  • “Normal people with abnormal work ethic”
  • “Flexibility of work”

Downers

  • “Transparency”
  • “Winston's infrastructure is poor”
  • “Lots of hours”

The Buzz

  • “Some of the best litigators out there”
  • “Nice people”
  • “Fading”
  • “Tough personalities”

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, Abbott Labs, Dell, JPMorgan Chase, Panasonic, 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.

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 & LeBoeuf 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. Kessler and Webb were elected Winston co-chairmen in November 2015.

Trading on its litigation prowess, the firm has been able to attract top transactional talent as well, bringing over a large lateral group from Pillsbury that added finance and M&A lawyers in Winston's New York, Washington, D.C., San Francisco, London, and Dubai 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. The practice recently was named Law360's "Sports Group of the Year."

Growing at Home and Abroad

The firm has grown through the deliberate addition of several new offices in recent years. In 2013 Winston 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 2013, the firm opened a Silicon Valley office to serve the firm's growing pool of technology clients and play a key role in the expansion of Winston's intellectual property and corporate practices. Moving East, Winston opened a Taipei office in 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 in 2011 and 2012 when Howrey Dewey & LeBoeuf went under. In the past year, several groups of corporate attorneys joined Winston from Pillsbury, adding a total of 36 attorneys among the firm's US and UK offices and launching a new office in Dubai.

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, Discover, Wells Fargo and other big financial institutions regularly tap Winston to handle a host of matters ranging from large corporate financings, to litigation and class actions, to investigations and regulatory matters. Abbott Laboratories has depended on the firm since the early 1990s, most notably in the defense of major product liability claims and antitrust and other significant litigation over the years. Winston has a thriving practice representing food and beverage industry companies as well. The firm recently was named Law360's "Food & Beverage Group of the Year" for its representation of such companies as Diamond Foods and Jim Beam in consumer "mislabeling" class actions, and TreeHouse Foods in corporate deals.

IN THE NEWS

Ongoing
On a Hot Streak

Winston and partner Jeffrey Kessler continues to rack up victories in high-profile, precedent-setting sports litigation matters, from the arbitration win last year overturning Tom Brady's suspension in the "Deflategate" scandal to this year's successful petition for women to compete in the 50 km race walk for the first time. The practice, which recently filed a wage discrimination case on behalf of the U.S. Women's National Soccer Team and continues its representation in the landmark Jenkins v. NCAA suit and the "Deflategate" appeal, was named Law360's "Sports Group of the Year" and has been covered by ESPN Radio, 60 Minutes Sports, Forbes, The American Lawyer, and many other media outlets.

May 2016
For the Mamas and Papas

Winston's May 2016 announcement of a new gender-neutral parental leave program for attorneys and staff - including 20 weeks of paid parental leave for associates - created a buzz in the legal industry. The Huffington Post, in an article titled "This Big Law Firm Just Stepped into the 21st Century" states that "this is a pretty big deal in the legal industry" and that "Winston & Strawn is the first law firm to have a policy this expansive." Other national and regional media outlets that covered the story have included The American Lawyer, Bloomberg, Law360, Crain's Chicago Business, the Daily Journal, and the Houston Chronicle.

April 2016
Turn Up the AC

The firm's $42.5 million win for air conditioner distributer MJC America Ltd. was one of three Winston cases that made The National Law Journal's "Top 100 Verdicts" list published in April 2016. MJC formed a joint venture with China-based Gree Electric Appliances Inc. to distribute Gree dehumidifiers to major U.S. retailers. MJC reported to product safety regulators that Gree dehumidifiers were catching fire, Gree launched a campaign to ruin the joint venture, and a heated battle ensured. A California federal court jury found for MJC on contract interference and economic advantage claims.

March 2016
Modernizing Malta

A "first-of-a kind" power generation project on which the firm's London and Dubai integrated project finance team (recently acquired from Pillsbury) advised the sponsors and project company received top honors at the Infrastructure Journal Global Awards for Europe & Africa held in March 2016. Named "European Power Deal of the Year," the LNG (liquefied natural gas) regasification and IPP (independent power producer) facility is expected to be the key source of electrical energy in Malta, known for historic sites dating back to 3600 B.C.E.

February 2016
Buyout on Aisle 5

TreeHouse Foods Inc. became the biggest U.S. maker of store-branded groceries like oatmeal and boxed macaroni and cheese when it closed its $2.7 billion acquisition of ConAgra Foods' Private Brands Operations in February 2016. Winston advised Illinois-based TreeHouse in the deal, which was financed through stock and notes offerings and credit facilities. Widely reported in The New York Times, Bloomberg, and other media outlets, the acquisition aims to enhance TreeHouse's ability to compete with branded food companies for more grocery shelf space.

November 2015
Future Ready

Winston has made significant gains in developing and promoting a next generation of leaders who bring diverse backgrounds and approaches. In November 2015, the firm elected Jeffrey Kessler and Dan Webb as co-chairman; Kessler is the first firm chairman from the rapidly growing New York office. The firm also selected Linda Coberly as the new Chicago Office Managing Partner, the first woman to serve in this role; elected 13 new Executive Committee members, a third of whom are women; and appointed several younger partners to office and practice leadership roles. "This group's collective legal talent, industry knowledge, and leadership skills will guide the future success of the firm," said Firmwide Managing Partner Tom Fitzgerald in a Winston-issued press release.

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Winston & Strawn LLP

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

Stats

  • Employer Type: Private
  • Managing Partner: Thomas P. Fitzgerald
  • Hiring Committee Co-Chairs: Suzanne Jaffe Bloom and Bill O’Neil
  • Total No. Attorneys 2016: 870

  • Employment Contact
    Lisa A. McLafferty
    Director of Attorney Relations
    lmclafferty@winston.com

  • Base Salary
    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
    8th year+: $315,000
    Summer associate: $3,461/week

  • Summer Associate Offers
    64 out of 64 (2Ls) (2015)

  • Major Departments & Practices
    Antitrust/Competition
    Appellate & Critical Motions
    Corporate & Financial
    Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation
    Energy
    Environmental
    Government Regulations & Regulatory Affairs
    Health Care
    Intellectual Property
    International Arbitration
    Labor & Employment
    Litigation
    Maritime & Admiralty
    Real Estate
    Restructuring & Insolvency
    Tax
    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
  • Dubai
  • Hong Kong
  • London
  • Moscow
  • Paris
  • Shanghai
  • Taipei
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