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Winston & Strawn LLP

Chicago

  • 35 West Wacker Drive
  • Chicago
  • Illinois
  • USA
  • IL 60601-9703
  • Tel:312 558 5600
  • Fax:312 558 5700
  • Email:Contact Us
  • Web:Visit website
  • Managing Partner: Thomas P Fitzgerald
  • Senior Partners: Dan K Webb (Chairman), James R Thompson (Senior Chairman)
  • Number of partners in US: 359
  • Number of other lawyers in US: 463
  • Number of lawyers worldwide: 925

Firm Overview: Winston & Strawn LLP is an international law firm with more than 900 attorneys among 15 offices in Beijing, Charlotte, NC,Chicago, Geneva,Hong Kong, Houston, TX, London, Los Angeles, Moscow, New York, Newark, NJ, Paris, San Francisco, Shanghai, and Washington, DC.

Main Areas of Practice:
Litigation:
Corporate America consistently trusts Winston & Strawn with their most high-stakes litigation. Its litigators have tried major jury and bench trials in virtually every significant federal and state venue and assisted with high-profile investigations related to SEC, AG, and other regulatory inquiries. They handle appeals before the US Supreme Court, US Courts of Appeals, and state appellate courts. Winston’s international arbitration attorneys have extensive experience with all the major arbitration and international claims institutions and rules, and the firm has locally qualified commercial litigators in Geneva, Hong Kong, Paris and London. Substantive areas of litigation work include: antitrust, securities, product liability, class actions, white-collar, patent/ trademark/ copyright, ERISA, insurance coverage, construction, energy, media and entertainment.
Corporate & Financial: Winston’s global Corporate Practice provides securities and M&A legal services to multinational companies, investment banks, and other financial services firms. The firm’s private equity work encompasses capital raising, investment and divestiture, and operational activities. In the finance area, Winston represents clients in capital markets, corporate lending, securitization, lease finance, and derivatives transactions. The firm’s Financial Services Practice assists clients in bank regulatory and compliance, investment management, private funds, broker-dealers, and futures/exchange matters. Winston provides restructuring and insolvency advice to debtors, creditors, committees, purchasers, and other parties in bankruptcy matters.
Labor & Employment Relations: Winston has more than 50 partners and associates in the area of labor and employment law.They have appeared in state and federal courts around the country, and before the NLRB, DOL, EEOC, and other local, state, and federal agencies. The firm provides national and international employment law assistance frommost US offices, as well as from Paris and London.
Intellectual Property: The firm’s IP attorneys litigate disputes in federal courts and before the US PTO. The practice includes risk assessment, portfolio management, and prosecution of applications for patents, trademarks, and copyrights, and supervision of global IP enforcement initiatives. Winston IP attorneys assist with patent, trademark, and copyright licenses, product development deals, and advertising, marketing, and promotions.
Real Estate: Winston & Strawn’s real estate attorneys assist purchasers, sellers, developers, borrowers and lenders in major real estate investment, development, and lending activities. They represent US and international corporations, financial institutions, and other clients in acquisitions, financings, sales, developments, and leasings.
Tax: Tax attorneys at the firm provide assistance that ranges from planning through audit, appeals and litigation, as well as legislative and regulatory representation. They help clients resolve significant tax issues through creatively planning transactions, effectively influencing tax policy, and carefully working with the IRS.
Energy: For more than 30 years,Winston has helped clients deal with changes in the energy industry, from leading renewable energy projects to advising on nuclear security matters. Energy attorneys handle development, financing, construction, and regulatory matters, and the sale and purchase of energy companies and assets.They also provide litigation, tax and labor advice.
Environmental: This practice encompasses all aspects of environmental law, from Superfund actions and toxic tort claims to environmental compliance in transactions to regulatory issues. The Paris Environmental Practice includes regulatory, transactional, and litigation in the European Community.
Government Relations & Regulatory Affairs: The Government Relations Practice at Winston is composed of attorneys and advisors adept at using the rules of the legislative process to develop and implement practical solutions.They assist corporate clients with campaign finance issues, and public sector clients with appropriations.
Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation: Winston assists employers with the compensation of employees and the planning and administration of employee benefits, as well as all forms of executive compensation plans.

