Firm Profile > Winston & Strawn LLP > Houston , United States
Winston & Strawn LLP Offices
1111 LOUISIANA, 25TH FLOOR
HOUSTON, TX 77002-5242
Winston & Strawn LLP > The Legal 500 Rankings
Following a flurry of hires in 2017, Winston & Strawn LLP continued to invest in its national capital markets practice, most recently with the hire of Dallas-based Charles Haag, who joined from Jones Day. Best known for its underwriter-side experience, the group's expertise spans a broad range of sectors, with recent strong showings in energy, utilities and technology-related offerings. In Chicago, Cab Morris handled many of the group’s high-profile deals over the past year, including advising the underwriters on Roper Technologies’ $1.5bn notes offering, and also advising the underwriters on Baltimore Gas and Electric’s $300m debt offering.
Although Winston & Strawn LLP’s growing equity practice is well versed in advising both issuers and managers, it is particularly prominent on the manager side, where it enjoys close links to major investment banks such as JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup and Morgan Stanley. New York-based capital markets chair Joel Rubinstein was involved in several high-profile SPAC-related deals over the past year, including advising the underwriters on the $690m IPO of Churchill Capital Corp and also advising the underwriters on Forum Merger II Corporation’s $200m IPO. On the issuer side, Dallas-based Charles Haag, who recently joined from Jones Day, advised FTS International on its $400m IPO.
The manager-focused practice at Winston & Strawn LLP is a solid performer in high-yield debt transactions and secures a steady stream of midsize deals from major investment banks. In Chicago, securities specialist Cab Morris is a key contact and has a strong record for technology, energy, manufacturing and life sciences-related matters. Among his recent highlights, Morris advised the underwriters on two offerings by GATX Corporation totaling $600m. He also advised the joint bookrunners on a $300m notes offering by Baltimore Gas and Electric. Joel Rubinstein, who leads the capital markets group from New York, is also recommended.
E-discovery Tier 1
Winston & Strawn LLP's group of attorneys and technologists provides 'a seamless, cost-effective service' that limits the need for outside vendors. It is often called upon to co-ordinate e-discovery for clients facing litigation across multiple jurisdictions, as well as to advise government agencies on a variety of issues. It is chaired by 'terrific' John Rosenthal in Washington DC, who 'knows his stuff inside-out'. Also recommended is Houston-based Sheryl Falk, who leads the firm's global privacy and data security task force alongside Steven Grimes in Chicago.
The 'deeply knowledgeable' team at Winston & Strawn LLP handles project finance and development, commercial arrangements including power purchase and tolling agreements, and asset sales and acquisitions. The department is headed by San Francisco-based Joseph Karp, and includes senior counsel Jerry Bloom and Laurae Rossi, who are both in the Los Angeles office and specialize in wind, ethanol, solar and geothermal power projects. Also recommended is San Francisco-based Thomas Solomon, whom clients have described as 'not only exceptionally bright, talented, and experienced, but very efficient, diplomatic, and enjoyable to work with'. In the project finance, space, the team acted for Renew Financial Group in connection with its warehouse financing and securitization of more than $700m of PACE bonds and unbonded assessments, issued to provide financing to homeowners to install energy efficiency and water conservation improvements to their homes. Other key clients include Apex Clean Energy Holdings, Santander Bank and NRG. Also of note, the team has seen a number of new arrivals including Washington DC-based Neely Agin, and New York-based Patrick Groomes, Michael Loesch, Michael Pikiel and David Gillespie, all of whom joined from Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP; Houston-based Douglas Atnipp, who joined from Greenberg Traurig, LLP; Washington DC-based Thomas Trimble from Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP; and Richard Shutran, who joined from O'Melveny & Myers LLP and is in the New York office.
Leading trial lawyers Tier 1
Dan Webb - Winston & Strawn LLP Co-executive chairman Dan Webb is a distinguished litigator, who regularly acts in complex high-stakes matters ranging from commercial disputes to criminal cases. Headline matters include defending a client against a wrongful death claim in San Diego, which resulted in a judgment for $5m in damages; the team is preparing for appeal. Corporate clients include BP America, Conoco Phillips and JP Morgan.
Winston & Strawn LLP's M&A attorneys 'provide prompt attention and replies; they are very efficient and catch up quickly on topics'. The team is highly regarded for its advice to public and private companies, financial institutions, investors and emerging companies on high-profile cross-border deals, take-private transactions, carve-outs, distressed acquisitions and restructurings. Key clients include CORE Industrial Partners, Synaptics and DHI Group. Significant matters included Bruce Toth's advice to NGL Energy Partners on the sale of its remaining Retail Propane business to Superior Plus; Oscar David (a former chair of the firm’s M&A, securities and corporate governance practice) assisting Motorola Solutions with its acquisition of Plant Holdings, which holds the Airbus DS Communications business, from Airbus Defense and Space; and New York's Joel Rubinstein, who chairs the capital markets practice, advising Landcadia Holdings, a special purpose acquisition company, on entering into a definitive merger agreement for a $390m business combination with Waitr, a restaurant platform for online food ordering and delivery. Matthew Bergmann and Washington DC's Christopher Zochowski co-chair the M&A practice, New York-based Dominick DeChiara chairs the corporate department, and Eva Davis in Los Angeles and Bradley Vaiana co-chair the private equity practice. Other key names are New York-based Latin America practice co-chairs Allen Miller, who 'has great knowledge and experience', and Talbert Navia. Also highly rated are Morton Grosz and Kevin Smith (both also in New York), Gregory Bynan, Brian Schafer, Matthew Costigan, Steven Gavin, James Junewicz (who divides his time between the Chicago and New York offices), Richard Wynne in Houston, and Dallas-based Thomas Hughes. Growth in the practice included the hiring in New York of Jared Manes and Uri Doron from Jenner & Block LLP and Thomas Trimble in Washington DC from Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP; Doron led advice to US company Knoll on the $300m acquisition of Danish design company Muuto. Named attorneys are in Chicago unless otherwise stated; Robert Rawn exited for Jenner & Block LLP.
