In recognition of Wilkinson Stekloff’s work on some of the most consequential products liability trials across the country, the National Law Journal selected the firm among its finalists for the 2023 Legal Awards Litigation Department of the Year: Products Liability. In addition, Founding Partner Brian Stekloff was named a finalist in the Winning Litigators category for the second year in a row, and Counsel Anastasia Pastan was named a Rising Star. The National Law Journal’s Legal Awards is a prestigious annual series that highlights the top litigation and appellate work of law firms and attorneys from the previous year.
Wilkinson Stekloff is the leading trial litigation boutique in the country, demonstrating a depth of talent and dexterity of skill unmatched by firms of any size. Since the firm’s 2016 founding, it has served as lead trial counsel in seven major bellwether products liability trials and continues to lead teams that deliver significant victories in challenging and high-stakes cases across the country. In the first half of 2023, the firm achieved extraordinary results in some of the most complex cases for major clients including Altria, Microsoft, and Monsanto.
Brian’s second consecutive selection as a Winning Litigator finalist followed a year in which he served as lead trial counsel for a major chemical manufacturer in the Aqueous Film-Forming Foams (AFFF) Products Liability Litigation in the District of South Carolina. The multi-district litigation, involving alleged PFAS groundwater contamination from the use of AFFF, is considered the most significant PFAS litigation in the country. Brian also served as co-lead trial counsel defending Altria Group, Inc. and certain of its subsidiaries in the first government entity bellwether trial, brought by the San Francisco Unified School District, in multi-district litigation arising out of Altria’s minority investment in JUUL Labs, Inc. Following his delivery of the first-ever jury verdict for Monsanto in the Roundup mass tort litigation in 2021, Brian continues to serve as national trial counsel for Monsanto in litigation arising out of claims that its popular herbicide causes Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma, including leading overall trial strategy in state courts across the country and serving as lead counsel in multidistrict litigation in the Northern District of California. Brian and his team have argued all dispositive motions in the MDL since being retained and developed the strategy for the next seven “waves” of litigation, which involves the workup of hundreds of cases. Fortune 500 companies turn to Brian time and again to handle their most consequential bet-the-company matters because he secures game-changing results.
Recognized as one of the Washington, DC, region’s most promising lawyers age 40 and under, Anastasia represents clients in a variety of areas including antitrust, products liability, environmental, and contract matters, and has experience across the spectrum of trial strategy and preparation. Recently, Anastasia managed the trial team that defeated the FTC’s efforts to enjoin Microsoft’s $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard, a result that cleared the path in the U.S. for the closing of the second-largest merger in American history, and the largest ever involving a technology company. She was also a member of the trial team that won a complete defense verdict on behalf of Bayer in the third state-court bellwether trial involving the blood thinner Xarelto. Anastasia maintains an active pro bono practice, representing clients in a variety of trial and post-conviction matters, including criminal and class action matters, and serves as the firm’s representative for the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD) Fellows Program.
Read the complete list of the National Law Journal Legal Awards 2023 honorees here. The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony in Washington, DC, on October 26.