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Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, LLP

Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, LLP

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Main Office:
1540 Broadway, | New York City | NY | 10036
Phone: 212-858-1000  | Fax: 212-858-1500 

Year of establishment 1868 Number of Partners 268
Number of offices 14 Partner:associate ratio 1.20
Larget office New York City percent women attorneys 24.30
Number of attorneys 663 percent minority attorneys 16.90
Number of associates 329 percent gay attorneys 3.40
Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, LLP


Throughout our long history, we have helped create and guide some of the world's most successful companies, delivering groundbreaking work on their behalf. Pillsbury is inextricably linked to the development of the industrial age and the evolution of today's global digital economy. In the late 1800s, we helped AT&T’s predecessor install the first telephone wires on city streets, the beginning of our long-standing client relationship. We incorporated the predecessor to Chevron in 1900 and, a century later, advised Chevron in its $18.5 billion acquisition of Unocal. We enforced the first patent for an X-ray machine used in the treatment of cancer in 1940, launched the nation's first nuclear energy practice in 1960 and advised on the formation of Intel Corporation in 1968. In 1994, at the dawn of the Internet age, we registered the first trademark for a dotcom. More recently, we facilitated a cutting-edge $1 billion carbon-capture project by a Japanese company in the U.S., and helped protect the rights for a cancer drug worth $1.9 billion in annual sales. We oversaw the sale of the land that will become the new home for the Atlanta Braves, advised Lenovo on its estimated multibillion-dollar deal with network server and storage company EMC, and handled Tesoro’s $2.5 billion acquisition of BP refineries and gas stations. We also led the nuclear energy industry in its epic $50 billion fight over spent nuclear fuel fees and achieved the first major settlement arising from the Deepwater Horizon spill. Pillsbury lawyers have influenced and shaped not only the law, but also the geopolitical landscape, helping to set policy on everything from energy and the environment to telecommunications and securities reform, antitrust and competition laws, international banking regulations, data privacy and cyber-security, healthcare, social media and virtual currencies.

Notable cases

  • Co-authored a key amicus brief on a pro bono basis on behalf of over 60 Asian-American bar associations and community groups in California's historic same-sex marriage case. The California Supreme Court overturned the state's ban on gay marriages saying it was unconstitutional as it deprived gays and lesbians of the same rights as other citizens is unconstitutional. 2012
  • Pillsbury successfully argued in the Al Odah Vs United State case that Guantanamo Bay detainees have rights under the Constitution to challenge their detention in US civil courts. The US Supreme Court granted habeas corpus rights to the Bay detainees. 2008
  • The firm advised WebEx on its IPO in 2000, and in its $3.2 billion acquisition by Cisco Systems.
  • The firm achieved a number of "firsts" in a single $5 billion nuclear deal, when a Texas utility selected one of Pillsbury's long-time clients as its supplier of leading-edge nuclear reactor technology. It was the client's first deal in the U.S., and for the first time a Japanese company got an overseas nuclear contract; for the first time a Japanese-made reactor will be exported overseas. Pillsbury helped this major Japanese company enter the U.S. market, with four offices working on regulatory, public policy, business planning, intellectual property, employment and transactional matters.
  • Pillsbury secured a major win for the University of Kansas and the University of Kansas Center for Research in patent infringement case involving a lucrative brand name drug.
  • Pillsbury has long been a leader in aviation finance, representing airlines and banks that work with them. In fact, 2011 was an outstanding year for Pillsbury as it secured a total of $4 billion of Export Credit Agency (ECA) guaranteed aircraft and engine finances.
  • In a major victory for its client, Pillsbury helped the Archdiocese of San Francisco prevail in a high-profile $22 million tax dispute with the City and County of San Francisco, successfully arguing that internal transfers of property between affiliated corporations are exempt from documentary transfer taxes. The San Francisco Superior Court sided with the Archdiocese in a tentative ruling and rejected the city assessor's claims that the properties had been "sold" in San Francisco.

Awards and recognitions

For the third time, Pillsbury has been voted the "Best Global Export Credit Agency/Development Finance Law Firm" in the 2012 Trade Finance Journal Awards for Excellence. Pillsbury Merits Gold Standard for Women's Leadership
Gold Standard certification from the Women in Law Empowerment Forum (WILEF) 2012
Golden State Institute, a series of cutting edge antitrust and unfair competition seminars. 2011
Best Onshore Law Firm Honored for Service to Hedge Fund Industry--2011
Pillsbury Named a 2011 NAFE and Flex-Time Lawyers Best Law Firm for Women
Recognized with Outstanding Achievement Award for Civil Rights Litigation -- 2011
Named 2010 Best Investor Counsel of the Year in China at the 2010 TopCapital Investment and Investor Awards
International Legal Alliance Names Pillsbury Best Government Affairs Firm--2009
Named "Aviation Firm of the Year" and "Environmental Firm of the Year"--2009
Recognized by Working Mother magazine as one of the 2009 Working Mother & Flex-Time Lawyers Best Law Firms for Women
Best Corporate Counsel of the Year in China according to Top Capital, for the firm's work in the private equity and venture capital sector--2009
International Legal Alliance Names Pillsbury Best Government Affairs Firm--2009
Named "Aviation Firm of the Year" and "Environmental Firm of the Year"--2009
2008 Black Book of Outsourcing's #1 Global Sourcing legal advisor
Winner of a 2008 InnovAction Award from The College of Law Practice Management for its patented business process, ValueChain
As Guantanamo Bay attorneys, lead counsel on Al Odah v. United States, one of the two lead cases arguing for the habeas corpus rights of Guantanamo Bay detainees. On June 12, 2008, the Supreme Court ruled that Guantanamo Bay detainees have rights under the Constitution to challenge their detention in U.S. civilian courts.


Pillsbury is among the top firms in the United States for women and diverse partners. The firm has achieved this ranking because of its par excellent performance. It has a long history of diversity leadership. Pillsbury is one of the first law firms that have a distinction of having women as partners. It is the first Amlaw 100 firm headed by a woman.

Pillsbury's Diversity Committee includes firm leaders recognized in the legal community for their commitment. Members of the firm have led the California Minority Counsel Program, the Asian Pacific Bar of California, the "No Glass Ceiling" task force of the Bar Association of San Francisco, and the Committee on Women and the Law for the New York City Bar Association. Pillsbury is closely associated with organizations in the community, law schools, bar associations and minority organizations to reach shared goals.

The firm combines its diversity initiatives with recruiting efforts. It sponsors and takes part in Anapata, the Bay Area Diversity Career Fair, Lavender Law, the DC Road Show, and several other diversity recruiting events throughout the year.

Summer associate program


Working for the Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, LLP

You find everything at Pillsbury to fulfill your ambitions. You will be in daily contact with the world's greatest legal luminaries. You have an opportunity to handle leading legal issues. The firm's culture helps you make personal growth. It is easy to work hard in the firm's collaborative environs. Whether the firm's teams are formal or ad hoc, they have entrepreneurial instincts and intellectual advantage to help you reach your goal. This dynamics of the firms allows you to get the needed knowledge. Above all it is fertile ground to develop novel ideas that boost clients' business.

Pillsbury gives all the tools you need to thrive. What makes the firm different from other law firms is its appealing chemistry of teamwork, drive and mutual respect.


With 15 offices worldwide, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman is a full-service law firm. It focuses on energy and natural resources, financial services, real esta...

As a partner with Shaw Pittman's communications group, Kathryn Schmeltzer represents a variety of media companies, from television giant Sinclair Broadcast Grou...

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