Based in Washington DC, the team at Winston & Strawn LLP is experienced across a broad range of regulatory work in the sector; US-flag compliance, federal investigations and offshore wind compliance work are among its key strengths. Department head Charlie Papavizas, who is noted for his Jones Act experience, advised Black Diamond Capital Management on citizenship issues relating to the reorganization of Harvey Gulf International Marine, and often advises Liberty Maritime Corporation on the protection and promotion of key government programs. Allen Black advised Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Company on Coast Guard-related issues. Schuyler Line Navigation Company is also a key client. Also recommended are Bryant Gardner, Gerald Morrissey and associate Brooke Shapiro, the last of whom is based in New York.
The consumer and class action practice at Winston & Strawn LLP boasts a client roster including prominent brands such as Dell, Costco Wholesale and Mazda Motor. The team advised the latter on a putative nationwide class action alleging that Mazda falsely advertised its navigation software which purported to offer real-time traffic alerts in all of its 2016 model year cars. Other recent work highlights include Chicago-based Scott Glauberman's successful representation of Abbott Laboratories in a class action relating to the 'organic' labeling of its Similac infant formula, and Chicago-based Ronald Rothstein's defense of The JM Smucker Company and Big Heart Pet Brands in a case which confirmed that 'mere puffery' in advertising is not actionable under the Lanham Act . Other key names to note include Amanda Groves, who focuses on complex commercial litigation and splits her time between Charlotte and Silicon Valley, and Los Angeles-based Steve Smerek.
Cartel Tier 2
Winston & Strawn LLP recently bolstered its antitrust capacities through the promotion to partner of Jonathan Amoona in New York, Diana Hughes Leiden in Los Angeles, Ian Papendick in San Francisco, and the hire of Eric Meiring from the DOJ in the Washington DC office. The 'substantive knowledge of the cartel group is extremely high' and the team 'truly sets itself apart through its complete lack of ivory tower issues'. Particularly noted are Chicago-based James Herbison and Michael Mayer, who are 'both top notch, professional, responsive and open to different strategies'. Associate Kevin Wolff sits in Chicago and is also recommended by clients. The team is jointly led by Jeffrey Kessler and Eva Cole from New York.
The civil litigation team at Winston & Strawn LLP is jointly led by Jeffrey Kessler and Eva Cole and was recently bolstered by the arrival in Washington DC of Neely Beth Agin and Eric Meiring from Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP and the DOJ, respectively. The firm's strength in the sports sector can be seen in Kessler's victory on behalf of a class of NCAA athletes in its challenge against the NCAA's restraints on compensation. In another highlight, Chicago-based Dan Webb and New York-based Aldo Badini defeated Keurig's motion to dismiss their client Treehouse Foods' complaint of anti-competitive practices. Other key names in the Chicago office include James Herbison and David Dahlquist, while Robert Pringle sits in San Francisco. Recent team developments also include the promotion to partner of Ian Papendick in San Francisco, sports litigation expert Jonathan Amoona in New York and Diana Hughes Leiden in Los Angeles.
Copyright Tier 2
Winston & Strawn LLP's IP practice has a strong track record in copyright disputes. Michael Elkin and Thomas Lane are the two key names to note and together they acted for Cox Communications in a dispute brought by music publishers which argued that the client was responsible for its subscribers infringing the plaintiffs' copyrighted material. Elkin also represented Pepsi in a claim by advertising agency Betty, which alleged that the client's 2016 Super Bowl commercial was based upon a concept pitched by the agency.
Winston & Strawn LLP is noted for the 'effectiveness' of its team 'in dealing with all aspects of exceptionally complex matters'. The group's Washington DC office was greatly boosted in 2018 by the arrival of a team from Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP, including Abbe Lowell, Michael Loesch and Christopher Man, as well as Eric Meiring, who joined the group from the DOJ's Criminal Section. Lowell is noted for handling top-drawer individual representations; recently he has advised Jared Kushner on the congressional and special counsel inquiries into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. 'Bright and sophisticated in her approach', New York-based Suzanne Jaffe Bloom defended AIG in an FCA case before the Second Circuit, successfully dismissing a qui tam relator's complaint with prejudice. On account of his 'honesty, integrity and perseverance', Thomas Buchanan is described by one client as 'an Abraham Lincoln of the modern era'; he represented Transport Logistics International in a DOJ FCPA investigation into a kickback scheme involving Russian officials, leading to a deferred prosecution agreement and a drastically reduced fine. Chicago's Dan Webb is representing Ukrainian businessman Dmitry Firtash in an FCPA case pending in the Northern District of Illinois. Other key practitioners include San Francisco's Robb Adkins and New York's Seth Farber, who jointly chair the group alongside Lowell. 'Top-of-the-market' Tom Melsheimer in Dallas and 'accessible' Steven Grimes (who splits his time between Chicago and Hong Kong) are also recommended.