International Work: Albemarle Corporation, Alstom Group, Deutsche Bank AG, EDF, FAGE Dairy Industry SA, Foot Locker France, Française des Jeux SA, LVMH,Nestle SA, Philip Morris International,Republic of Ecuador, Rhodia, Soitec SA, Warner Bros. Entertainment.

Clients: Abbott Laboratories, American Airlines, Bank of America NA, Calpine Corporation,Dell Inc., Goldman Sachs & Co., JP Morgan Chase Bank, Lear Corporation, Luxottica Group S.p.A., McDonald’s Corporation, Microsoft Corporation, Motorola Mobility Inc., Philip Morris USA, Wachovia Bank, Weatherford International,Wyeth.

Branches

  • 333 South Grand Avenue,
  • Los Angeles,
  • California
  • USA
  • CA 90071-1543
  • Tel +1 213 615 1700
  • Fax +1 213 615 1750
  • Email : info@winston.com
  • 101 California Street,
  • San Francisco,
  • California
  • USA
  • CA 94111-5802
  • Tel +1 415 591 1000
  • Fax +1 415 591 1400
  • 1700 K Street, NW,
  • Washington, DC,
  • District of Columbia
  • USA
  • 20006-3817
  • Tel +1 202 282 5000
  • Fax +1 202 282 5100
  • Email : info@winston.com
  • One Riverfront Plaza,
  • Newark,
  • New Jersey
  • USA
  • NJ 07102 5401
  • Tel 973 848 7676
  • Fax 973 848 7650
  • 200 Park Avenue,
  • New York,
  • USA
  • NY 10166-4193
  • Tel +1 212 294 6700
  • Fax +1 212 294 4700
  • Email : info@winston.com
  • 100 North Tryon Street,
  • Charlotte,
  • North Carolina
  • USA
  • NC 28202-1078
  • Tel +1 704 350 7700
  • Fax +1 704 350 7800
  • Email : info@winston.com
  • 1111 Louisiana,
  • 25th Floor,
  • Houston,
  • Texas
  • USA
  • TX 77002-5242
  • Tel +1 713 651 2600
  • Fax +1 713 651 2700

Bankruptcy/Restructuring - California

THE FIRM Winston & Strawn's wide-ranging bankruptcy abilities come particularly lauded for its excellence in the creditors' rights space. Work highlights include its high-profile representation of the official committee of unsecured creditors of People’s Choice Home Loan, which was followed by the firm's role on behalf of the liquidating trustee. The team similarly took the spotlight with its representation of the unsecured creditors committee, and subsequently the liquidating trustee, of Touch America Holdings.

Sources say: "The combined team was incredible."

KEY INDIVIDUALS The experienced Randy Rogers undertakes an array of complex bankruptcy issues. Given the contentious nature of many bankruptcy issues, many clients "find him to be the voice of reason in these situations."

Eric Sagerman is chair of the firm's restructuring and insolvency practice, and managing partner of its Los Angeles office. According to sources, he is "responsive, knowledgeable, pragmatic and effective." Sagerman is particularly lauded for his expert handling of creditor and committee representations.

Based in San Francisco, John Fredericks handles the full array of creditor and debtor representations, as well as distressed M&A matters. He recently led on behalf of Medley Capital in three separate lawsuits involving an investor.

Rising star Justin Rawlins played a key role in the People's Choice matter, and has been active in a number of significant cross-border assignments.

Energy & Natural Resources - California

THE FIRM The California team at this established national firm is well-positioned to offer clients a full service energy practice with deep expertise in all kinds of energy including renewables and greenhouse gas issues. The group has been particularly active in the solar energy sphere having represented First Solar, Soitec Solar and Solar Reserve in their power purchasing agreements. The team also appears regularly before major California regulatory bodies.

Sources say: "One of the best in this market."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Jerry Bloom heads the firm's energy, project development and finance group. He is known for his expertise in energy regulatory work and has recently been involved in a series of matters relating to solar and renewable energy.

