Washington, D.C. – Wilkinson Stekloff Partner Rakesh Kilaru was named one of Law360’s 2021 Rising Stars–a lawyer under the age of 40 whose legal accomplishments “transcend his age.” Rakesh was selected out of more than 1,400 attorneys across the United States and is one of five recognized for exemplary work in the sports and betting industries. This latest award builds off Wilkinson Stekloff’s recent recognition as one of Law360’s Sports and Betting Groups of the year in 2020.
In an interview with Law360, Kilaru discussed his involvement in every one of the firm’s sports litigation matters so far, representing the NCAA and the NFL. Rakesh noted the importance of focusing at all times on how “to sway the judge or jury,” while also keeping “in the back of your head how that will play on appeal.” Speaking about the skills he tries to bring to his clients, Rakesh added, “I’m fortunate to have had a lot of experience examining a wide range of policy and legal questions, so I like to try and make the process as good as possible to ensure that every possible side of each problem is being examined before I make a decision.’
Law360 also highlighted the “busy year” Rakesh has had, serving as co-lead counsel in two suits raising antitrust claims against the NCAA around its rules regarding student-athletes’ use of their names, images, and likeness, and representing the NFL in antitrust litigation over its distributorship arrangement with DIRECTV for Sunday Ticket, Altria in antitrust litigation over its investment in Juul Labs, Inc., the Habematolel Pomo of Upper Lake in putative class-action litigation regarding its online lending business, and Judge Emmet Sullivan in mandamus proceedings arising out of his handling of Michael Flynn’s criminal case.
“We’ve certainly seen Rakesh’s expertise shine through in the cases that he has led, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to celebrate this honor with a very deserving attorney,” said Founding Partner Beth Wilkinson. “I look forward to his many achievements to come and continued success with our team here at Wilkinson Stekloff.”
Founded in February 2016, Wilkinson Stekloff has grown to nearly 40 lawyers and has quickly established itself as the leading trial boutique firm in the country. The firm has tried over a dozen cases to verdict across the country, winning the vast majority, and has won several other pre-trial victories in bet-the-company cases.