Leading individuals: Corporate investigations and white-collar criminal defense: advice to corporates
Winston & Strawn LLP has a highly regarded practice group comprising 30 professionals primarily based in Chicago. Recent highlights included assisting Applied Materials with complex ERISA fiduciary, securities and IRS requirements involving the termination of the company’s $400m common stock fund held in its 401(k) plan. Co-head Nancy Gerrie, of counsel James Isaac and associate Juliet Rognile handled the matter. Also of note, David Rogers, Brian Benko, Ruth Wimer and Joanna Kerpen in the Washington DC office are advising Embraer Aircraft Holding on its health and welfare and retirement plans, and are also assisting leisure travel company Carnival Corporation with its domestic and international benefits and compensation plans. Susan Nash, with assistance from Amy Gordon and Marcus Garcia, is lead counsel to Starbucks regarding the adoption of a private healthcare exchange for its employees. Practice co-head Scott Landau, Steve Flores and associate Ariane Andrade are also recommended. AECOM, Lear Corporation, Holland America Group, Broadridge Financial Solutions and Argent Trust Company are also among the team's clients.
Acting for high-profile private and publicly-traded companies, Winston & Strawn LLP’s 19-partner team brings ‘attention-to-detail and commercial pragmatism’ to major transactions. Practice co-head Scott Landau and associates Maria Kenny and Jennifer Stadler advised private equity firm The Wicks Group on a number of transactions including its acquisition of Nutrionix, and the sale of Gladstone Group Holdings to investment firm The Jordan Company. Chicago-based William Merten heads the ESOP practice and acts for clients including AArete and GreatBanc Trust. Also recommended is Nyron Persaud, who advised on bonus and equity agreements and other employee benefits issues arising from Mind Gym’s $145m IPO on a London Stock Exchange sub-market. Further clients include Water Street Healthcare Partners, Atlas Holdings, Bed Bath & Beyond and A&M Capital Partners. Nancy Gerrie co-heads the practice from Chicago, and David Rogers is the managing partner of the Washington DC office. Named attorneys are based in New York unless otherwise stated.
Winston & Strawn LLP regularly represents major players in the electricity, natural gas, hydroelectric and nuclear power industries before federal bodies such as FERC, NERC and NRC and the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). San Francisco-based Joseph Karp is head of the energy, project development and project finance team. Significant highlights included Karp acting for Calpine in CPUC proceedings pertaining to the client's natural gas-fired power plants in North California, including those that set rates. Also noteworthy, a group led by Lisa Cottle (San Francisco) assisted NextEra Energy Transmission in its application for a certificate of public convenience and necessity for a new transmission project, Suncrest Dynamic Reactive Power Project. This will be the first competitively awarded transmission project built by an independent provider in the state of California. William Horin (DC) is noted for his expensive experience in nuclear power matters. A significant number of attorneys joined the group from Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP in February 2018; Patrick Groomes and Michael Yuffee are now based in Winston & Strawn LLP's DC office.
General commercial disputes Tier 2
The 'dedicated’ litigators at Winston & Strawn LLP 'step into the shoes of their clients and counsel them based on real world priorities’. The already sizeable team saw further growth during 2018; among the high-profile litigators who joined the firm were Denise Scofield and Hugh Tanner, both of whom joined the Houston office from Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP. A cross-office team including Harvey Kurzweil in New York, Paula Hinton in Houston and San Francisco-based Robb Adkins represented CPB Contractors as plaintiff in litigation against various Chevron and KBR entities concerning a construction project in Australia. Stephen D’Amore in Chicago 'possesses superb litigation skills and also provides sound advice and strategy in assessing exposure and settlement value of cases’. One of the co-chairs of the litigation department, he regularly takes a lead role on some of the firm's significant cases; recently, this has included defending Archer Daniels Midland in a class action in Illinois federal court concerning the company’s equine products. Thomas Melsheimer is the managing partner of the Dallas office, and consumer class action expert Amanda Groves splits her time between Charlotte and Silicon Valley.
Leading trial lawyers Tier 2
Abbe Lowell - Winston & Strawn LLP Defense attorney Abbe Lowell's work is of 'an outstanding caliber'. His track record of high-profile and high-stakes white-collar litigation and investigations have led to instructions by Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump regarding their alleged ties to the Russian Federation and subsequent interference in the US Presidential election of 2016. No stranger to defending high-profile Washington politicians, Lowell has defended successfully Senator Robert Menendez against bribery and corruption charges. Dividing his time between Washington DC and New York, Lowell left Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP to co-chair his new firm's white-collar and investigations practice group.
The team at Winston & Strawn LLP 'always rolls up its sleeves to get through thorny projects'. Known as 'consistent, trusted, and reliable advisers', the practice group comprises 'very effective litigators'. Defense instructions, especially from generics pharmaceutical clients, account for a significant portion of the caseload, but the group also demonstrates strength in the wider life sciences, energy and technology sectors. Chicago's George Lombardi led the joint defense group for Watson Pharmaceuticals in a major victory over Amgen, which had filed a patent infringement claim regarding the only non-expired patent covering its blockbuster drug Sensipar. Other work came from Chamberlin Group, Sandoz and medical device player Alphatec Holdings. The 'smart, insightful and hard-working' Krishnan Padmanabhan, who splits his time between New York and Silicon Valley, has 'exceptional client management skills' and 'has developed a reputation for excellence'. Washington DC's Charles Klein, David Enzminger, based in Los Angeles and Silicon Valley, and Thomas Patrick Lane in New York jointly lead the practice group. Kurt Mathas and newly promoted partner Bryce Cooper in Chicago are also noted. Esha Bandyopadhyay joined Fish & Richardson P.C. while Sam Park joined Hikma Pharmaceuticals.
Product liability, mass tort and class actions: consumer products (including tobacco) - defense Tier 2
Leveraging a team of ‘experienced trial lawyers’, Winston & Strawn LLP advises clients from a wide range of industries on product liability and class action-related matters. Notable work highlights include acting for Archer Daniels Midland in a class action alleging equine products were contaminated with a chemical additive that is poisonous to horses, successfully defending Panasonic against a claim that televisions suffered from a latent defect that caused them to prematurely fail, and representing Dollar General and its indemnifying supplier in a putative class action regarding the labeling of a body gel. Natalie Arbaugh in Dallas and Stephen Smerek in Los Angeles co-lead the consumer and class actions team, while Washington DC-based Matthew Campbell heads the product liability practice. Other key figures include Luke Connelly in New York, and George Lombardi and Scott Glauberman in Chicago.