Joseph Karp is lauded as "very intelligent, creative, responsive and well respected in the industry." He earns particular praise from clients for his regulatory expertise and negotiation skill in power purchase agreements. 

Well-regarded partner Lisa Cottle has recently been advising NextEra Energy Resources on a range of transactional and regulatory issues before the CPUC. She focuses on the development and financing of various energy projects.

Labor & Employment - California

THE FIRM This group is comprised of 18 attorneys and spans offices in Los Angeles and San Francisco. The group's employment team focuses on wage and hour class actions, trade secrets and discrimination claims. On the traditional labor side, the group has particular expertise advising renewable energy entities during union negotiations and organizing activities. Among the practice's clients are Louis Vuitton, Solar Gen 2 and CHRISTUS Health.

KEY INDIVIDUALS San Francisco-based Charles Birenbaum has a superb practice covering traditional labor matters. He frequently advises management and employers on collective bargaining, NLRB proceedings and the labor implications of corporate reorganizations.

Laura Petroff is an employment specialist praised for her work on wage and hour, discrimination and harassment issues. A market commentator states: "She is a brilliant attorney – I have an enormous amount of respect for her as a person and as a litigator."

Since publication, Charles S Birenbaum has joined Greenberg Traurig, LLP

Tax - California

THE FIRM This California-based tax team enjoys a healthy practice in state and local issues, which comprise one of the core areas of this practice. Its client base includes local and international names in the pharmaceutical, technology and beverage industries, including the likes of Genentech and Canandaigua Wine.

KEY INDIVIDUALS Charles Moll’s most notable area of focus is state and local tax controversy. Clients describe him as a "responsive, incredibly knowledgeable and confident" lawyer.  

Troy Van Dongen receives praise for his "great communication skills." He specializes in property taxation.

Antitrust - Illinois

THE FIRM This firm maintains one of the largest antitrust presences in the state and is building an impressive practice. It has comprehensive expertise in both civil and white-collar criminal work and also particularly prides itself on its strength in IP-related antitrust matters. In recent highlights it represented JSC International Potash in the potash class action and is also acting for Verizon Wireless on the text messaging litigation.

Sources say: "I've never regretted a penny I've spent on them. They treated us like we were their most important client." 

KEY INDIVIDUALS Dan Webb is "one of the leading trial lawyers in Chicago" and maintains a diverse litigation practice which takes in IP, product liability, securities, and white-collar defense work, in addition to antitrust disputes. Of late, he has played active roles in the firm's representation of C.R. Bard in a case alleging anticompetitive practices against hospitals nationwide, and in the text messaging litigation.

Banking & Finance - Illinois

THE FIRM This robust practice undertakes a variety of matters that range from lower and midmarket to big-ticket. The team frequently represents financial institutions that are acting either in a borrower or a lender capacity, as well as multinational companies in a variety of matters. It is also well versed in areas such as asset-based transactions, syndicated credit and cross-border facilities. The team's expertise saw it represent JPMorgan Chase as the administrative agent for a banking syndicate in a $1.8 billion senior secured revolving credit facility for SXC Health Solutions. Other prestigious clients include Ares Capital Corporation, Reyes Holdings and Deutsche Bank.

KEY INDIVIDUALS Gregory Murray centers his practice around commercial lending transactions, recently representing Bank of America in a $2 billion multicurrency revolving and term credit facility for Flextronics. He is regarded as "superexperienced, smart, and supercommercial."

The highly regarded Charles Boehrer focuses on leveraged transactions for borrowers and lenders. Of late, he has acted for Deutsche Bank on an $850 million credit facility for Ball Corporation and selected associated subsidiaries.

Global finance practice cochair Ronald Jacobson handles matters which include structured finance, private equity and capital markets. He is also well versed in advising clients on all aspects of debt markets. Sources are quick to praise his excellent work product and responsive service.

