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Winston & Strawn LLP

At a Glance

Uppers

“Quality of work and my colleagues.”

“Opportunity and flexibility.”

Downers

“The hours and unpredictability.”

“Staffing system is new and could use work.”

About Winston & Strawn LLP

From its 19th-century Chicago roots, Winston & Strawn has grown to a global law firm of nearly 1,000 attorneys across the United States, South America, Europe, and Asia. Winston is particularly known for its work in middle-market private equity, IP, labor and employment, renewable energy, sports law, and white collar.

Diversifying with the Times

The firm that became Winston & Strawn opened its doors in the Windy City in 1853 under the leadership of Harvard grad Frederick Hampden Winston, who played a vital role in Chicago’s emergence as a powerful business and financial center. Winston left the practice in the hands of his son Frederick Seymour Winston in 1885 to become the American Minister to Persia under Grover Cleveland. Silas Strawn joined the firm in 1892 and practiced there for the next 53 years, including 40 as managing partner.

The late 20th century saw the firm grow its ranks from double to triple digits. In recent years, the firm has continued its growth by forming YuandaWinston, a strategic alliance with China law firm Yuanda, and through strategic lateral hires, including a group of litigators from Scheper Kim & Harris LLP in Los Angeles. Additionally, in May 2022, the firm opened a Miami office with six partners from South Miami firms.

Cornerstone Practices and Clients

Winston practices across a range of sectors, including financial services, technology/media/telecom, health and life sciences, energy, and consumer products. Winston’s robust client roster includes Abbott Labs, Cisco, VMware, Motorola, TreeHouse Foods, and several top private equity firms.

Winston has long been identified with several prominent corporate brands, and the firm represents a range of Fortune 100 companies in diverse transactions and litigation. Its work for Panasonic includes numerous antitrust cartel investigations and litigations around the world, including the defeat of a major price-fixing consumer class action. JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, Discover, Wells Fargo, and other big financial institutions regularly tap Winston to handle a host of matters ranging from large corporate financings to litigation and class actions to investigations and regulatory matters. 

NFL Players Association go-to litigator Jeffrey Kessler has earned notoriety for the firm (and ire from the NFL) for his representation of players such as Tom Brady, Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson, and Ezekiel Elliott in high-profile arbitration hearings. Kessler is also well-known for his representation of the U.S. Women’s National Team in its successful fight for equal pay against the U.S. Soccer Federation and his stunning win—at trial and on appeal—for a group of college athletes in their historic fight against the NCAA’s limitations on colleges and universities providing education-related benefits beyond tuition.

Prioritizing People

Winston isn’t focused only on bringing in all-star attorneys; it is also committed to bringing in top talent to promote professional development and wellness. The firm has a Director of Coaching and Well-Being who helps attorneys reach their highest level of performance through career and wellness coaching, a Director of Professional Development, and two career development advisors—one each for litigation and transactional associates—to help junior associates develop into well-rounded attorneys, and a Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer to move forward the firm’s DEI goals. Additionally, the firm offers multiple outlets for attorneys to develop professionally and personally, including Winston University training programs; the Winston for Good Corporate Social Responsibility program; Diversity & Inclusion affinity groups for parents as well as Black, Latinx, Asian, LGBTQ, and women attorneys; and Winston Wellness initiatives focused on attorney and staff mental health.

News & Awards

NOTABLE CASES
  • As lead trial counsel, Winston & Strawn achieved a stunning, unanimous jury trial verdict for Versata Software, including $100 million in damages, on trade secret, breach of contract, and patent claims against Ford, and an Am Law “Litigator of the Week” Runner-Up nod.
  • Winston & Strawn won a complete acquittal for Matthew Grimes, who’d been indicted alongside his boss—Colony Capital Founder Thomas Barrack—and charged with conspiracy and being an unregistered agent of a foreign government (the UAE) under the Foreign Agent Registration Act, winning (with co-counsel) a “Litigator of the Week” honor from Am Law.
  • Winston & Strawn represented Skillz Inc., a leading mobile games platform, in its business combination with Flying Eagle Acquisition Corp. (NYSE: FEAC), a publicly traded special purpose acquisition company (SPAC). The transaction implies an equity valuation for Skillz of $3.5 billion, or 6.3x projected 2022 revenue. 
  • Winston & Strawn represented Enel Américas S.A., a New York Stock Exchange-listed company and one of the largest companies in Chile, in the largest all-cash capital increase in Chilean history. The deal value was $3 billion.
AWARDS & ACCOLADES
  • Best Place to Work for LGBTQ Equality, 2009-2022—Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Corporate Equality Index
  • Mansfield Rule Certified Plus, 2018-2022—Diversity Lab
  • Top 50 Law Firm for Women, 2022-2023—Seramount 
  • Top 20 Trial Law Firm, 2019-2023—Benchmark Litigation U.S.
  • Seventeen Partners Named Leading Dealmakers in America, 2022—Lawdragon
Winston & Strawn LLP

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

Firm Stats

Firm Chairman: Thomas P. Fitzgerald
Hiring Committee Chair: William O’Neil
Total No. Attorneys (2023):
750 - 1K
No. of Partners Named 2023:
19
Billable-Hour Requirement:
2,000

Base Salary

1st year: $215,000
2nd year: $225,000
3rd year: $250,000
4th year: $295,000
5th year: $345,000
6th year: $370,000
7th year: $400,000
8th year: $415,000
9th year: $415,000
Summer Associate: $4,134/week

Employment Contact

Victor Barnett
Director of Attorney Recruiting & Development
(212) 294-6754
vbarnett@winston.com

No. of U.S. Offices: 10

No. of International Offices: 6

Major Office Locations

Charlotte, NC
Chicago, IL
Dallas, TX
Houston, TX
Los Angeles, CA
Miami, FL
New York, NY
San Francisco, CA
Silicon Valley, CA
Washington, DC |
Brussels
Hong Kong
London
Paris
São Paulo
Shanghai

Major Departments

Antitrust/Competition
Appellate & Critical Motions
Capital Markets
Complex Commercial Litigation
Employee Benefits (ERISA) & Executive Compensation
Energy & Infrastructure
Environmental
Finance
Funds
Intellectual Property & Patent Litigation
Labor & Employment
M&A
Privacy & Data Security
Private Equity
Product Liability & Mass Torts
Real Estate
Restructuring & Insolvency
Sports Law
Tax
White Collar, Regulatory Defense & Investigations
*See firm website for complete list of practice areas and industries.