With strengths in esoteric ABS and CLOs, Winston & Strawn LLP is 'good at owning and proactively running a transactions and getting out in front of any potential problems'. Jointly led by Jeffrey Stern and Los Angeles-based Daniel Passage, the team has been particularly active in the PACE bond arena. In a market-first transaction, Passage acted for Beach Point Capital Management and CleanFund in relation to the first-ever securitization backed exclusively by C-PACE assessments pursuant to rule 144A. Additionally, Passage and Francisco Flores advised Prosper Marketplace on the securitization of $5.5bn of unsecured consumer loans originated through its web-based platform. Another esoteric mandate, Stern recently advised LTC Global, as sponsor, on a $129.6m securitization of insurance commission receivables arising from the sale of long-term care insurance. In the CLO space, Chicago-based Dave Galainena assisted RAIT Financial Trust with several CRE CLO issuances, and Patrick Hardiman handled high-value CLO issuances for Crestline Denali Capital and THL Credit Advisors. Ronald Jacobson and Michael Mullins are also key figures in the Chicago-based CLO team, which ranks among the market leaders in manager-side work.
Winston & Strawn LLP regularly acts for US and non-US entities in vessel-related transactions, including Jones Act financing, foreign investments in Jones Act vessels and companies, and vessel finance involving the US government’s Title XI guarantee and Capital Construction Fund programs. Department head Charlie Papavizas has ‘a very broad and deep knowledge of maritime issues’; he recently advised Harley Marine Services on a $455m asset securitization involving Guggenheim Securities, US Bank as indenture trustee, Midland Loan Services, a division of PNC Bank as servicer, FTI Consulting as backup manager, and The Shearer Group as valuation agent. Bryant Gardner, Allen Black, Gerald Morrissey and associate Brooke Shapiro, who is based in New York, are also recommended. Named lawyers are based in Washington DC unless indicated otherwise.
Winston & Strawn LLP has ‘good experience in dealing with maritime law’ and is praised for its ‘great depth of knowledge and experience’. In particular, the team is noted for its experience of contractual and regulatory mandates. Standout work for department head Charlie Papavizas included representing the American Petroleum Institute in litigation brought against US Customs and Border Protection agency by two US shipping and shipyard trade associations, examining the interpretation of the Jones Act; the client has become involved as a defendant in the case. Gerald Morrissey represented Santa Fe Discount Cruise Parking, at appeal, in a case involving discriminatory charging by the Galveston Port. Allen Black, Bryant Gardner and New York-based associate Brooke Shapiro are also recommended. Named lawyers are based in Washington DC unless indicated otherwise
International litigation Tier 3
Winston & Strawn LLP's 'first-class’ litigation team has a strong track record in high-stakes, high-profile cross-border matters. Led out of Chicago by Stephen D’Amore and George Lombardi, the team has acted in defense of Ukrainian businessman Dmitry Firtash in an FCPA matter. In New York, one client described Jeffrey Kessler as ‘the most effective advocate I have ever seen in action’. Further, David Feher is recognized as ‘an excellent lawyer with particularly good judgment on how to approach strategy'.
The 'very experienced and knowledgeable' team at Winston & Strawn LLP is led by Michael Roche and assists clients from a variety of industry sectors, including banking, energy, retail, food and beverage. Joe Torres successfully represented Caterpillar in an impact collective action age discrimination lawsuit after multiple employees alleged the company’s termination and distribution of a supplemental unemployment benefit (SUB) had an adverse impact on certain employees based on age. Daniel Fazio obtained a win for his client Fannie Mae after a former employee alleged violations of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act and Title VII. The strong client portfolio further includes Accenture, LVMH, and Marsh & McLennan Companies. Rex Sessions and Joan Fife in San Francisco both have more than 30 years of experience. In Los Angeles, Laura Petroff is experienced in trade secrets and non-competes, while Monique Ngo-Bonnici specializes in wage-and-hour claims; associate Jason Campbell is also noted. Derek Barella left for Schiff Hardin LLP in September 2018. Named individuals are based in Chicago except where indicated otherwise.
Labor-management relations Tier 3
Winston & Strawn LLP is appreciated for being 'very experienced and knowledgeable'. The team handles labor matters for a variety of clients, in particular from the manufacturing, energy, construction, and healthcare sectors. Chair of the firm's labor and employment practice, Michael Roche, is based in Chicago. The group's client portfolio includes longstanding clients such as Caterpillar and LVMH. Washington DC's William Miossi, who is 'practical, extremely knowledgeable and very responsive', has more than 30 years of experience. Joseph Torres, also in Chicago, is well versed in collective bargaining negotiations and labor disputes. Derek Barella left for Schiff Hardin LLP in September 2018.
M&A litigation: defense Tier 3
Winston & Strawn LLP 'has a cadre of lawyers in New York who continue to impress in the M&A litigation space - they are as good as anyone in the industry', remarks one client. Practice head James Smith is hailed as 'an exceptionally good lawyer, highly attentive to both the details and the big picture strategy', while another client notes that he 'remains one of the most eloquent lawyers I have ever encountered and has an excellent sense of what will - and will not - impress a judge'. He led the team that represented Lear Corporation in a post-closing action brought by ESG Holding arising from the $850m acquisition of Everett Smith Group. The case was dismissed without leave to replead. Also in New York, Richard Reinthaler 'has a great way of boiling down arguments and procedure into digestible advocacy', and Matthew DiRisio is 'a young partner to watch'. The firm also has a significant practice in Chicago, where William O’Neill leads the team and Thomas Weber is a key associate.