Bankruptcy/Restructuring - Illinois

THE FIRM Winston & Strawn's Chicago-based bankruptcy practice is highly regarded among respondents. The group is well versed in representing creditors, large institutional lenders and non-bank lenders, and has been particularly active in municipal bankruptcy cases of late. Its recent highlights include representing ARG Investments and MRR Venture as creditors and minority equity holders of Hartford Computer Hardware.

Sources say: "Sophisticated and talented."

KEY INDIVIDUALS  Matthew Botica represents a range of clients across the country, including debtors, lenders, creditors' committees and trustees, and also advises management and fiduciary groups on distressed situations and avoidance. He is currently acting for ARG Investments and MRR Venture on the Hartford Computer matter.

Corporate/M&A - Illinois

THE FIRM Winston & Strawn enjoys a strong reputation for its high-quality work in securities, regulatory and general M&A matters. The team is experienced in the representation of high-profile clients such as Guggenheim Partners, which it acted for on the acquisition of the Los Angeles Dodgers. IPOs are also a particular strength of the team, where it represents both underwriters and companies. The group's broad stable of clients also includes Motorola Solutions, Nuveen Investments and Sycamore Partners.

Sources say: "They are truly partners in getting deals done." "I find their legal teams to be extremely responsive and very knowledgeable."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Robert Wall is a "driving force" in the community, and concentrates on M&A and securities. Of late he has acted for the Martin-Brower Company on a matter pertaining to its acquisition of several distribution and logistics businesses belonging to Keystone Foods.

James Junewicz is experienced in counseling underwriters and placement agencies regarding debt and equity offerings, such as IPOs and high-yield securities. Sources value his ability to handle complicated situations effectively.

Bruce Toth attracts praise from sources, who appreciate his ability to work as a business partner with the client as well as his sage advice and guidance.

M&A/securities group head Oscar David is hailed by observers for the responsiveness and high-quality advice he provides to clients. In a key mandate, he represented Motorola Solutions in a high-value share repurchase program.

Environment - Illinois

THE FIRM Winston & Strawn continues to perform well in the Illinois market. The team recently represented Highstar Capital in environmental issues stemming from its $1.9 billion acquisition of Veolia ES Solid Waste. The matter saw the group coordinating on a multidisciplinary basis with the firm's corporate, labor and employment, energy and tax teams. The firm is also recognized for its handling of environmental litigation and related criminal proceedings.   

KEY INDIVIDUALS Eleni Kouimelis is "highly professional and very competent," say sources. She acts as cochair of the environmental law group and handles transactional, compliance and litigation matters on behalf of clients.  

Intellectual Property - Illinois

THE FIRM This firm's Chicago office is renowned for its patent litigation expertise. The practice covers electronic, telecom and oil and gas technologies but has a particular focus on the pharmaceutical sector and Abbreviated New Drug Application (ANDA) suits. The team successfully represented Hospira in a high-value patent infringement case brought by Sanofi. Clients appreciate the firm's flexibility, efficiency, responsiveness and value for money, as well as its tireless dedication to their needs. Key clients include Dell and Motorola Mobility.

Sources say: "They have the depth of expertise and know-how that extends beyond any one attorney and truly results in a team approach."

KEY INDIVIDUALS George Lombardi is a "phenomenal litigator" who can "set forth incredibly passionate arguments that appear indisputable." He is highly regarded by peers and clients alike. Specializing in biotech and pharmaceuticals, Lombardi is particularly adept at handling ANDA cases, an area in which clients say he is "really exceptional."

IP department head James Hurst has a string of pharmaceutical patent victories to his name, including recent cases for Sun Pharmaceuticals, Caraco and Hospira. He is "very well respected" in the pharmaceutical field.

Labor & Employment - Illinois

THE FIRM Winston & Strawn has a formidable presence in the Illinois employee benefits and executive compensation world. It is noted for its strong focus on executive compensation matters, regularly advising corporation, boards of directors and partnerships such as the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and Financial Services Roundtable. In addition to advising clients on benefits programs it is well placed to advise on problems faced due to ERISA class actions. Other clients include Lear Corporation, FreightCar America, Cantor Fitzgerald and CBOE Holdings.

