Sidley adds 42 new partners in bumper round that leans towards litigators

Chicago firm’s litigation group sees 11 lawyers made up in round that is significantly larger than last year’s
One South Dearborn building in Chicago is shown here on May 29, 2016. This 40-story skyscraper is LEED Silver Certified by the US Green Building Council.

Sidley Austin's Chicago headquarters at One South Dearborn Susan Montgomery; Shutterstock

Top 10 US firm Sidley Austin has promoted 42 lawyers to partner in its latest global round, 11 of whom are in its litigation group, more than any other practice. 

The overall size of this year’s cohort also represents a marked increase on last December when the firm promoted 28 to partner, 12 of whom – or 43% ­– were women. That proportion has dropped slightly for the latest cohort which includes 17 women, representing 40% of the total.

As with the past few years, the US dominated the round, with 34 of Sidley’s new partners based there. The firm also promoted two apiece to partner in Hong Kong and Singapore, while London was the only one of its four European offices to be included in this round, seeing a quartet of lawyers made up.

Washington DC saw the most promotions of any office, with nine, including litigation trio Shawn Higgins, Julia Mirabella and Benjamin Mundel and regulatory and enforcement duo J. Simone Jones and Christopher Mills.

Sidley’s Chicago headquarters has seven new partners, two of whom ­– Karim Basaria and Christopher Lee – have been made up in the litigation practice. New York likewise saw seven promoted, including litigation quartet Francesca Brody, Simon Navarro, Charlotte Newell and Alan Rothman.

Century City, meanwhile, has four new partners and Boston, Dallas and San Francisco each have two. Houston welcomed a single new partner – Atman Shukla, who was made up in the energy and infrastructure practice.

In Singapore, litigator Shu Min Ho was made up alongside transactions specialist Alexius Chong, who has become a partner in the firm’s capital markets practice.

Hong Kong, meanwhile, saw Claudia Yu made up in Sidley’s China corporate and finance group and David Kalani Lee, who has worked on a variety of complex crossborder M&A transactions in China, Japan and the US, was promoted in the investment funds group.

The firm’s four new partners in London have diverse practices, with Gordon Davidson making partner in the restructuring practice, William Gwyn in global finance, Peter McCorkell in labour, employment and immigration and James Phythian-Adams in insurance.

The rest of the promotions were a mixed bag in terms of practice area, with the firm’s litigation group seeing one more lawyer – Doreen Rachal – make partner in Boston for the total of 11. The firm’s M&A and private equity group gained the second most new partners, with seven, followed by global finance with four. Regulatory and enforcement and investment funds welcomed three apiece, while real estate, energy and infrastructure, IP litigation, restructuring and healthcare and FDA each had two. Practice areas to gain a single partner were China corporate and finance, labour, employment and immigration, insurance and capital markets.

“This class of partners and counsel embody our talent, teamwork, results ethos,” said Mike Schmidtberger, chair of Sidley’s executive committee. “They are world-class lawyers from offices across the globe devoted to their clients and their colleagues. We are proud to have them join the partnership in the New Year.”

Sidley elected litigation and disputes partner Yvette Ostolaza as the next chair of its management committee earlier this year, making her the first woman to lead the firm and the first Latina lawyer to be appointed to lead a top ten US law firm.

The firm also replenished its London private equity bench in August with the hire of a trio of partners from US rival Vinson & Elkins, having lost six partners in London and Germany to Goodwin Procter over the previous 14 months.

Last month, it unvweiled an associate leadership and executive development programme that aims to provide Sidley associates with a path to new career milestones, including promotions with new enhanced titles like managing associate or senior managing associate. 

A full list of the promotions is a follows:


Elizabeth Marino: regulatory and enforcement

Doreen Rachal: litigation,

Century City

Mark Castiglia: M&A and private equity

Gabrielle Cuskelly: real estate

Keith Hayden Del Prete: real estate

Emily Zipperstein: M&A and private equity


Kelechi Adibe: global finance

Karim Basaria: litigation

Christopher Lee: litigation

Joseph Michaels: M&A and private equity

Joseph Schwartz: investment funds

David Solow: global finance

Matthew Stoker: M&A and private equity


Karen Goldstein: global finance

Lauren Grau: M&A and private equity

Hong Kong

David Kalani Lee: investment funds

Claudia Yu: China corporate and finance


Atman Shukla: energy and infrastructure,


Gordon Davidson: restructuring

William Gwyn: global finance

Peter McCorkell: labour, employment and immigration

James Phythian-Adams: insurance,

New York

Azad Assadipour: investment funds

Francesca Brody: litigation

William Curtin: restructuring

Simon Navarro: litigation

Charlotte Newell: litigation,

Alan Rothman: litigation

Jessica Wood: M&A and private equity

San Francisco

Rachelle Soderstrom: M&A and private equity

Sue Wang: IP litigation


Alexius Chong: capital markets

Shu Min Ho: litigation

Washington DC

Elizabeth Hardcastle: healthcare and FDA

Shawn Higgins: litigation

Christopher Hutchison: energy and infrastructure

J. Simone Jones: regulatory and enforcement

Lauren Cranford Katzeff: IP litigation

Christopher Mills: regulatory and enforcement

Julia Mirabella: litigation

Benjamin Mundel: litigation

Jon Zucker: healthcare and FDA

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