Lauded for its 'true ITC expertise', Winston & Strawn LLP is particularly well-known for its recent defense of Comcast in two ITC investigations filed by Rovi, involving eight patents covering set-top boxes used by cable TV subscribers. The practice also took on the defense of GoVision in parallel district court and ITC litigation initiated by Ultravision for alleged patent infringement of certain panels. Practice head Tom Jarvis and Paul Goulet 'know how to present their cases in the manner most conducive to success in this specialized arena'. Also recommended is Steve Anzalone, who 'really digs into the technical nuances of the patent cases that he handles before the ITC'.
Winston & Strawn LLP scored a string of significant victories and achieved settlement in landmark cases last year. The firm acted for Omnicare in a class action in the Supreme Court, which ruled in favor of the defendant in one of the most important ‘33 Act decisions of recent years. The case overturned the Sixth Circuit's judgment that a claim based solely on a statement of opinion need only allege that the opinion turned out to be wrong. John Schreiber in Los Angeles, and, in New York, James Smith and Richard Reinthaler were the key partners involved. Practice head Smith is described by clients as 'an exceptionally good lawyer - highly attentive to both the details and the big picture strategy'. The practice is noted for its 'ability to adapt to changing strategy as needed'. Reinthaler is currently representing Macquarie Infrastructure Corporation in two 10b5 cases arising from its the announcement of its 2017 financial results and dividend guidance for 2018. Robert Sperling in Chicago and Matthew DiRisio in New York are among the firm's talented partners.
Sport Tier 3
With 'a reputation for excellence, founded upon past-practice success, global experience in sport and antitrust law, and the intellectual ability and professional fortitude to advocate the novel', the sports practice at Winston & Strawn LLP 'dominates this sector with first-impression litigation and success therein'. The group is particularly experienced in talent and player representation and achieved a favorable partial summary judgment for college football and basketball player clients in antitrust litigation challenging the National College Athletic Association’s restraints on compensation of collegiate athletes. Other recent work highlights include representing the National Football League Players Association and Dallas Cowboys star running back, Ezekiel Elliott, in arbitration and court proceedings challenging Elliot's six-game suspension, and acting for members of the United States Women’s National Soccer Team in litigation for equal pay, accusing United States Soccer Federation of wage discrimination on the basis of gender. The team is also assisting Activision Blizzard with a range of issues relating to its eSports league, including league structure and expansion, competition and antitrust issues as well as player compensation and discipline. Jeffrey Kessler, David Feher and David Greenspan jointly head the practice which includes recently promoted partner Jonathan Amoona, corporate partner Alan Hoffman - a name to note for stadium financing matters -, and associate Adam Dale. All attorneys mentioned are based in New York.
Winston & Strawn LLP is especially active in the municipal securities and tender option bonds space, and has extensive experience of derivatives transactions in the context of project finance and financial restructuring. The department is headed by Chicago-based Michael O’Brien, who advises Pacific Investment Management Company on all tender option bond matters, and also acts as primary outside counsel to Nuveen Investments in relation to all derivatives and structured products issues including municipal securities. O'Brien also assisted Macquarie Capital and Canadian Breaks with the development of a 200MW wind farm, which included a 13-year physical energy hedge and swap transaction with JP Morgan. In 2018, the firm brought on a regulatory derivatives group from Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP including Michael Loesch, of counsel Jonathan Ammons and of counsel Terry Arbit, all of whom joined the Washington DC office, and of counsel Jason Lewis, who is based in New York.
US taxes: contentious Tier 3
Winston & Strawn LLP is noted for its ability to resolve IRS appeals nationwide. It successfully represented a financial institution in a $1bn IRS examination of a case challenging the deductibility of settlement payments in a number of civil cases; Lawrence Hill and Richard Nessler worked on the matter. Hill is also representing an energy corporation in a case before the US Tax Court, which is the first-ever case involving the formation of a partnership regarding certain refined coal production tax credits. Edmund Cohen and Deborah Goldstein are other names to note. Charles Moll departed to McDermott Will & Emery LLP's San Francisco office in August 2018.
US taxes: non-contentious Tier 3
The team at Winston & Strawn LLP has ‘detailed technical knowledge of its practice area and is able to explain difficult, technical issues in an easy-to-understand way’. The practice group is experienced in M&A transactions, financings and joint venture arrangements involving both foreign and domestic entities, and also handles tax planning and SALT matters. Edmund Cohen, Deborah Goldstein and Rachel Ingwer ‘go way beyond advising on the law - they think creatively to find appropriate solutions for complex issues’; the team advised the Medallion Fund and other investment funds managed by client Renaissance Technologies on corporate tax matters. Clients also praise the ‘strong’ executive compensation team, which has been ‘extremely helpful with the adaptation to recent legislative changes’. Other highlights for the office include tax structuring on behalf of the Nicolas Berggruen Charitable Trust in relation to the establishment of the Berggruen Institute, and also acting for Federal Mogul, a subsidiary of Icon enterprise, in its cash-and-stock sale to Tenneco for approximately $5.4bn. Chicago lawyers Dennis Kelly and Louis Weber are ‘very solutions-oriented and will always analyse matters from all angles to find the right solution’. The practice group further bolstered its expertise in private equity and fund formation with the hires of Chicago-based Olga Loy from Jenner & Block LLP, and Los Angeles-based federal tax lawyer Jennifer Morgan from Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP.
