Wilkinson Stekloff 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 35-lawyer firm has tried over 20 cases to verdict, winning the vast majority. Through 2021, that intensity continued, with a series of significant victories in challenging and high-stakes cases across the country.
What makes Wilkinson Stekloff unique?
The firm’s business model and mission set Beth Wilkinson, Brian Stekloff, and their team apart from other trial practice groups. The firm’s innovative business model, offering fixed-fee arrangements for all cases, gives clients certainty around their budgets even in the most contentious trials. And 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 the 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. And this mission sets Wilkinson Stekloff apart from all trial practice groups. At Wilkinson Stekloff, 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 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 their toughest cases.
Despite the impact of the pandemic, which shuttered courthouses across the country, Wilkinson Stekloff continued to provide excellent outcomes for its clients. Most recently, the firm achieved headline-making results in two high-stakes matters, securing a complete dismissal of FTC antitrust allegations on behalf of Altria Group and earning the first-ever jury verdict win for Monsanto in litigation over whether the herbicide Roundup causes Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma.
In addition to serving as lead trial counsel in the administrative proceeding before the FTC, Wilkinson Stekloff also represents Altria 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. The firm is counsel for the NCAA in a putative antitrust class action lawsuit brought by current and former student-athletes challenging rules that prohibit or limit student-athletes from receiving compensation for the commercial use of their name, image, and likeness (NIL) under the Sherman Act. Wilkinson Stekloff represents the NFL in a putative class action lawsuit challenging the NFL’s multibillion-dollar exclusive distributorship arrangement with DIRECTV for Sunday Ticket. Wilkinson Stekloff also oversees trial strategy for Medtronic in cases related to its hernia mesh product, and has secured multiple pre-trial victories in these cases.
As a trial boutique, the firm prides itself 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 the firm’s pro bono litigation practice is unmatched, covering appeals, class actions, and strategic counseling. Wilkinson Stekloff has handled more than 80 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. In just the last year, the firm’s pro bono teams secured three major immigration victories, as well as a win on appeal in a complex and contentious divorce and custody case involving domestic violence.
Achieving this many successes with a firm of just under 35 attorneys has led to multiple accolades for Wilkinson Stekloff and its attorneys, including being shortlisted as a 2022 Outstanding Firm for Pro Bono by Chambers and recognized as a 2021 Top Boutique, Top 20 Trial Firm, and Tier 1 Commercial firm by Benchmark Litigation.
The firm’s deep bench of go-to litigators includes Beth Wilkinson, chosen for Benchmark Litigation’s elite group of the 10 leading women litigators who stand out from its iconic Top 250 Women in Litigation List, as well as the Top 100 Trial Lawyers; Brian Stekloff, ranked by Chambers as a nationally prominent products liability trial lawyer and named a 2022 Litigation Star by Benchmark Litigation; James Rosenthal, noted as a “Winning Litigator” by the National Law Journal; Kosta Stojilkovic and Rakesh Kilaru designated as 2022 Benchmark Litigation Future Stars; and Kieran Gostin and Moira Penza named to Benchmark Litigation’s 2022 40 & Under List.
Clients, colleagues, and competitors acknowledge that, lawyer for lawyer and matter for matter, Wilkinson Stekloff is a litigation juggernaut poised to continue its success for years to come.
Williams & Connolly is widely recognized as one of the nation’s premier litigation firms. Our lawyers routinely handle significant and complex civil, criminal, and administrative cases across the United States and around the globe. The firm maintains a strong tradition of hiring the best and the brightest and training and promoting its lawyers from within, producing closely knit and collaborative teams dedicated to achieving successful outcomes for our clients.
The firm was founded in 1967 by legendary trial lawyer Edward Bennett Williams. In the tradition of our founder, we share a passionate and principled dedication to excellence and success in all that we do. Over the last five decades, many of the world’s most prominent organizations and individuals have trusted us with their most important and complex litigation, investigation, and arbitration matters.
The firm’s clients include major global companies from virtually every sector, including Pfizer, Disney, Samsung, Intel, Bank of America, Google, The Carlyle Group, Medtronic, AstraZeneca, Genentech, Eli Lilly, 21st Century Fox, and HSBC. In addition, our lawyers have represented numerous law and accounting firms in professional liability and other matters, one reason why the Washington Post has recognized Williams & Connolly as the firm that other professional firms “turn to when they’re in trouble.”
The firm’s robust intellectual property practice successfully represents clients in patent litigation matters worth billions of dollars. In the healthcare and consumer industries, Williams & Connolly serves as national coordinating, trial, and/or resolution counsel for major pharmaceutical, medical device, pharmacy, technology, and consumer products companies in mass torts, multi-district litigation, and class actions. Our lawyers litigate cross-border commercial and other disputes in wide-ranging international litigation and arbitrations. We have handled many of the most complex corporate, financial, and securities disputes stemming from the global financial crisis. We represent companies and individuals in government investigations and prosecutions of all types, including allegations of fraud, corruption, and FCPA violations. Our lawyers also regularly appear before the Supreme Court and state and federal courts of appeals.
