Managing Partner: James Rosenthal
Number of partners: 9 Number of lawyers: 40
Languages: English, Spanish
In just over five years, Wilkinson Stekloff has established itself as the leading trial litigation boutique in the country. The firm has tried seventeen cases to verdict, winning the vast majority of them. In a three-month span in 2019, WS tried three high-stakes, high-pressure trials in different subject areas, in which different partners served as lead trial counsel and eight partners in total had stand-up roles. This year, we are serving as lead counsel in a variety of high-profile antitrust and class action matters. This broad-ranging array of big-ticket representations would be extraordinary for WS’s Big Law competitors. But it is even more impressive for a 35-lawyer boutique.
Our innovative business model allows us to serve our clients efficiently while maintaining our commitment to developing the next generation of trial lawyers. Our clients have included heavy-hitters in a wide range of industries, including Allergan, Altria Group Inc., Bayer, Facebook, FedEx, Georgia Pacific, Glenmark, Medtronic, Monsanto, the NCAA, the NFL, Pfizer, and Philip Morris USA––all of which have come to rely on Wilkinson Stekloff as a go-to trial firm that can handle some of their toughest matters.
Our work during the last year shows the breadth and depth of our litigation practice. Among many other matters, we represent Altria in an administrative proceeding before the FTC set to begin trial in June, in three separate consolidated private antitrust cases pending in the Northern District of California, and in an MDL involving RICO and state-law claims in the same court. We are counsel for the NCAA in a major antitrust appeal pending at the U.S. Supreme Court and in a new set of putative class action cases pending in district court involving the hotly debated issue of student-athlete names, images, and likenesses. We are the NFL’s lead lawyers in a broad-ranging antitrust challenge to its television broadcast agreements. And, showing that we can handle any type of litigation, anywhere, we successfully represented Judge Emmet Sullivan in mandamus proceedings in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit arising out of his handling of the high-profile criminal case involving former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn.
We know that cases are won by tight-knit teams of smart, innovative, and highly skilled litigators committed to delivering excellent results for their clients. So we have recruited the nation’s best and brightest young lawyers. Our attorneys come from the country’s premier large firms, DOJ, the White House, and federal clerkships, including several former Supreme Court clerks. Our workforce reflects our ongoing commitment to diversity; Chambers has recognized Wilkinson Stekloff as a 2020 and 2021 “Outstanding Firm for Furthering Diversity and Inclusion.” We view it as critical not just to hire diverse attorneys, but to give them meaningful trial experience and client exposure. As just one example, the vast majority of the firm’s associates have already worked on at least one trial.
In addition to bet-the-company cases, Wilkinson Stekloff has handled almost 50 pro bono matters since its founding in 2016, with over 90% of the firm’s attorneys devoting significant time to those matters and the firm’s brightest young talent winning trials in leadership roles. As a trial boutique, we pride ourselves on providing pro bono representation to clients facing trials, which can be particularly confusing or intimidating to individuals unfamiliar with the legal system. But the range of our pro bono litigation practice is unmatched, covering appeals, class actions, and strategic counseling. In just the last year, our associates won precedent-setting appeals, obtained early release from prison for multiple individuals incarcerated as juveniles, and secured a landmark class action settlement that will provide life-saving hepatitis C drugs to people incarcerated in the Missouri Department of Corrections. Recognizing these efforts, Chambers & Partners recently gave us their “Highly Commended Pro Bono Program” award, recognizing us as having one of the two best pro bono programs out of all law firms nationwide.
Clients welcome the certainty provided by Wilkinson Stekloff’s fixed fees, the quality of work ensured by the firm’s commitment to right-sized teams, and the exposure to a broad array of attorneys ready to do whatever it takes to achieve positive results. And the firm has continued to receive accolades for its successes in delivering results to its clients while deepening its diverse bench of go-to litigators. Chambers recently named Beth Wilkinson a national Star Trial Lawyer and Brian Stekloff an “up and coming” products liability litigator. The National Law Journal named the firm as one of its Products Liability Groups of the Year, and recognized James Rosenthal as a “Winning Litigator” and Kieran Gostin as a “Rising Star.” And Law360 selected us as one of its Sports and Betting Practice Groups of the Year, out of all firms nationwide, and named Moira Penza a “Rising Star” for trials.
We are also appreciative of our continued recognition by Benchmark Litigation, which twice named Wilkinson Stekloff “Boutique Firm of the Year,” calling the firm a “litigator’s dream shop,” and has provided numerous individual recognitions for our attorneys, including “Trial Lawyer of the Year” (for Beth Wilkinson), “Litigation Star” (for Brian Stekloff), “Future Stars” (for Rakesh Kilaru and Kosta Stojilkovic), Top 250 Women in Litigation (for Beth Wilkinson) and the “40 & Under Hot List” (for Kieran Gostin, Rakesh Kilaru, and Kosta Stojilkovic).
These accomplishments show that, lawyer for lawyer and matter for matter, Wilkinson Stekloff is a litigation juggernaut that is running in stride.