Sources say: "They handle extraordinarily complex matters with diligence, great competence and creativity."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Michael Melbinger is global head of the firm's employee benefits and executive compensation practice. He is noted for his exceptional responsiveness and subject matter expertise, while one interviewee lauds his "ability to think past the tried solutions to meet out-of-the-ordinary needs."  

Rex Sessions handles the gamut of labor and employment matters and has represented a number of high-profile fashion brands such as Marc Jacobs International and LVMH. He recently defended American Airlines in an employment class action alleging age discrimination.

Joseph Torres is hailed by clients as a "very responsive, astute, practical and knowledgeable" attorney. He has handled a number of automobile cases including labor negotiations between Caterpillar and the International Association of Machinists.

Columbus Gangemi contributes deep experience in labor and employment matters to the firm's practice and has advised on domestic and international employment matters.

Litigation - Illinois

THE FIRM This firm goes from strength to strength in Illinois. The white-collar group is as active as ever, recently defending John Schulte, the former CEO of Spectranetics, on allegations relating to the use of medical devices. The general commercial litigation team, meanwhile, has scored some remarkable victories and earned outstanding feedback from the market. It notably represented Deloitte & Touche in a federal trial alleging fraud, breach of contract and malpractice. Clients in the group's impressive portfolio include Monsanto, JPMorgan Chase and Magnetar Capital.

Sources say: "An outstanding, top-flight litigation practice. The lawyers really understand the need to deliver results in a cost-effective way."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Dan Webb focuses on criminal cases as well as regulatory and complex civil cases. Observers comment that he is "a great lawyer" with a "completely deserved reputation." He led the team in the John Schulte matter.

Kimball Anderson is a commercial litigator with an expertise in class actions, professional liability and product liability. Observers note that he is "very, very good in the courtroom."

Bruce Braun handles complex commercial litigation, including class actions and multijurisdictional litigation. He played a key role in the Deloitte litigation.

Robert Sperling undertakes complex commercial litigation that includes the defense of antitrust and securities actions. He successfully defended Goldman Sachs in a class action alleging violations of the Commodities Exchange Act.

Caryn Jacobs focuses on the defense of audit firms, securities litigation and trust law. She was also part of the Winston team that acted for Deloitte & Touche.

Media & Entertainment - Illinois

THE FIRM Winston & Strawn remains at the top of its field, and gains particular recognition for its work in advertising and marketing. The firm handles a variety of matters, including privacy, promotions and litigation, for a list of enviable clients such as Honda, McDonald's and Wrigley. The team continues to advise Taco Bell on advertising and promotions.

Sources say: "They are efficient and proactive. They go above and beyond in providing their services."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Sources are quick to lavish praise on the "brilliant" Mary Hutchings Reed, describing her as "extremely knowledgeable" and "extremely intelligent and accessible." She is particularly renowned for her advertising, marketing and sponsorship work.

Brian Heidelberger is applauded for his very practical and efficient approach to transactions, and is also singled out for his "ability to keep up-to-date with the law." He advises various companies on branding and marketing, and also represents professional athletes in an array of matters, including endorsements.

Brian Fergemann is noted for his expertise in advertising, marketing and promotions, and is currently advising The J.M. Smucker Company on national advertising issues. "He is very hard-working, focused and very intelligent," asserts one impressed interviewee.

Liisa Thomas has extensive knowledge of media and entertainment law, including privacy, promotions, data collection and IP law. Current clients include the Chicago Sun-Times and Tyson Foods, both of which she advises on a broad spectrum of issues. She is singled out for her "encyclopedic mind" and ability to "explain issues and get to the heart of the matter."

Real Estate - Illinois

THE FIRM Winston & Strawn's wide-ranging Chicago real estate practice acts on behalf of major institutional clients and developers, undertaking multifamily, commercial and industrial real estate matters, among an array of other issues. Clients are particularly appreciative of the team's thorough and practical approach toward matters. 

KEY INDIVIDUALS Christopher Murtaugh is a "great lawyer and a gentleman; a pleasure to work opposite," say sources. His practice encompasses real estate financing, investment and disposal of commercial properties.

