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Winston & Strawn LLP

About Winston & Strawn LLP

Winston & Strawn LLP is an international law firm with nearly 1,000 attorneys among 15 offices in Beijing, Charlotte, Chicago, Geneva, Hong Kong, Houston, London, Los Angeles, Moscow, New York, Newark, Paris, San Francisco, Shanghai, and Washington, D.C.

Counted amongst the best 50 law firm's of America, the firm serves a variety of clients, amongst them corporate giants, government agencies and others in practically every sector of modern law, ranging from modern law, from business financing, taxation, and antitrust matters to mergers and acquisitions and litigation. It counts amongst its clients such big names as Sears, Allstate, American Airlines, Bell Atlantic, Monsanto, and Abbott Laboratories.

Winston & Strawn has built its reputation on the excellence and eminence of its lawyers, past and present, quite a few of them have attained legendary status in the American legal community. Its history of more than 150 years is a narrative of individuals and events that have helped shape the firm and create the strong foundation on which it continues to build.

The firm sticks to its traditional values of client service, professional development, and community involvement instilled by its leaders of the past, while remaining open to the advances in legal systems in the modern world.

Winston & Strawn opened its doors in 1853 under the leadership of Harvard grad Fredrick Hampden Winston. He was a Harvard Law School graduate. From 1853 to 1861 Winston was a partner of Norman B. Judd, a prominent Republican who nominated Abraham Lincoln to be the party's 1860 presidential candidate. Winston's second partner was Henry W. Blodgett, who left in 1870 to become a federal judge.

In 1865 the firm gained its oldest client, the Union Stock Yard and Transit Company of Chicago and also represented three other railroads, reaping rich rewards serving the booming railroad industry as it consolidated after the Civil War and benefited from improved technology such as steel rails, air brakes, and refrigerated cars.

In 1871 following the devastating Chicago fire that led to considerable re-building which in turn led to increased work for the legal profession, it further consolidated its position as a leading law firm.

In 1878 Frederick Seymour Winston (F.S. Winston), the son of F.H. Winston, joined the law firm. The city of Chicago made F.S. Winston its assistant corporation counsel in 1881, and the following year he successfully represented the city before the U.S. Supreme Court in a case involving river access. It was the first case argued by a firm attorney before the Supreme Court.

The key figure in the firm's history after the turn of the century was Silas Hardy Strawn, who was born in Ottawa, Illinois, in 1866. After graduating from high school, he studied law in an Ottawa office and in 1889 began practicing. In 1891 he joined the Chicago law firm and became a leading citizen of the city. He served as the firm's managing partner for 40 of the 52 years he worked there.

Winston & Strawn had just 122 lawyers in two offices in 1978. By 1987 the firm had more than doubled in size and added new offices. In 1990 Winston & Strawn merged with yet another firm, Bishop, Cook, Purcell & Reynolds, based in Washington, D.C. That merger added over 75 lawyers who specialized in energy, environmental, international trade, legislative, litigation, and municipal solid waste issues.

Like several other major law firms, Winston & Strawn suffered from the economic downturn of the early 1990s. Reportedly the firm laid off 44 lawyers between 1991 and 1994.

Winston & Strawn added two offices in the 1990s. It opened its Geneva, Switzerland office in 1993, a city with few American law offices. Two years later it started its Paris office.

Winston & Strawn in 1998 for the first time employed more than 600 lawyers and 'enjoyed the highest grossing year in our history,' according to the firm's Year in Review 1998. The Chicago mayor proclaimed December 9, 1998 as Winston & Strawn Day.

Additional info
Year of establishment 1853 Number of Partners 426
Number of offices 15 Partner:associate ratio 0.90
Biggest office Chicago Percentage of women attorneys 35.70
Number of attorneys 1000 Percentage of minority attorneys 14.30
Number of associates 484 Percentage of LGBT attorneys 0.90
Notable cases
  • Throughout its history, Winston & Strawn has handled many significant, high-profile matters for its clients, including its organizing the Union Stockyard and Transit Company in 1894; challenging the War Powers Act in 1944 on behalf of department store Montgomery Ward; and representing the Atlanta Bravesbaseball franchise in 1966 litigation involving its relocation from Milwaukee to Atlanta.
  • Some of the more recent significant cases are:
  • Defending General Electric in its much-publicized industrial diamond price-fixing case.
  • Representing Luxottica Group S.p.A. in myriad acquisitions, including its $1.6 billion hostile takeover of U.S. Shoe Corporation, owner of LensCrafters, in 1995 and its recent $2 billion acquisition of Oakley.
  • Assisting Barr Laboratories to invalidate a key patent on Prozac in a case Fortune magazine labelled "the mother of all patent challenges.
  • Achieving a decisive victory for Microsoft Corporation in the remedy phase of its battle against federal and state antitrust claims.
  • Representing the New York Stock Exchange in the Grasso compensation investigation and subsequent litigation.
  • Assisting Lear Corporation in connection with the recent bid for the company by Carl Icahn.
Area of practice

Winston & Strawn LLP practices law in the following areas and works with its clients to provide the best possible legal solutions.