Appellate Tier 4
Winston & Strawn LLP’s lawyers combine appellate skills with substantive expertise in areas such as patent law, pre-emption, securities, and constitutional law. ‘Brilliant’ practice chair Linda Coberly (Chicago) is ‘a force to be reckoned with’ and ‘very easy to work with’. Coberly led on securing a victory for the Fiduciary Trust International of California in a dispute against Tower Park Properties at the Ninth Circuit; the bankruptcy appeal raised procedural issues and involved interpretation of the Bankruptcy Code. Washington DC-based vice-chair Steffen Johnson and Michael Elkin (New York) convinced the Fourth Circuit to reverse a $25m copyright infringement jury verdict against client Cox Communications, which was sued by BMG Rights Management over illegal music downloads; a new trial was ordered due to flawed jury instructions. In a false advertising case at the Sixth Circuit, Johnson partnered up with Chicago-based Ronald Rothstein and successfully defended The J.M. Smucker Company and Big Heart Pet Brands against claims brought by Wysong Corporation. Elizabeth Papez (Washington DC) and Matthew Carter(Chicago) are also noted.
Commercial lending Tier 4
Winston & Strawn LLP's 'integrated and collaborative' team has some 'outstanding, dedicated and smart' lawyers handling borrower and lender work. The group is particularly noted for its expertise in advising banks and direct lenders, and is highly experienced in leveraged buyouts, recapitalizations and corporate acquisitions. The team recently advised Barings on a $112m loan to help finance the takeover of Excentus by PDI TA Holdings, a holding company controlled by Genstar Capital Management. Other key clients include Citibank, Antares Capital, Citizens Bank, Wells Fargo, and Twin Brook Capital Partners. Key figures in Chicago include Ronald Jacobson and Patrick Hardiman, while William Brewer and Mats Carlston practice in the firm's New York office.
Winston & Strawn LLP is jointly headed by Sheryl Falk in Houston and Steven Grimes, who splits between Chicago and Hong Kong. The practice specializes in privacy assessment, audits and compliance programs, IoT, cloud computing and outsourced technologies, internal forensic investigations, incident response and breach notification, theft of confidential information and trade secrets, data security class action litigation, cross-border data protection and transfer and GDPR compliance. The client portfolio includes companies from healthcare, financial services and telecoms. Robert Newman and Monique Bhargava moved to Loeb & Loeb LLP in May 2018.
A number of arrivals from Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP in early 2018 has greatly consolidated the energy, project development and project finance team at Winston & Strawn LLP. Michael Yuffee and Michael Loesch are some key newcomers. The team's client list includes the likes of New York Transmission Owners Group and NRG. A key highlight was the firm's representation of Duke Energy, as an intervenor in support of FERC and the Secretary of Commerce, before the Fourth Circuit in an action challenging FERC's issuance of a licence for the client's Yadkin-Pee Dee Hydroelectric project. John Whittaker, noted for his experience with matters pertaining to hydroelectric power, led on this case. Besides work at the courts of appeals, the group is also capable of representing clients before FERC, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Elias Farrah, Gordon Coffee, Kimberly Ognisty and San-Francisco based partner Lisa Cottle are also all recommended. Named attorneys are based in DC, unless otherwise noted.
Energy litigators at Winston & Strawn LLP regularly handle administrative litigation before FERC, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Recent highlights include a group led by Chicago-based partner Tim Carey representing BP in a putative class action lawsuit; the plaintiffs allege that BP manipulated Brent North Sea Crude futures and derivatives traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange and the InterContinental Exchange from 2002 to 2013. Other noteworthy clients include Pacific Drilling, Weatherford International and NGL Energy Partners. The team welcomed Hugh Tanner and Denise Scofield from Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP in February 2018; Tanner was chair of the oil and gas group at his previous firm and occupies the same position at his new firm. In the same month, Michael Loesch and Michael Yuffee joined the DC office from Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP. Joseph Karp (San Francisco) is another key contact.
Winston & Strawn LLP advises on project development and finance, in addition to a wide range of commercial agreements and corporate transactions involving energy assets and companies. The team is headed by San Francisco-based Joseph Karp and includes Washington DC-based Patrick Groomes, who focuses on corporate transactions and commercial matters in the electric power industry. Also recommended is New York-based Jonathan Birenbaum, who has experience of M&A and financing transactions. The team saw a considerable number of new arrivals including Washington DC-based Neely Agin, Patrick Groomes, Michael Loesch, and Michael Yuffee, and New York-based David Gillespie, all of whom joined from Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP. Additionally, Douglas Atnipp joined the Houston office from Greenberg Traurig, LLP and Thomas Trimble joined in Washington DC from Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP. Further, New York-based Richard Shutran, who joined the team from O'Melveny & Myers LLP, advised Steel River Infrastructure Fund North America on its sale of Peoples to Aqua America in an all-cash transaction of $4.3bn. Tyson Smith left the San Francisco office for Pacific Gas and Electric Company.
Fielding ‘a diverse group of lawyers, who are practical in their approach and have wide-ranging skill sets’, Winston & Strawn handles a range of corporate and financing transactions such as asset securitization, acquisitions and disposals, joint venture structuring, equity and debt financing, and other investment transactions. San Francisco-based Joseph Karp heads the energy practice group, and Houston-based Douglas Atnipp focuses specifically on transactions in the oil and gas industry. In the Los Angeles office, Justin Rawlins advised US Well Services on its merger with Matlin & Partners Acquisition Corporation, wherein the client will combine with Matlin & Partners to become a publicly listed company with an anticipated initial total enterprise value of approximately $588m. Washington DC-based Tyson Smith left for PG&E and Houston-based Craig Vogelsang joined Baker Botts L.L.P.; however, 2018 also saw a litany of new joiners from Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP, Greenberg Traurig LLP, O'Melveny & Myers LLP and Locke Lord LLP.
