Wilkinson Stekloff Partners Named to Benchmark Litigation’s 2023 Top 250 Women in Litigation; Beth Wilkinson Recognized Among Top 10

For the third consecutive year, Beth Wilkinson was named to Benchmark Litigation’s prestigious Top 10 Women in Litigation, an elite subset of the Top 250 Women in Litigation that celebrates recipients of the most robust and vocal “best-in-class” nominations throughout Benchmark`s research cycle. In addition, Cali Arat (née Cope-Kasten), Keri Arnold, and Moira Penza were also selected to the Top 250 Women in Litigation Guide, which honors women who have participated in some of the most impactful litigation matters in recent history, and earned the hard-won respect of their peers and clients as top players in their respective fields. Beth has served as lead counsel in over 50 jury trials, including numerous bet-the company, multibillion-dollar cases. She has developed an unrivaled record of victories in federal and state courts throughout the country. Most recently, Beth was lead trial counsel for Microsoft in the FTC’s challenge to Microsoft’s $69 billion acquisition …

Wilkinson Stekloff Partners Named to Benchmark Litigation’s 2023 40 & Under List

Wilkinson Stekloff Partners Cali Arat (née Cope-Kasten), Rakesh Kilaru, and Moira Penza were named to the 2023 Benchmark Litigation 40 & Under List, the guide to the nation’s most notable up-and-coming litigation attorneys. This is Cali’s first appearance on the list and Moira’s third. Rakesh has secured a spot each year since 2018. Since joining the firm at its founding in 2016, Cali has served as a key member of more than half of the firm’s trial teams, including most recently leading the representation of Monsanto in the first hybrid trial involving claims that exposure to PCBs and Roundup-branded products, both manufactured by Monsanto, cause Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma. Cali has helped to develop and execute successful trial strategies for corporate clients across a diverse set of industries, from pharmaceuticals to sports to social media. Her experience includes seven jury trials, three of which were federal multi-district litigation bellwether cases, two of which …

Wilkinson Stekloff Welcomes 2023 Summer Associate Class

Wilkinson Stekloff is pleased to welcome our class of six summer associates for 2023. Connor Haaland, a recent graduate of Harvard Law School and former Editor-In-Chief of the Harvard Journal on Legislation, 2022 Finalist of the Ames Moot Court Competition, and a future Law Clerk at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.  Aliyah Graves-Brown, a Harvard Law School student and student attorney for the Harvard Defenders, Section 2B “Best Appellant Brief” honoree, previous clerk for the Trial Division of the DC Public Defender Service, and a zealous advocate for individuals facing criminal proceedings. Madeline Lear, an Antonin Scalia School of Law student with considerable public sector experience as an aide to Supreme Court Associate Justice Amy Coney Barrett and a civil rights analyst for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  Basundhara Mukherjee, a Harvard Law School student, Research Assistant to Harvard Law School Professor Noah …

Beth Wilkinson Named “Litigator of the Week” for Leading Microsoft’s Defense of Activision Deal

On July 14, the American Lawyer named Beth Wilkinson its “Litigator of the Week,” and described Wilkinson Stekloff as “the legal equivalent of an elite special ops unit,” for leading Microsoft’s successful defense of its $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard. This intensely competitive recognition highlights the entire Wilkinson Stekloff team — including, in addition to Beth, Rakesh Kilaru, Kieran Gostin, Grace Hill, Anastasia Pastan, and Sarah Neuman — for its representation of Microsoft in a five-day evidentiary hearing in late June related to the Federal Trade Commission’s attempt to block Microsoft’s largest-ever acquisition. On July 10, U.S. District Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley of the Northern District of California denied the FTC’s bid for an injunction to block the deal, finding the agency hadn’t proven that Microsoft was likely to pull the game “Call of Duty” from Sony’s PlayStation “or that its ownership of Activision content will substantially lessen competition in the video …

Wilkinson Stekloff Secures Denial of FTC Motion to Block Microsoft-Activision Blizzard Deal

Wilkinson Stekloff, led by Beth Wilkinson and Rakesh Kilaru, secured a groundbreaking victory for Microsoft, winning the second-biggest merger trial in American history.   On June 12, 2023, the FTC filed a federal lawsuit to enjoin Microsoft’s $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard.  Just four weeks later, Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley denied the FTC’s motion for a preliminary injunction, finding that the Federal Trade Commission failed to make its case that the acquisition would substantially lessen competition in the gaming industry.   Wilkinson Stekloff has served as litigation counsel for Microsoft since the day after the acquisition was announced, in January 2022. Over the following 18 months, the WS team led all aspects of litigation strategy, including developing the factual record and handling more than 40 depositions of company witnesses and experts.   Just weeks before the transaction’s outside closing date of July 18, 2023, the FTC filed suit in the Northern District of California to enjoin the …