Mark Henning has a broad real estate practice covering all areas of complex transactions. Sources praise him for his "knowledge, accessibility, professionalism and his ability to get the work done on time."  

Tax - Illinois

THE FIRM Winston & Strawn has a broad practice with a particular focus on tax concerns in project finance. The team also undertakes regulatory and compliance work at a federal and state level, for which it wins praise from clients. Recent work has seen it act for Motorola on the company's $1.2 billion sale of its global wireless phone systems to Nokia Siemens. The group was also lead counsel for Thrifty Oil in recent large-scale tax litigation. The team's client portfolio also includes Wealth and Tax Advisory Services, Olympus Partners and Baird Capital. 

Sources say: "Very knowledgeable and easy to work with."

KEY INDIVIDUALS The "really creative" James Lynch handles corporate tax matters and counts Yum! Brands among his key clients. He co-heads the tax department with Louis Weber. Weber focuses on tax matters pertaining to corporate and private equity transactions. Sources say: "He is very bright – he sees the whole picture and looks for a solution with you."

Advertising - Nationwide

THE FIRM This team combines expertise in advertising litigation and transactional matters, and is widely recognized for its work on IP disputes and false advertising claims under the Lanham Act. The team is currently defending the Corn Refiners Association against a high-profile false advertising claim involving high-fructose corn syrup. 

Sources say: "They are smart, practical, fearsome competitors, while respectful of clients."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Head of department Brian Heidelberger draws widespread praise from market sources for his deep knowledge of the advertising sector. He has advised the Chicago Sun Times, American Honda and Guggenheim Partners on various promotions, marketing issues and social media campaigns. Sources say: "He always keeps ahead of the trends."

Antitrust - Nationwide

THE FIRM This team has grown greatly in size of late following the arrival of a large group of antitrust lawyers from Dewey & LeBoeuf, including heavyweight litigators such as Jeffrey Kessler. Its antitrust capabilities are largely on the litigation side, and it features a solid criminal cartel practice. It recently represented Uralkali in the potash civil antitrust litigation, as well as acting for Panasonic on a number of litigation matters.

Sources say: "Excellent in all respects – we have been very pleased with the talent we've been exposed to."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Four partners run the practice group at Winston & Strawn. They are Paul Griffin in San Francisco, Jeffrey Kessler in New York, Mark McCareins in Chicago and Robert Ruyak in Washington, DC.

Bankruptcy/Restructuring - Nationwide

THE FIRM Winston & Strawn has far-reaching national restructuring and insolvency expertise, with the practice boasting strong presence in California, Illinois and New York. The group offers wide-ranging bankruptcy expertise, and is highly commended for its work representing creditors, lenders and investors. 

Sources say: "The combined team was incredible." "Sophisticated and talented."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Eric Sagerman is chair of Winston & Strawn's restructuring and insolvency practice and is managing partner of the firm's Los Angeles office. 

Energy & Natural Resources - Nationwide

THE FIRM Winston & Strawn is a longstanding and highly respected name in the nuclear power arena. The firm also boasts a strong electric power practice undertaking the gamut of regulatory issues and litigation concerns. The group is particularly well versed in acting on behalf of clients requiring representation in California state administrative agencies, and recently helped California Cogeneration Council reach a settlement with the State of California on the development of a combined heat and power project. On the nuclear side, the team has been actively engaged in helping various clients such as Unistar Nuclear Energy and DTE Energy make license applications to the NRC for the development and use of new nuclear power plants, as well as handling renewal applications on existing plants.

Sources say: "They have several outstanding people."

KEY INDIVIDUALS The "very effective" Raymond Wuslich is experienced in handling federal regulatory concerns, and is currently acting for Terra-Gen Power in FERC proceedings relating to a transmission matter. 

The "very talented" and "outstanding nuclear lawyer" David Repka is highlighted in particular for his excellent licensing work. He recently acted for Entergy in respect of alleged NRC breaches.

Tyson Smith has been heavily involved in helping clients with licensing matters relating to both new and existing plants, and recently acted on behalf of PG&E Co on a license renewal matter.