International arbitration Tier 4
Winston & Strawn LLP has vast expertise in commercial arbitration concentrated in the energy, and the oil and gas sectors. Led by Ricardo Ugarte, who splits his time between London and Chicago, the team is acting for the Republic of Ecuador in a $9.5m UNCITRAL arbitration proceeding instigated by Chevron Corporation and Texaco Petroleum Company. It is also representing the Republic of Haiti in certain investment treaty matters. Also recommended are Washington DC-based Eric Bloom (‘great team leader’) and Julissa Reynoso, who is based in New York. Tomás Leonard and Nicole Silver left the Washington DC office to join Greenberg Traurig, LLP.
Leading trial lawyers Tier 4
George Lombardi - Winston & Strawn LLP Litigation co-chair George Lombardi has more than three decades of trial experience, and has particular expertise in patent litigation in the technology and pharmaceuticals sectors. He recently won cases involving patents for a number of top-selling drugs including Prozac, OxyContin and Baraclude, and also achieved a major victory for Watson Pharmaceuticals (now Actavis) against Amgen in an infringement case regarding an unexpired patent for Senispar. Other clients include Philip Morris International.
Winston & Strawn LLP's team is 'experienced', 'transparent' and 'hardworking'. John Keville works form the Houston office and has a strong background in mechanical engineering, while Steven Grimes operates out of Chicago and is strong in cross-border matters. Keville recently acted for M-I in a trade secret misappropriation case against two former employees and its competitor Q’Max concerning oil and gas exploration technology.
Private equity buyouts Tier 5
Winston & Strawn LLP has a sizeable mid-market practice with strong teams in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Dallas and Houston. The mature and well-established practice is increasingly involved in non-traditional transactions, such as specialty lending and secondary buyouts. It operates across industries including healthcare, digital media, consumer products, logistics, and food and beverage. It is 'a very unified firm with partners that like each other, and quality is consistent through the practice areas and offices', 'a global firm that provides exceptional client service' and 'competitors respect and fear the firm when on the other side of the table'. The firm advised Upstream Rehabilitation, a portfolio company of regular client Revelstoke Capital Partners, on its add-on acquisition of Drayer Physical Therapy Institute. It also advised Brightstar Capital Partners on its acquisition of QualTek USA, in partnership with QualTek senior management. Bradley Vaiana has an extensive client portfolio and is a prolific deal maker in the middle market, as is fellow New York partner Dominick DeChiara, while Los Angeles partner Eva Davis and Chicago's Matthew Bergmann are also key figures. Justin Levy is an up-and-coming name in New York.
Winston & Strawn LLP’s 'very commercial, responsive and insightful' team is noted for its solid expertise in credit funds. Scott Naidech in New York is well known for representing US and international private fund sponsors in fund formation and launch matters; in the same office, regulatory expert Beth Kramer is 'very good at seeing issues that may not be apparent to others'. In Chicago, Bradley Mandel advised an investor on forming a multimillion-dollar fund-of-one for making venture-focused fund-of-funds investments with BVK. Also recommended are Meg Frey ('strategic and tactical'), and Megan Devaney. Clients include Invenergy, 50 South Capital Advisors and Frontenac Company. In 2018 Richard Ginsberg joined the Chicago office from DLA Piper LLP (US).
Real estate Tier 5
Winston & Strawn advises national developers, lenders, private equity groups, REITs and real estate funds on domestic and international transactions. Areas of expertise include acquisitions, dispositions, development, financing, refinancing and leasing. Texas real estate head Billie Ellis, who is ‘responsive, thorough and has good understanding of legal options’, recently advised Freehold Capital on the $50m acquisition and development of multifamily units across the US. Houston-based Douglas Yeager advised key client Stonelake Capital Partners on the $12m purchase of a 246,000 square foot industrial unit in El Paso, Texas. Another highlight for Stonelake Capital Partners included the acquisition and financing of a $115m portfolio with Guardian Life Insurance, while the firm also took a lead role for Long Cove Development on a high-end, lakefront residential community and marina development project at Cedar Creek Lake in Texas. Houston-based Jeffrey Smith specializes in commercial real estate transactions involving shopping centers, industrial properties, apartments and condominiums.
Benefiting from the expertise of several practitioners with in-house and/or government expertise, and with the ability to tap into a reservoir of knowledge across the firm's Asian and European offices, Winston & Strawn LLP is appreciated for its ability to provide 'proactive, strategic and wise advice' across the panoply of regulatory issues affecting banks, bank holding companies, funds and insurers. With significant in-house experience from her tenures at Bank One Corporation and Morgan Stanley, Christine Edwards really understands the mechanics of the industry and is appreciated by clients for her 'financial services thought leadership'. Edwards regularly works alongside 'seasoned veteran' Jerry Loeser - himself formerly in-house at Wells Fargo and an alumnus of the Federal Reserve Board - including on behalf of BNP Paribas regarding its compliance with the US Bank Holding Company Act. The team is rounded out by New York-based broker-dealer expert Glen Barrentine as well as Basil Godellas, who handles regulatory matters impacting on participants in the asset management industry. Other clients include Discover Financial Services, Comerica Bank, PNC Bank and Brighthouse Financial. Named attorneys are based in Chicago, unless otherwise indicated.
Winston & Strawn LLP is ‘hugely dedicated to the success of a deal’ and ‘brings a client-focused and highly specialized approach to the project finance sector’. The team has recently been bolstered by several key arrivals; ‘skilled negotiator’ Michael Pikiel, David Gillespie and Washington DC-based Patrick Groomes joined the team from Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP; and Richard Shutran joined from O'Melveny & Myers LLP. Highlights for Pikiel included advising the lenders to one of the short-listed bidders for a project to design, install, finance, operate, and maintain a fiber-optic broadband network to be installed within the right of way of the 550-mile Pennsylvania Turnpike. Jason Hellwig and Houston-based associate Patrick Selinger are also key figures, while Pikiel, Alan Hoffman and London-based James Simpson jointly head the team. Named individuals are based in New York unless otherwise indicated.
