Winston & Strawn LLP is pleased to announce the addition of ten partners to the firm’s Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation (EBEC) Practice. Seven of the partners will be based in Winston’s Chicago office and three will be based in Winston’s Washington, D.C. office. The group joins from McDermott Will & Emery and brings significant capabilities in the areas of qualified and non-qualified retirement plans, health and welfare benefit plans, executive compensation, employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs), and international benefits to Winston’s EBEC Practice.
“This group complements and strengthens our already strong EBEC Practice,” said Tom Fitzgerald, Winston’s chairman. “We are excited to welcome and integrate this prestigious group of practitioners to the firm, which underscores our commitment to strategic growth in key practice areas and markets.”
“With the addition of this top-ranked EBEC team, we will now be able to offer our corporate clients a broader and more complete human resources service offering,” said Scott Landau, chair of the firm’s EBEC Practice. “This group has extensive industry experience in sectors such as financial services, health care, entertainment, retail, food and beverage, manufacturing, education, travel, technology, and engineering.”
The group includes a number of partners who will join Winston with significant leadership experience:
•Nancy Gerrie served both as the co-chair of the Qualified Plans Affinity Group, and as the office managing partner of the Chicago office for many years at her prior firm. Nancy will serve as the co-chair of Winston’s EBEC Practice with Scott Landau.
•Amy Gordon and Susan Nash chaired their prior firm’s Health and Welfare Affinity Group.
•Joseph Adams co-chaired his prior firm’s Executive Compensation Affinity Group.
•Bill Merten served as his prior firm’s chair of the ESOP team, and will assume the same role at Winston.
•David Rogers served as a member of his prior firm’s executive and management committees, and as the head of its Employee Benefits, Compensation, Labor & Employment Practice Group.
•Susan Peters Schaefer chaired the ERISA Fiduciary and Investments Affinity Group for several years at her prior firm.
The addition of Bill Merten, Susan Peters Schaefer, and other members of their team will position Winston as a top player in the ESOP area, while Amy Gordon, Susan Nash, and Joanna Kerpen bring particularly deep experience with healthcare reform initiatives, the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Erin Kartheiser, who returns to Winston after previously spending 14 years at the firm, focuses on retirement and health and welfare plans, and has extensive experience in pension plan de-risking. Joe Adams, Brian Benko, Nancy Gerrie, David Rogers, and Erin Kartheiser bring a broad range of experience in retirement and executive compensation plans, governance, and fiduciary compliance under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).
Many members of the group are highly ranked in Chambers, Best Lawyers, and other ranking organizations, while Joseph Adams, Amy Gordon, and David Rogers are Fellows of the prestigious American College of Employee Benefits Counsel.
The addition of this high-profile lateral group, including six female partners, is in line with Winston’s increased focus on talent development and diversity. The firm has made a significant investment through industry-leading initiatives focused on the hiring, advancement, retention, and promotion of female attorneys. These efforts have been recognized with the Chambers USA 2017 Women in Law Awards for “Outstanding Firm in Advancing Gender Diversity and Inclusion” and the Diversity & Flexibility Alliance’s 2017 Flex Impact Award.
Winston has grown strategically in key markets through the acquisition of sizeable high-profile lateral groups. Most recently, the firm opened a Dallas office with 26 partners from nine different firms. Other group acquisitions have included a prominent team of capital markets partners in New York in 2016, 21 partners from Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP in 2015, 22 litigation partners from now defunct Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP in 2012, and intellectual property and commercial litigators in Houston from now defunct Howrey LLP in 2011.