Wilkinson Stekloff

District of Columbia

2001 M Street, NW 10th Floor
Washington, DC 20036
District of Columbia

Telephone:+1 202 847 4000
Fax:+1 202 847 4005

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Wilkinson Stekloff (WS) is the leading trial litigation boutique in the country, demonstrating a depth of talent and skill unmatched by firms of any size. Since its founding in 2016, the 40-lawyer firm has tried over 20 cases to verdict, winning the vast majority. Through 2023, that intensity continued, with a series of significant victories in challenging high-stakes cases across the country including the successful defense of the second-largest merger in American history.

What makes Wilkinson Stekloff unique?

The firm’s innovative business model and mission set Beth Wilkinson, Brian Stekloff, and their team apart from other trial practice groups. By offering fixed-fee arrangements for all cases, WS gives clients certainty around their budgets even in the most contentious trials. Because clients know they will pay the same fee no matter the size of the team, the firm can employ its depth of talent in all key events — depositions, strategy sessions, and court hearings — without affecting clients’ bottom line.

The firm views it as critical not just to hire outstanding attorneys, but to give them meaningful trial experience and client exposure. This is deliberate, as it supports the firm’s overall mission — to develop the next generation of trial lawyers. At WS, the vast majority of associates have worked on at least one trial, and those who have been with the firm for years are veterans of many trials in jurisdictions across the country.

The firm’s clients have included heavy-hitters in a wide range of industries, such as Allergan, Altria, Bayer, Cargill, Facebook, FedEx, Georgia-Pacific, Glenmark, Medtronic, Microsoft, Monsanto, the NCAA, the NFL, Pfizer, Plaid, and Philip Morris— all of which have come to rely on WS as a go-to trial firm that can handle their toughest cases.

WS continues to provide excellent outcomes for its clients. Most recently, the firm achieved headline-making results for Microsoft in the second-largest merger in history and the biggest involving a technology company over its $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard. WS defeated the FTC’s request for a preliminary injunction to stop the transaction after a five-day trial that began less than four weeks after the FTC filed its federal court complaint. WS directed all aspects of litigation strategy from the time the acquisition was announced in January 2022, positioning the case for a federal court victory on an unprecedented timeline. This trial marked the firm’s second major win against an antitrust challenge by the FTC, the first being its win for Altria in a challenge to the company’s $12.8 billion minority investment in JUUL Labs, Inc. WS won in front of the FTC’s Administrative Law Judge, and the FTC subsequently dismissed the case.

The firm also recently helped secure favorable settlements on behalf of its clients in three products liability matters after the start of bellwether or first-of-their-kind trials — one of which was a $235 million global settlement on behalf of Altria in separate litigation pertaining to its minority investment in JUUL that ended more than 6,000 related cases in state and federal courts. 

In addition to serving as lead trial counsel for Microsoft and Altria, WS serves as national trial counsel for Monsanto in federal litigation arising out of claims that its popular herbicide Roundup causes Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma and is lead counsel in the federal MDL in the Northern District of California.   The firm previously won the first-ever jury verdict win for Monsanto in federal court and over the last year began serving as trial counsel in the newest front of litigation against Monsanto over its PCBs and Roundup branded products.

The firm is counsel in other headline-grabbing cases. WS is lead counsel for the NCAA in a putative antitrust class action lawsuit brought by student-athletes challenging rules that prohibit or limit student-athletes from receiving compensation for the commercial use of their name, image, and likeness under the Sherman Act. WS is lead counsel for the NFL, its 32 member teams, and NFL Enterprises in a class action lawsuit challenging the NFL’s multibillion-dollar exclusive distributorship arrangement with DIRECTV for Sunday Ticket. And the firm serves as lead trial counsel for a major chemical manufacturer in the Aqueous Film-Forming Foams Products Liability Litigation in the District of South Carolina involving claims surrounding PFAS, and Medtronic in national products liability litigation concerning its hernia mesh products.

As a trial boutique, the firm prides itself on providing pro bono representation to clients facing trials. The range of the firm’s pro bono practice is unmatched, covering appeals, class actions, and strategic counseling. WS has handled more than 100 pro bono matters since its founding in 2016, with nearly all of the firm’s attorneys devoting significant time to those matters and the firm’s brightest young talent winning trials in leadership roles. This year, the firm’s pro bono teams represented clients in immigration proceedings, post-conviction proceedings, family matters, and secured a win blocking the Arizona “Fetal Personhood” Law.

Achieving this many successes with a firm of just 40 attorneys has led to multiple accolades for WS and its attorneys, including being recognized by Benchmark as a “Top 20 Trial Law Firm,” “Top Boutique,” “Highly Recommended,” and “Tier 1 for General Commercial Litigation” and receiving Benchmark’s 2023 “National Impact Case Award.” The firm has also been recognized by Legal 500 for the last two consecutive years as “Tier 1 in Leading Trial Lawyers” of which the firm is only one of a handful of firms in the U.S. to achieve this high honor.  

WS is also nationally ranked by Chambers in “General Commercial Litigation – The Elite” and “Product Liability & Mass Torts– The Elite” and has been shortlisted as an “Outstanding Firm for Pro Bono.” The firm is newly noted as a “Firm to Watch” in “Antitrust – Civil Litigation/Class Action Defense” and newly ranked in “Toxic Torts,” “Consumer Products Including Tobacco,” and “Sports” by Legal 500.

The firm’s deep bench of go-to litigators includes Beth Wilkinson, named Benchmark “Litigation Star” and chosen for Benchmark’s elite group of the 10 leading women litigators who stand out from its iconic “Top 250 Women in Litigation” and “Top 100 Trial Lawyers” lists, as well as a “Star Individual” in multiple practice areas, including “Trial Lawyers,” by Chambers, Legal 500’s “Hall of Fame,” and American Lawyer’s “Litigator of the Week” for leading Microsoft’s defense of its Activision acquisition; Brian Stekloff, named Benchmark’s 2023 “Trial Lawyer of the Year,” “Top Product Liability Litigator,” and “Litigation Star,” and ranked by Chambers as a nationally prominent products liability trial lawyer; Keri Arnold, Moira Penza, and Cali Arat named Benchmark “Litigation Stars”; Rakesh Kilaru, Kosta Stojilkovic, and Kieran Gostin named Benchmark “Future Stars”; Rakesh Kilaru, Moira Penza, and Cali Arat named to Benchmark’s “40 & Under Hotlist”; and Keri Arnold, Moira Penza, and Cali Arat named to Benchmark’s “Top 250 Women in Litigation.”

Clients, colleagues, and competitors acknowledge that, lawyer for lawyer and matter for matter, WS is a litigation juggernaut poised to continue its success for years to come.

Updated Aug 2023