Winston & Strawn LLP > Firm Profile
Winston & Strawn LLP is an international law firm with more than 975 attorneys among 16 offices in Brussels; Charlotte; Chicago; Dallas; Dubai; Hong Kong; Houston; London; Los Angeles; Moscow; New York; Paris; San Francisco; Shanghai; Silicon Valley; and Washington, DC.
Winston was founded in Chicago in 1853 by Frederick H Winston, who was joined by the firm’s other named partner, Silas H Strawn, in 1894. Winston has built its reputation on the quality and character of its lawyers, past and present, many of whom are recognized leaders in the American legal community. The firm’s history of more than 160 years is a chronicle of individuals and events that have helped shape the firm and create the strong foundation on which it continues to build. Today, Winston is one of the largest law firms in the United States through a series of mergers, office openings and lateral hires in the past two decades.
The firm serves the needs of enterprises of all types and sizes, in both the private and public sectors. The exceptional depth and geographic reach of its resources enable Winston to manage virtually every type of business-related legal issue.
Winston understands that clients look for value beyond just legal experience. With this in mind, the firm works hard to understand the level of involvement its clients require of it. The firm’s lawyers take time to learn about clients’ organizations and their business objectives. Significant emphasis is placed on technology and teamwork in an effort to respond quickly and effectively to clients’ needs.
Winston remains committed to the traditions of client service, professional development and community involvement instilled by its leaders of the past, while embracing the innovations driving the legal profession in the 21st century.
Main areas of practice: The firm’s main areas of practice include: litigation, corporate and finance, mergers and acquisitions and securities, labor and employment, intellectual property, international arbitration, real estate, tax, energy, environmental, employee benefits and executive compensation, financial services, healthcare, maritime and admiralty, antitrust/competition, restructuring, sports, white-collar, securities litigation, private equity, appellate and critical motions, REITs, restructuring, E-discovery and trusts and estates.
|Advertising and marketing||Brian Heidelberger|
|Appellate and critical motions||Linda Coberly|
|Corporate and finance||Dominick DeChiara|
|Employee benefits and executive compensation||Scott Landau|
|Employee benefits and executive compensation||Nancy Gerrie|
|Intellectual property||David Enzminger|
|Intellectual property||Tom Lane|
|Intellectual property||Brian Heidelberger|
|Intellectual property||Chuck Klein|
|International arbitration||Ricardo Ugarte|
|Labor and employment||Michael Roche|
|Maritime and admiralty||Charlie Papavizas|
|Mergers and acquisitions and securities||Chris Zochwoski|
|Mergers and acquisitions and securities||Matt Bergman|
|Private equity||Brad Vaiana|
|Private equity||Eva Davis|
|Real estate||Corey Tessler|
|Securities litigation||James Smith III|
|Trusts and estates||William Doyle|
|Mr Casey Berger||View Profile|
|Ms Melanie Gray||View Profile|
|Ms Paula Hinton||View Profile|
|Mr John Strasburger||View Profile|
|Ms Sheryl Falk||View Profile|
|Mr Chris Ferazzi||View Profile|
|Mr John Keville||View Profile|
|Mr Dean Lechtenberger||View Profile|
|Mr Eric Schlichter||View Profile|
|Mr Richard Wynne||View Profile|
|Mr Douglas Yeager||View Profile|
Staff FiguresNumber of Partners : 422 Number of Other Fee-Earners : 690 Other Staff : 800
OtherChairman : Thomas P Fitzgerald – firstname.lastname@example.org Co-Executive Chairmen : Dan K Webb – email@example.com Co-Executive Chairmen : Jeffrey Kessler – firstname.lastname@example.org Vice Chairman : Michael Elkin – email@example.com Other Offices : Brussels Other Offices : Charlotte Other Offices : Dallas Other Offices : Dubai Other Offices : Hong Kong Other Offices : Houston Other Offices : London Other Offices : Los Angeles Other Offices : Moscow Other Offices : New York Other Offices : Paris Other Offices : San Francisco Other Offices : Shanghai Other Offices : Silicon Valley Other Offices : Washington, DC
Top Tier Firm Rankings
- Energy: renewable/alternative power
- M&A: middle-market ($500m-999m)
- Transport: shipping - regulation
- Advertising and marketing: litigation
- Capital markets: debt
- Capital markets: equity offerings
- Capital markets: high-yield debt offerings
- Civil litigation/class actions: defense
- Commercial lending
- Corporate investigations and white-collar criminal defense
- Cyber law (including data privacy and data protection)
- Employee benefits, executive compensation and retirement plans: design
- Employee benefits, executive compensation and retirement plans: transactional
- Energy litigation: conventional power
- Energy litigation: oil and gas
- Energy regulation: conventional power
- Energy: transactions: conventional power
- Energy: transactions: oil and gas
- Financial services regulation
- General commercial disputes
- International arbitration
- International litigation
- Labor and employment disputes (including collective actions): defense
- Labor-management relations
- Leading trial lawyers
- M&A litigation: defense
- Patents: litigation (full coverage)
- Patents: litigation (International Trade Commission)
- Private equity buyouts
- Private equity funds (including venture capital)
- Product liability, mass tort and class actions: consumer products (including tobacco) - defense
- Project finance
- Real estate
- Securities litigation - defense
- Structured finance: derivatives and structured products
- Structured finance: securitization
- Trade secrets (litigation and non-contentious matters)
- Transport: shipping - finance
- Transport: shipping - litigation
- US taxes: contentious
- US taxes: non-contentious