Financial Services Regulation - Nationwide

THE FIRM This firm represents both domestic and foreign financial institutions and provides advice on a broad range of transactional and regulatory matters. The financial services team has been involved in providing industry association the Financial Services Roundtable with advice and guidance on the impact of the Dodd-Frank Act and its implementation. Other notable clients include Bank of Hawaii and Continental Investors.

Sources say: "The firm has knowledge across the breadth of the financial services world. I can go to them with any question and get a prompt, well-informed answer and judgment."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Julius Loeser is described by sources as a "great financial institution attorney" who is "skilled and responsive." He provides bank regulatory advice on matters such as Dodd-Frank implementation to a range of financial organizations.

Christine Edwards heads the firm's financial services regulation department. She advises financial institutions and boards of directors in the banking and securities sectors on regulatory compliance and corporate governance matters.

International Arbitration - Nationwide

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Products Liability - Nationwide

THE FIRM This practice is sought after for its excellent track record defending leading pharmaceutical, tobacco and automotive companies. The team acts as lead counsel for Philip Morris in the NPM adjustment arbitration, which concerns a reduction in annual payments owed by tobacco companies to 46 states for the recovery of tobacco-related healthcare costs. On the pharmaceutical and medical devices side, the team acts for Abbott Laboratories on a class action alleging illegal marketing of enteral feeding products.

Sources say: "They're very responsive. They research everything thoroughly and exercise judgment well so that they know what to hold back on and when to move forward."

KEY INDIVIDUALS "First-rate" Dan Webb is a "very talented trial lawyer with decades of experience and a tremendous amount of energy." He is highly renowned for handling difficult, complex cases, and also offers extensive experience in handling commercial and white-collar criminal cases.

Department head Thomas Frederick is highly recommended for his product liability practice, and has particular expertise in tobacco litigation. He takes the lead in the NPM adjustment arbitration for Philip Morris.

Projects - Nationwide

THE FIRM This firm moves up the rankings this year, backed by strong support from clients and peers alike. The alternative energy and renewables team represents both lenders and sponsors with ease in connection with biomass, hydroelectric, wind, geothermal and solar projects. The group has recently conducted a large amount of work on behalf of Santander, helping with its efforts to make investments in various renewables projects in the USA. Other notable clients of the firm include enXco, Solar Reserve and Atlantic Wind Connection.

Sources say: “We relish the opportunity to work with them - they are extremely knowledgeable and very easy to work with."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Clients marvel that the "excellent" Jerry Bloom is "very respectful of the process and knowledgeable on the issues we are faced with." He has recently acted for Soitec Solar in connection with a wide range of transactional matters.

Sports Law - Nationwide

THE FIRM Winston & Strawn has shot to prominence on the sports front following the mass arrival of Dewey & LeBoeuf's sports practice in May 2012. Led by Jeffrey Kessler, the Winston group is present in most labor disputes for players' associations, and has recently represented the NFLPA and NBPA in various disputes, such as the NFL 'Bountygate' litigation and an arbitration concerning NBA players.

Commercial Awareness "They are very experienced in our business, which is so important, not wasting time on theories that don't really work. There's lots of people practicing this type of law, so specific knowledge and history of dealing with us previously on similar matters is invaluable."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Jeffrey Kessler is "a star," according to sources, who highlight his creativity as a litigator. He is arguably the country's leading lawyer representing player unions in sports labor disputes, most recently acting for the NFLPA on the bounty scandal and for the NBPA in arbitration against the NBA.

David Feher is praised by sources for his "exemplary" work and "very detail-oriented" approach. He practices across sports law, including representing clients in sponsorship matters and individual athletes' disputes.

Transportation - Nationwide

THE FIRM Winston & Strawn enters the rankings this year after receiving strong feedback for its admiralty and maritime practice. Highlights include representing Maher Terminals in federal courts and before the Federal Maritime Commission in alleged breaches of the Shipping Act of 1984. An impressive client list also includes Liberty Maritime Commission and ConocoPhillips.

Sources say: "The firm is consistent, effective and aware of the market situation."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Constantine Papavizas heads the maritime and admiralty practice.

