Wilkinson Stekloff Partners Named to Benchmark Litigation 40 & Under List

Wilkinson Stekloff Partners Kieran Gostin, Rakesh Kilaru, and Moira Penza were named to the 2022 Benchmark Litigation 40 & Under List, the guide to the nation’s most notable up-and-coming litigation attorneys. This is the second consecutive year that all three partners have been recognized by Benchmark, with Kieran making a third appearance and Rakesh securing a spot each year since 2018.

Kieran has made his career representing the government and private clients in high-profile matters. Recently, he has represented clients in several major class actions, including obtaining a complete defense verdict in a rare trial of a major consumer class action. Over the past five years, he has also gone to trial in five product-liability trials, securing defense judgments in each case. 

Rakesh specializes in delivering favorable results to clients at every stage of litigation, tackling everything from arguing dispositive motions to crossing expert witnesses at trial to arguing precedent-setting appeals. He has helped deliver high-profile trial victories for Bayer and the NCAA, obtained major summary judgment victories for Bayer and Georgia-Pacific, secured full dismissal of a groundbreaking enforcement action by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau before any discovery was taken, and successfully defended a sitting federal judge in mandamus proceedings in the D.C. Circuit.

Moira is first and foremost a trial lawyer with a record of success leading and winning high-stakes civil and criminal cases. She recently served as trial counsel for Altria Group, Inc. in an administrative proceeding before the FTC related to its minority investment in JUUL, during which she led the preparation and examination of Altria’s science witnesses. Moira is also representing Altria in consumer protection, personal injury, and private antitrust suits arising out of the same investment. Previously, Moira served as co-lead trial counsel for defendants Warner Chilcott and Watson (then-owned by Allergan) in an $8 billon federal antitrust class action arising out of allegations of anticompetitive conduct related to an oral contraceptive, which settled days before Moira was set to deliver defendants’ opening statement for less than 5% of the claimed damages.