Known for our ability to take cases to trial, and the deep bench of lawyers at the firm who have tried civil and criminal matters in courts across the country and internationally, Williams & Connolly is described by Chambers USA as “offering unmatched strength in depth and top-level trial capabilities,” and “[a] class act: a delight to litigate with, and fearsome to litigate against.” In addition, Washingtonian magazine has highlighted the firm’s “uncompromising emphasis on victory.”
Our distinctive approach to litigation has earned the firm top marks from leading publications and ranking services, such as Chambers, Legal 500, The National LawJournal, The American Lawyer, and Benchmark Litigation, both for overall litigation prowess as well as for many practice- or industry-specific types of litigation. We hire the top graduates from the best law schools and provide a collaborative training ground for young litigators, providing clients with the highest-quality representation at every level of seniority and with a cohesive team always working to advance their interests. Vault has ranked Williams & Connolly as one of the top law firms for selectivity, partner-associate relations, career outlook, satisfaction, quality of work, and business outlook.Williams & Connolly maintains a nearly one-to-one partner-to-associate ratio, ensuring that matters are leanly staffed and that our associates gain significant hands-on experience. Our approach to hiring and advancement from within fosters a unique culture that focuses on teamwork, preparation, and tenacity designed to deliver results.
Kirkland & Ellis LLP is a global law firm with more than 3,000 attorneys representing clients in private equity, M&A and other complex corporate transactions, litigation and dispute resolution/arbitration, restructuring, and intellectual property matters. The Firm has 18 offices around the world: Austin, Bay Area, Beijing, Boston, Brussels, Chicago, Dallas, Hong Kong, Houston, London, Los Angeles, Munich, New York, Paris, Salt Lake City, Shanghai and Washington, D.C.
Litigation: Kirkland & Ellis is renowned for its experience in complex litigation and arbitration. The Firm believes that the best litigation results occur when the lawyers are fully prepared to try the case through verdict. Because of Kirkland’s trial-ready philosophy and training, the Firm is able to offer clients a deep bench of lawyers who have been taking cases to verdict since the early stages of their careers. Whether in the courtroom, at the bargaining table or helping clients avoid risks without litigation, Kirkland has a long and proven track record of generating successful results for clients in their most high-stakes cases matters.
The Litigation Practice Group comprises approximately 600 attorneys throughout the firm’s worldwide offices. Kirkland represents clients in trial and appellate courts at the federal and state level, before administrative tribunals, and in arbitrations and other dispute resolution proceedings. The Firm also represents clients in connection with proceedings involving government agencies, such as the Securities and Exchange Commission, US Attorneys General Offices, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, the New York Stock Exchange, the US Department of Justice, the Federal Trade Commission, the US Patent and Trademark Office, the US Department of Labor and the Internal Revenue Service.
Kirkland litigators have successfully litigated cases in virtually every substantive area and business segment including accountant liability, antitrust and competition, appellate, class action, mass tort and toxic tort, insurance, data privacy, labor and employment, breach of contract and securities litigation.
Kirkland has been recognized by clients and the media for its achievements in litigation:
For the 11th time, Kirkland was selected as one of the “Fearsome Foursome” in BTI Consulting’s 2022 Litigation Outlook report.
In 2021, Kirkland ranked #1 in The Lawyer’s “Global Litigation Top 50,” the fourth consecutive year the Firm earned that distinction.
Kirkland was awarded “Illinois Firm of the Year” at the 2021 Benchmark Litigation US Awards, the eighth straight year the Firm has earned that distinction.
Law360 named Kirkland among the 2021 “Practice Groups of the Year” for Appellate.
Kirkland was named “Law Firm of the Year” for Commercial Litigation by U.S. News and World Report and Best Lawyers in their 2022 “Best Law Firms” rankings.
National Law Journal named Kirkland as a “2020 General Litigation Department of the Year” in Washington, D.C.
Intellectual Property Litigation: Kirkland & Ellis’ Intellectual Property Practice Group is one of the oldest such practices in a full-service firm in the country, having been an integral part of Kirkland since 1925. Kirkland has approximately 200 intellectual property lawyers who are experienced in a variety of technical disciplines and registered to practice before the US Patent and Trademark Office. More than 70 percent of the lawyers are engineers and scientists trained with degrees and professional backgrounds in technical areas.
Kirkland has one of the most respected intellectual property litigation practices in the country, with particular experience in large-scale patent, copyright, trademark, trade secret misappropriation and advertising matters. The work of the group frequently extends to antitrust, securities/compliance, products liability and appellate matters.
Kirkland’s experience in venues where IP cases are most often litigated is extensive. The Firm tries cases before juries, judges and arbitrators in venues across the country including state courts, district courts, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, the International Trade Commission and the Patent Trial and Appeal Board. Kirkland has one of the most active trial practices in the country. Our success rate at trial is among the best, with only a few of losses over the last 10 years despite handling some of the most challenging litigation cases in history.
The Intellectual Property Practice Group has been recognized by numerous publications for its achievements:
In Managing Intellectual Property’s 2021 IP Stars, Kirkland was named as a leading firm for Copyright, ITC, Life Sciences, Patent Contentious and Trademark Contentious.