  • Antitrust
  • Competition
  • Corporate & Finance
  • Energy & Environmental
  • Intellectual Property
  • Labor Employment Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation
  • Litigation
  • Tax
  • Automotive
  • Electric Power & Utilities
  • Financial Services & Banking
  • Food
  • Beverage & Agriculture
  • Government Relations
  • Health Care
  • Insurance
  • Maritime & Admiralty
  • Media & Entertainment
  • Oil & Gas
  • Pharmaceuticals & Medical Devices
  • Professional Services
  • Real Estate
  • Retail & Consumer Products
  • Sports
  • Technology & Telecommunications
Awards and recognitions

Winston & Strawn is consistently ranked among the leading law firms in each of its core practice areas. Additionally, its lawyers are consistently recognized as industry leaders and ranked among the best practitioners worldwide.

Other notable recent awards include:

The latest edition of The Best Lawyers in America includes 86 Winston & Strawn attorneys in 43 separate categories. The listing is based on a rigorous national survey involving more than four million detailed evaluations of lawyers by other lawyers.
Winston & Strawn's George Lombardi, based in the firm's Chicago office, was named American Lawyer's "Litigator of the Week".
Winston & Strawn is ranked as having a top practice in 26 categories by Chambers USA 2012.
Winston & Strawn's Julie Bauer, Mike Bess, Dan Pozdol, and Joanna Wade were honored at the 61st Annual Meeting of the 7th Circuit Bar Association & Judicial Conference of the Seventh Circuit in May 2012 for outstanding pro bono work.
Winston & Strawn earned a 100 percent rating in the Human Rights Campaign's (HRC) 2012 Corporate Equality Index survey. This is the fourth consecutive year that the firm has earned top ratings.
The 2012 edition of The Best Lawyers in America includes 76 Winston & Strawn attorneys in 48 separate categories. The listing is based on a rigorous national survey involving more than 3.9 million detailed evaluations of lawyers by other lawyers.


Diversity and inclusiveness are core values at Winston & Strawn. Diversity involves a commitment to understand and value differences. It believes everyone benefits from a culture that recognizes and respects an inclusive workforce.

Winston & Strawn has a firmwide Diversity Committee that monitors the plans on an ongoing basis to regulate activities and enhance the firm's diversity-related efforts.

To encourage diversity within the law school pipeline, each year the firm awards multiple $10,000 scholarships to qualified students. Through this scholarship program, the firm strives to mentor and expand the law school minority population, and also interest candidates in working at Winston & Strawn after graduation.

To support the next generation of lawyers, Winston actively participates in pipeline programs providing internship opportunities to minority high school and college students, and hosting career events for young students. To help retain and mentor attorneys, the firm has developed and supported internal affinity groups for minorities and women, ensured that EEO and non-discrimination policies address gender identity and persons with disabilities, strengthened its formal mentoring program, and enacted a gender-neutral parental leave policy.

Many of the firm's partners and associates also have served in leadership capacities for other organizations, including the Black Women Lawyers Association, the Hispanic Lawyers Scholarship Fund of Illinois, the National Conference of Women's Bar Associations, and the Chicago Bar Association's Alliance for Women.

Summer associate program

Each office of the firm develops its own summer associate program, which varies in terms of activities and hands-on training. Regardless of the office, the associate will have opportunities to learn about a wide range of Winston practice areas and the specialized skills each one demands.

Department Presentations allow summer associates to meet lawyers from specific practice groups who describe what they do in their daily practice. The 'Firm Highlights Lecture Series,' gives an inside look at some of the most publicized, interesting, and complex cases that it has handled in the past year.

It offers a Practical Training component in most offices that provides hands-on experience in drafting a legal research memorandum, negotiating a deal, drafting an IPO document, taking a deposition, and trying a case in a mock trial. Associates will learn from veteran Winston attorneys with years of experience and insight, who can make the law come alive through examples, personal experience, and anecdotes.

Working for the Winston & Strawn LLP

The firm's culture distinguishes it from other large law firms. It's a culture well-known for outstanding client service, superb legal work, ongoing professional development, and generous community involvement. At Winston & Strawn the atmosphere is professional and civic-minded-where a diverse and talented group of people can enjoy the practice of law and work in teams to serve clients.

The firm's standing, reputation, resources and culture attracts and retains some of the best lawyers in the profession.

Work will be in a collegial environment and new comers will be given a lot of responsibility early on, with tremendous visibility. The work is high-profile, intellectually challenging, interesting, and varied.

Working at Winston and Strawn will provide the associate an opportunity to work alongside ambitious, talented colleagues who are often amongst the acknowledged leaders in their field.

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Winston & Strawn LLP LOCATIONS


Winston & Strawn LLP Headquarters

35 W. Wacker Drive
Chicago, IL

312-558-5600 phone
312-558-5700 fax
Chicago Salaries
Illinois Salaries


Winston & Strawn LLP Office

200 Park Avenue
New York City, NY

212-294-6700 phone
212-294-4700 fax


Winston & Strawn LLP Office

1901 L Street NW
Washington, DC

202-282-5000 phone
202-282-5100 fax


Winston & Strawn LLP Office

333 South Grand Avenue ,
38th Floor
Los Angeles, CA

213-615-1700 phone
213-615-1750 fax


Winston & Strawn LLP Office

101 California Street ,
35th Floor
San Francisco, CA

415-591-1000 phone
415-591-1400 fax

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Winston & Strawn LLP


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