Wilkinson Stekloff Celebrates 2022 Achievements

The past twelve months have cemented Wilkinson Stekloff’s position as the leading trial boutique in the country. On the heels of two high-profile trial wins and other significant victories in 2021, 2022 saw the firm take on a litigation docket unlike any other, including representing:

  • Microsoft in the FTC’s challenge to its proposed $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard;
  • Altria in a range of high-profile cases related to its $12.8 billion purchase of a minority interest in JUUL Labs;
  • Bayer in national products liability litigation concerning Roundup and PCBs;
  • 3M in national products liability litigation about PFAS groundwater levels;
  • The NFL in a putative antitrust class action about Sunday Ticket;
  • Cargill in nationwide litigation about procurement and pricing in the beef industry;
  • The NCAA in ongoing antitrust challenges to student-athlete compensation rules; 
  • Glenmark Pharmaceuticals USA in a white-collar criminal defense; and
  • Plaid in a federal trademark case implicating many popular fintech apps.

In each of these and other “bet-the-company” cases, clients turn to Wilkinson Stekloff for leadership, strategic guidance, and execution, from the boardroom to the courtroom. The firm’s ongoing matters also include high-stakes disputes and governmental investigations that have not become public or advanced to litigation.

To meet these challenges, the 35-lawyer team led by Beth Wilkinson and Brian Stekloff has remained committed to exclusively recruiting top-tier talent and growing its bench of trial lawyers capable of handling any case for clients. This past year, the firm welcomed two new partners — Keri Arnold and Grace Hill — recently mentioned in Bloomberg Law as two of ten high-profile “gets” by boutique firms in 2022. 

With over 20 years’ experience defending companies in product liability, environmental, and complex commercial litigation, Keri joined the Wilkinson Stekloff team from a large global firm in October 2022. She has tried over a dozen cases to verdict, served as first-chair trial counsel in seven jury trials, and has supervised the management and discovery of mass actions pending in state and federal courts across the country. Working on behalf of major pharmaceutical, tobacco, and energy companies, Keri has handled bellwether cases, class action suits, and high-stakes personal injury and wrongful death matters, many of which have involved complex medical and scientific evidence. 

Grace joined the firm in April 2022 after most recently serving as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia (EDVA) in the Financial Crimes and Public Corruption Unit. During her time with EDVA, she tried six complex criminal cases to a jury and argued a Fourth Circuit appeal. 

The Wilkinson Stekloff team is also committed to serving the community and building on the more than 80 pro bono matters it has handled since 2016. 2022 proved no different, with the firm taking on a variety of pro bono matters, including helping to secure a win blocking the Arizona “Fetal Personhood” Law. 

The firm’s team — led by Ralia Polechronis and together with the Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR), ACLU, and ACLU of Arizona — filed an emergency motion on behalf of the Arizona Medical Association, the Arizona National Council of Jewish Women, Arizona NOW, and two abortion providers. In response, a federal district court granted a preliminary injunction preventing the 2021 law from being used to prohibit abortion care in Arizona. 

In addition to its work in the courtroom, Wilkinson Stekloff remains dedicated to improving access to legal services. Partner Rakesh Kilaru was recently named to the Board of Directors of the Second Look Project, an organization dedicated to fighting mass incarceration through IRAA sentence reductions; associate Julian Jiggetts serves on the Junior Board of the DC Volunteer Lawyers Project, a non-profit organization that provides direct legal and advocacy assistance to domestic violence victims, at-risk children, and other vulnerable individuals. 

The many contributions and achievements of the Wilkinson Stekloff team in 2022 have led to prestigious recognitions and accolades, including:

Wilkinson Stekloff’s current trial docket for 2023 includes:

  • Frank v. Monsanto, where the firm’s team, led by Cali Cope-Kasten, will take on the first hybrid trial involving claims that exposure to PCBs and Roundup-branded products, both manufactured by Monsanto, caused the plaintiff’s Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma.
  • City of Stuart, FL v. 3M Co., et al., the first bellwether trial in multi-district litigation involving alleged PFAS groundwater contamination from the use of aqueous film forming foam. Brian Stekloff and Beth Wilkinson lead the team representing 3M and directing overall trial strategy in both the MDL and various state courts.
  • In re JUUL Labs, Inc., in the Northern District of California. The firm is trial counsel for Altria in the first bellwether trial, brought by the San Francisco United School District. 
  • In the Matter of Microsoft Corp. and Activision Blizzard Inc., in which the Federal Trade Commission is seeking to block Microsoft’s $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard. Beth Wilkinson, Kieran Gostin, and Rakesh Kilaru lead the team representing Microsoft.