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Pepper Hamilton LLP

At a Glance

“Good substantive work”

“The people are great”

“Early responsibility”



“Transparency in regards to advancement.”

“Lean staffing leads to some difficulties”

About Pepper Hamilton LLP

Pepper Hamilton was founded more than 125 years ago in the City of Brotherly Love, where it strictly remained for 80 years. In 1969, it opened its first offices outside of Philadelphia in Washington, DC and Harrisburg, PA. While it still maintains an East Coast presence, the firm has grown to more than 450 attorneys in offices across the United States, including California offices in Los Angeles, Silicon Valley, and Orange County.

Some Pepper with Your Con Law?

Pepper Hamilton traces its roots back to 1890, when George Wharton Pepper and Bayard Henry opened a two-man shop in Philadelphia. From the start, George Pepper was an intellectual force. An essay he wrote in his final year of law school would be cited 50 years later by Justice Brandeis in the famous (or infamous, to 1Ls) case of Erie Railroad v. Tompkins. Pepper was such a dominant force in matters of constitutional law that he not only successfully argued a large portion of The New Deal was unconstitutional, but the court quoted his oral argument in full in its opinion.

Capitol Cronies

In 1954, the firm merged with Evans, Bayard, and Frick, a firm founded by another intellectual giant: John Johnson. Johnson was the son of a blacksmith, and after a few years of working as a document clerk at a law firm, he passed the Pennsylvania bar, never having attended college or law school. Johnson would go on to handle more than 10,000 cases in his career, with some 2,000 before the Pennsylvania State Supreme Court and a more-than-impressive 168 before the U.S. Supreme Court. Among Johnson’s clients were Standard Oil and U.S. Steel.

In 1955, after being with the firm for 65 years, George Pepper stepped down as chairman and was succeed by John Hamilton. After graduating from law school, Hamilton was elected to the Kansas House of Representatives, eventually rising to the rank of Speaker of the House and also chairman of the Kansas Republican Party. In 1936, Hamilton gained a prestigious position on the national scene, serving as chairman of the Republican National Committee. After retiring from politics, he moved to Philadelphia and put his name on the Pepper Hamilton shingle. One of Hamilton’s most noteworthy cases was the defense of Harry Gold, the confessed courier for Soviet spies Julius and Ethel Rosenberg.

Some of Pepper Hamilton’s notable cases in more recent times include the Dover, Pa. school district “intelligent design” dispute dubbed “Scopes II;” precedent-setting defense rulings on behalf of drug and device manufacturers; acting as special counsel to the city of Detroit in its bankruptcy case; big wins in patent litigation before the International Trade Commission; obtaining defense jury verdicts—twice in three years—in a long-running antitrust case for Mack Trucks; conducting investigations into misconduct at institutions of higher learning; representing several Guantanamo Bay detainees; successfully arguing against federal organ transplant rules that unfairly limited transplants for individuals under the age of 12 on behalf of two children battling cystic fibrosis; working with organizations in Delaware to improve solitary confinement conditions and mental health treatment services for inmates; and representing refugee students in Lancaster, Pa. in a case that will protect the rights of immigrant students going forward.

Paving the Way

Pepper Hamilton made news in 2007 when it elected Nina Gussack as chair of the firm’s executive committee. She was not only Pepper Hamilton’s first female executive committee head, but the first woman to hold such a position at a large Philadelphia law firm. In early 2013, Gussack returned to practice full-time, chairing the firm’s nationally recognized Health Effects Litigation Practice, a role she retained while serving as Executive Committee Chair. In 2017, Pepper Hamilton created a new Health Sciences Department, led by Gussack, which combined several of its practice areas in order to better serve clients in the industry.


May 2018

Pepper Hamilton was named Construction Law Firm of the Year at the 2018 Chambers USA Awards. The Chambers USA Awards reflect a firm’s preeminence in key practice areas, as well as notable achievements over the past 12 months, including outstanding work, impressive strategic growth and excellence in client service. Chambers said, “Pepper Hamilton caps off a strong year by winning the Construction award. Its national and international client base turns to the firm for its proficiency in challenging disputes, while the expanding team enhances its offering with additional capabilities in matters such as high-profile infrastructure, public works and transportation projects.”

May 2018

Kassem Lucas, a partner with Pepper Hamilton, received the Fourth Annual Rick Palmore LCLD Fellow Alumni Award. The honor is presented to alumni of the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD) Fellows Program, a training program designed to build relationships and leadership skills for attorneys committed to fostering diversity within their institutions and the profession at large. Pepper has been a member of LCLD since its inception. The Rick Palmore Award recognizes the outstanding achievements, commitment, and leadership of LCLD Fellow Alumni who paved the way for and assisted with the advancement of LCLD Fellows and Fellows Alumni.

February 2018

Pepper Hamilton represented Amicus Therapeutics—a global, patient-centric biotechnology company focused on discovering, developing, and delivering novel high-quality medicines for people living with rare metabolic diseases—in its offering of common stock.  The company issued 19,354,839 shares in the offering, at a price of $15.50 per share. Amicus has granted the underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 2,903,225 shares of its common stock. The gross proceeds from the offering to Amicus are expected to be $300 million.

December 2017

In a resounding victory for clients Volvo Trucks North America and Mack Trucks Inc., Pepper persuaded a federal court to deny class certification of two antitrust cases seeking more than $1 billion in damages for an alleged conspiracy to drive a certain transmission supplier out of the market. Following the victory, only individual actions remain against the truck companies, effectively sounding the death knell for cases that had been threatening the companies since 2010.

November 2017

Pepper’s commitment to pro bono access to justice extends to all in our society—even beyond humans. The firm was honored for its pro bono work on behalf of abused and neglected animals by the Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PSPCA). This was the first time that PSPCA honored a law firm at the event, which also helped mark the organization’s 150th anniversary.

June 2017

Pepper Hamilton was selected as Law Firm of the Year in the Association for Corporate Growth (ACG) New York Chapter’s 7th Annual Champion’s Awards.  The ACG Champion’s Awards is an annual program of ACG New York and The M&A Advisor that recognizes outstanding achievements of participants in the middle-market M&A industry in the greater New York metropolitan area. ACG New York facilitates long-term relationship building, driving middle-market growth.

Pepper Hamilton LLP

3000 Two Logan Square
Eighteenth & Arch Streets
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Phone: (215) 981-4000


Employer Type: Private
Managing Partner: Thomas J. Cole, Jr.
Recruiting Chair: Daniel J. Boland

Total No. Attorneys 2018: 450

Base Salary

Berwyn; Philadelphia; Princeton; Wilmington
1st year: $160,000
Summer associate (2L): $2,900/week
Boston; LA; NY; Orange County; Silicon Valley; Washington, DC
1st year: $180,000
Summer associate (2L): $3,100/week

Summer Associate Offers

19 out of 19 (2Ls) (2017)

Major Office Locations

Philadelphia, PA (HQ)
Berwyn, PA
Boston, MA
Detroit, MI
Harrisburg, PA
Los Angeles, CA
New York, NY
Orange County, CA
Pittsburgh, PA
Princeton, NJ
Silicon Valley, CA
Washington, DC
Wilmington, DE

Major Departments & Practices

Commercial Department:
Corporate and Securities (M&A, Private Equity, Public Company Compliance, Venture Capital, etc.)
Corporate Restructuring and Bankruptcy
Employee Benefits
Financial Services
Real Estate
Tax and Estates
Health Sciences Department
Intellectual Property Department
Trial & Dispute Resolution
Environmental and Energy
Labor and Employment
White Collar Litigation and Investigations