Kirkland was named to World Trademark Review magazine’s 2022 WTR 1000 list of the world’s top trademark law firms and was recognized as a Tier 1 firm for enforcement and litigation nationally and in New York.
In 2021, Intellectual Asset Management (IAM) magazine recognized Kirkland in Tier 1 for Litigation: United States - National in its IAM Patent 1000 guide. The firm was also Tier 1 for Litigation in Illinois, New York and Washington, D.C.
The New York Law Journal named Kirkland as its 2021 “Intellectual Property Litigation Department of the Year.”
Law360 named Kirkland among the 2020 “Practice Groups of the Year” for Intellectual Property.
Managing Intellectual Property named Kirkland “U.S. National Patent Contentious Firm of the Year” and “U.S. Northeast – Trademark Contentious Firm of the Year” at its 2021 Americas Awards.
Please visit our website at www.kirkland.com for additional information about Kirkland and office contact information.
Who We Are: Founded in October 2018, Reichman Jorgensen Lehman & Feldberg LLP (RJLF) boldly entered the market as a trial boutique with a national reach and an ambition to create a new standard for litigation firms. Focusing on high-stakes commercial litigation, intellectual property, and white collar disputes, with offices in Silicon Valley, New York, Washington, D.C., and Atlanta, the majority women-owned trial firm made national headlines for breaking away from many law firm traditions, including eschewing the billable hour in favor of arrangements that align client interests and reward efficiency. RJLF also eliminated two other standard law firm features – the partnership track and lockstep compensation – in favor of systems that encourage attorneys to advance as quickly as their skills allow. The firm is committed to attracting and retaining the most elite talent in the legal industry and pays above market.
In another departure from industry norms, RJLF is truly diverse. More than half of the firm’s lawyers are women, 2/3 of the firm’s partners are women, and 30% of the firm’s lawyers are ethnically diverse. Law360’s 2022 Glass Ceiling Report: Women in Law features RJLF among the top three law firm “Ceiling Smashers” for having the highest representation of women equity partners for a U.S. firm of its size. RJLF also ranked among the top most gender diverse U.S. firms of its size, according to percentage of female attorneys. RJLF was named a “Top Trial Boutique” and awarded “Silicon Valley Firm of the Year” for three consecutive years by Benchmark Litigation and recognized as an “Elite Boutique” by The National Law Journal.
Elite Talent Wins Cases: RJLF’s break from industry traditions obviously resonated with the market, as the firm’s size quickly expanded with marquee talent from several esteemed “Big Law” firms such as Finnegan Henderson; Hughes, Hubbard & Reed; Allen & Overy; Morgan, Lewis, & Bockius; and White & Case, among many others. Our attorneys are from the most prestigious clerkships, including the Supreme Court, the D.C. Circuit, the Federal Circuit, the 2nd, 6th, 7th, and 11th Circuits, and District Courts around the country, as well as prestigious law schools such as Harvard, Stanford, Yale, Columbia, Berkeley, NYU, and others. The firm’s lawyers have undergraduate and advanced technical degrees in diverse fields including electrical engineering, physics, computer science, computer networks, biotechnology, and zoology. RJLF’s lawyers have also been recognized as among the most accomplished trial lawyers by The American College of Trial Lawyers, Chambers USA, The Legal 500, The National Law Journal, Managing IP, and IAM Patent 1000: The World’s Leading Patent Practitioners, among many others.
Recent Achievements: Punching well above its weight, RJLF often goes toe-to-toe with some of the largest law firms in the world, including Skadden Arps, Morrison & Foerster, Gibson Dunn, and Baker Hostetler, among others. The firm proved its trial prowess when it served as lead counsel for Densify in a high-profile patent dispute against global tech giant VMware. After a nine-day trial, jurors awarded Densify $236 million in damages finding that VMware willfully infringed two Densify virtualization technology patents. Courtland Reichman, RJLF’s Managing Partner, was recognized as the AmLaw “Litigator of the Week” and Benchmark Litigation’s three-time winner of “Silicon Valley Lawyer of the Year” following his success as lead counsel for Densify at trial. The firm’s verdict on behalf of Densify was recognized in The National Law Journal’s 2021 “Verdicts Hall of Fame” (7th largest verdict in past five years).
In March 2022, the firm also secured a $15 million patent infringement verdict on behalf of Droplets, Inc. against tech giant Yahoo, following a three-week jury trial in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. After 10 years of hard-fought litigation, the jury needed only seven hours of deliberation to award Droplets $15 million in damages. Droplets’ engineers changed the way websites worked during the Internet revolution, creating foundational technology that made websites interactive.
Pro Bono: RJLF is deeply committed to public interest litigation. We understand that our privilege of being trial lawyers naturally involves representing those in need, whether it’s high-profile impact litigation or a person who will be evicted from an apartment. We also collaborate and work side-by-side with our clients to develop targeted pro bono and community service programs. Our pro bono activities include handling cases involving civil rights, immigration, prison abuse, indigent defense, homelessness, and veterans’ issues, among others.