Wilkinson Stekloff Announces Three Promotions

WASHINGTON — Wilkinson Stekloff today announced three promotions. Kieran Gostin and Ralia Polechronis were elected to the partnership, and Andrew Croner was promoted to counsel. The promotions took effect on June 1.

“Kieran, Ralia, and Andrew have each in their own ways played an integral role in many of the firm’s successes, from inside the courtroom to mentoring fellow colleagues,” said founding partner Alex Walsh. “We are truly fortunate to have them in the Wilkinson Stekloff family. Their well-deserved promotions are a testament to their value to the firm.”

An experienced defense attorney, Kieran has represented government and corporate clients in products liability, antitrust, data breach, copyright, national security, First Amendment, Privacy Act, Administrative Procedure Act, and other complex civil litigation matters. Kieran recently helped lead a trial team that won a decisive victory for Bayer in a $600 million certified consumer class action lawsuit (Farar et al. v. Bayer) brought on behalf of One A Day consumers in California, Florida, and New York. Kieran was also responsible for managing the Farar case in the year before trial, during which he developed and executed a strategy that cut Plaintiffs’ potential damages from over $4 billion.

Kieran was recently recognized by Law360 as a Rising Star for his work in products liability, in part based on victories in three important cases challenging the safety of Xarelto, a blood thinner. Before joining Wilkinson Stekloff, Kieran was a trial attorney in the Federal Programs Branch of the U.S. Department of Justice, where he defended the legality of federal statutes and executive agency action in federal courts across the country. Kieran clerked for Judge Thomas L. Ambro on the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and for Judge Shira A. Scheindlin on the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.

Ralia’s practice focuses primarily on complex civil matters with experience in all phases of litigation in state and federal court and in arbitration. She has defended clients in multi-district litigation, class actions, and breach of contract and fraud cases, and she has also conducted internal investigations.  Most recently, Ralia led summary judgment briefing challenging RICO claims in City of New York et al. v. FedEx Ground Package System Inc. and helped lead the team preparing for trial in advance of settlement. 

Before joining the firm, Ralia was the Executive Director and General Counsel of the nonprofit Partnership for Educational Justice (PEJ), where she led the organization’s national impact litigation strategy. Prior to her work at PEJ, Ralia practiced at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP for nearly eight years, during which she represented a wide range of clients while also maintaining a robust pro bono practice in education matters and women’s reproductive rights.  Ralia clerked for Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye on the New York State Court of Appeals.

Andrew has significant experience in products liability, mass tort, securities, and other complex civil and corporate litigation matters. While at Wilkinson Stekloff, Andrew helped to secure an outright victory for the NFL in a putative class action challenging the League’s multi-billion-dollar distributorship arrangement with DIRECTV for the Sunday Ticket package (In Re: National Football League’s Sunday Ticket Antitrust Litigation). Andrew was also a senior member of the team that defended Pfizer in two multi-plaintiff Missouri state court lawsuits alleging the company’s popular cholesterol medication, Lipitor, caused plaintiffs to develop Type 2 diabetes (Jackson et al. v. Pfizer, Inc.; Lovett et al. v. Pfizer, Inc.). Before joining the firm, Andrew practiced as an associate in the Washington, D.C. office of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP and the Baltimore office of Goodell, DeVries, Leech & Dann LLP.