Ralia Polechronis Named 2023 Notable Woman in Law by Crain’s New York Business

Ralia Polechronis has been named a 2023 Notable Woman in Law by Crain’s New York Business. This annual list recognizes exemplary women in the legal profession for their outstanding professional achievements, pro bono work, and involvement with industry and community organizations. Ralia is a highly skilled litigator representing Fortune 100 and Fortune 500 companies in complex commercial actions including antitrust, products liability, breach of contract, and other matters. Most recently, Ralia represented a chemical manufacturer in a bellwether trial that was recently continued and related to alleged contamination in a public water supply.  In addition, following the Supreme Court of the United States’ decision in Dobbs v. Jackson, Ralia led Wilkinson Stekloff’s team in helping to convince a federal district court judge to grant a preliminary injunction preventing a 2021 law granting “personhood” rights to fetuses, embryos, and fertilized eggs from being used to prohibit abortion care in Arizona. She …

Wilkinson Stekloff Ranked Among 2023 Trial Elite

In recognition of Wilkinson Stekloff’s work on some of the most consequential trials across the antitrust, product liability, and sports landscape, legal industry research outlets Chambers and Partners and The Legal 500 have ranked the firm among the trial elite in their recently released 2023 editions. Chambers has maintained Wilkinson Stekloff’s position as one of the country’s most highly sought litigation boutiques, ranking it for General Commercial Litigation (DC) — The Elite (Band 3) and Product Liability & Mass Torts (USA-Nationwide) – The Elite (Band 4). Chambers also recognized Partners Beth Wilkinson (Star Individual in Trial Lawyers USA-Nationwide, Product Liability & Mass Torts Nationwide, General Commercial, DC, and Sports Law Nationwide, Band 4) and Brian Stekloff (Product Liability & Mass Torts Nationwide, Band 5). Wilkinson Stekloff is also newly noted as a “Firm to Watch” in Antitrust — Civil Litigation/Class Action Defense by The Legal 500, and is newly ranked …

Beth Wilkinson Interviewed by Bloomberg Law’s Vivia Chen

In an interview with Vivia Chen, author of Bloomberg Law’s popular “Unfiltered” column, founding partner Beth Wilkinson shares her “insider view” of the sometimes fraught path of women in Big Law, and discusses what drove her to build a different kind of culture in Wilkinson Stekloff. Beth explains how leaving behind the conventional Big Law structure — and, in particular, the billable-hour model — enabled Wilkinson Stekloff to focus exclusively on high-stakes trials, create a different model of success for top-tier legal talent, and train up the next generation of superstar trial lawyers. Gifted women lawyers in particular, Beth reflects, tend to thrive in a firm culture that gives them the freedom to do their best work alongside meaningful commitments in other aspects of their lives. With the recent return of celebrated litigator Tamarra Matthews Johnson, Keri Arnold’s induction as a Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers, and …

Brian Stekloff Is Benchmark’s Trial Lawyer of the Year

Wilkinson Stekloff Partner Brian Stekloff was named Trial Lawyer of the Year at last night’s 2023 Benchmark Litigation US Awards ceremony in New York City, confirming his standing as one of the country’s most accomplished and in-demand trial lawyers. Benchmark also named Brian as the year’s Top Product Liability Litigator, and gave its National Impact Case Award to the Wilkinson Stekloff trial team, led by Brian, that secured a defense verdict in Clark v. Monsanto. Benchmark Litigation is considered the definitive guide to the world’s leading litigation firms and lawyers. Previously, the organization has honored Brian as a Litigation Star, and named Wilkinson Stekloff a Top 20 Trial Law Firm, Top Boutique, and Highly Recommended Firm, and ranked it as Tier 1 for General Commercial Litigation, in its 2023 Benchmark Litigation Guide.  Brian’s outsize accomplishments are both remarkable and no surprise to the colleagues and clients who are fortunate to …

Tamarra Matthews Johnson Rejoins Wilkinson Stekloff as Partner

Wilkinson Stekloff is pleased to welcome back Tamarra Matthews Johnson as partner following her nearly two years serving as Counselor to United States Attorney General Merrick Garland. A renowned litigator who has served as lead and co-lead trial counsel in dozens of criminal and civil cases, including multiple cases for Bayer Corporation, Tamarra now brings unparalleled Department of Justice experience to her work. “It was an honor and a privilege to serve as Counselor to Attorney General Merrick Garland, and now I am pleased to rejoin the amazing team of attorneys and professionals at Wilkinson Stekloff,” Tamarra said. “I look forward to working with my talented colleagues to offer exceptional service to clients across an array of industries.”  An accomplished first-chair trial lawyer who has succeeded in challenging jurisdictions, Tamarra will resume her litigation and strategic counseling practice at the firm. In her most recent role, Tamarra served as the Attorney …