Transportation - Nationwide

THE FIRM This firm's maritime and admiralty group is widely respected for its regulatory compliance work regarding the shipping industry. It had a lead role in advising Liberty Maritime Corporation on reauthorization of the Maritime Security Program. Key clients of the practice also include Maher Terminals and BP.

Sources say: "They are consistent, effective, aware of the market situation, problem solvers, and experts in their field."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Charlie Papavizas chairs the maritime and admiralty practice at the firm. Sources describe him as a "very good and solid lawyer" with notable talents across contentious and administrative work for domestic and foreign entities. He had a lead role on the Maritime Security Program work for Liberty Maritime Corporation.

Larry Kiern acted for Maher Terminals on a number of federal court disputes under the Shipping Act of 1984. Sources describe him as a "very bright" and "very active" presence in maritime matters.

Allen Black is acclaimed for his "solid, broad base of knowledge," with sources noting that "his quality is first class and extremely helpful in our daily operational challenges." He led for Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Company on an appeal concerning the partial sinking of a dredge vessel.

Bryant Gardner is a younger partner with "a bright future" in the industry, according to market observers. He also acted on the Maher Terminals matter.

Antitrust - New York

THE FIRM The Winston & Strawn antitrust group received a substantial boost with the addition of ten partners from Dewey & LeBoeuf . The team has particular strength in cartel defense matters and sports-related antitrust. Members of the practice group have recently represented such clients as Uralkali in litigation concerning potash price fixing.

KEY INDIVIDUALS "Terrific trial lawyer" Jeffrey Kessler is an antitrust lawyer with a focus on the sports industry. Sources report that "his mind works at breakneck speed, comprehending and breaking down issues in a way few can." He acted for the NBA Players Association in the antitrust issues arising from the NBA lockout.

Paul Victor is well regarded for his cartel defense practice, with a particular emphasis on the representation of Japanese clients. Lately he has acted for NTN Corporation in defense of a putative class action alleging rigging of bids for industrial bearings.

Intellectual Property - New York

THE FIRM Winston & Strawn's New York IP practice enters this year's rankings on the strength of its impressive trial capabilities, particularly with regards to patent litigation. Complex, cutting-edge hi-tech and Hatch-Waxman cases are key strengths for the team. Clients include AOL, Yahoo! and Voxx International.

Sources say: "They spent a good deal of time getting to understand our product, and their willingness to put in that effort was key to the successful outcome."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Michael Elkin manages the New York office, and is a well-respected patent litigator with a nationally acclaimed practice representing digital media and entertainment companies in high-profile, business-critical cases.

Litigation - New York

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Banking & Finance - North Carolina

THE FIRM This international firm retains a strong corporate lending team in its Charlotte office. The group offers significant expertise in syndicated credit facilities and represents a range of well-known financial institutions and corporates. The team is also known for assisting regional clients on middle-market asset-based and leveraged cash flow lending. Bank of America and Wells Fargo are among the firm's clients.

KEY INDIVIDUALS Molly McGill has extensive experience in handling secured lending transactions, including complex deals for financial clients on a national scale. In recent work she represented Bank of America Business Credit in a $200 million syndicated asset-based secured credit facility.

Intellectual Property - Texas

THE FIRM The IP team at this firm's Houston office is noted for its formidable patent litigation offering, which has been impressively bolstered by a targeted expansion in recent years. It handles almost all areas of technology and IP rights, and has enjoyed successes in cases relating to consumer products, computing, oil and gas technologies and pharmaceuticals. 

Sources say: "A very effective group."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Clients from household-name blue-chips "can't say enough good things" about John Keville, who is widely acknowledged as a "top-notch attorney" in patent litigation.  

Floyd Nation is praised by clients and lawyers alike for his knowledge and judgment. He is an accomplished patent litigator and trial lawyer, specializing mainly in cases concerning chemistry, biotechnology, business methods and electronics. 

Sources describe Steve Cagle as an "excellent lawyer," adding that working with him is "always a positive experience." He engages in patent litigation and also advises on patent prosecution and noncompete agreements.