Winston names new leadership for litigation and transactions

Co-chairs to take up roles alongside incoming chair Steve D’Amore and other new leaders in June

(l-r): Linda Coberly, Tom Melsheimer, Timothy Kincaid and Brad Vaiana Images courtesy of Winston & Strawn

Top 50 US firm Winston & Strawn has named new leadership for its litigation and transactions practices to serve alongside incoming chair Steve D’Amore.  

Chicago-based Linda Coberly and Tom Melsheimer, who works out of Dallas, will serve as co-chairs of the litigation department, while Timothy Kincaid and Brad Vaiana, who are based in Chicago and New York respectively, will co-chair the transactions department.

The quartet will take up their roles in June when Steve D’Amore takes over leadership of the 900-lawyer firm as chair.  

News of their appointments follows the firm naming four partners to new senior leadership roles last November to support D’Amore across client relations and business development, technology and innovation, international expansion and talent acquisition.  

Winston & Strawn said the new practice heads would work closely with D’Amore and his leadership team to implement the firm’s strategic growth in each department.

“These four partners have demonstrated a longstanding dedication to superior client service and have well-earned reputations of excellence in their respective areas of practice,” said Winston chairman Tom Fitzgerald and D’Amore in a joint statement. “Their leadership will serve the firm well, and we look forward to working with them in implementing various goals in our strategic plan as we continue to expand our litigation and transactions services to clients globally.”

Coberly is a noted appellate lawyer and has led the firm’s appellate and critical motions practice for almost 20 years. She has argued nearly 70 appeals, including in the US Supreme Court, and was formerly managing partner of the firm’s Chicago office.  

Meantime Melsheimer has been a managing partner of Winston’s Dallas office since it opened in 2017. A respected trial lawyer, on the civil side he has tried to verdict cases involving patent infringement, insider trading, antitrust and fraud, while on the criminal side his experience includes cases involving bank fraud, health care fraud and public corruption.  

In the coming months the duo will work alongside outgoing litigation chairs D’Amore and George Lombardi, who have co-led the department for almost 10 years.  

Under their tenure, they created a stand-alone product liability and mass torts practice group and added contentious regulatory practices including international trade, government contracts, healthcare, environmental and tax controversy.

They also implemented a centralised staffing system to support junior associate engagement and launched the Winston Institute of Trial Advocacy (WITA), to ensure the succession of its trial bona fides.

Meantime, Kincaid and Vaiana will work with outgoing transactions department chair Eva Davis. Davis has led the 500-strong department for the last two years and was named managing partner for external affairs as part of the quartet of new leadership appointments last November.  

Kincaid has been a partner at Winston for the past 10 years and is co-chair of the firm’s partner compensation committee. His practice focuses on mid-market M&A and private equity deals for clients including Chicago investment firm Vistria Group and Court Square Capital.  

Vaiana joined Winston 14 years ago from Nixon Peabody and has co-chaired the private equity group since 2015. He counsels clients in leveraged buyouts, take-private transactions, growth equity investments and distressed and special situations, among other matters.  

D’Amore will succeed veteran chairman Fitzgerald, who will step down in June after almost two decades at Winston’s helm.  

Fitzgerald took over as Winston’s managing partner in 2006, becoming chair in 2017 after the firm reorganised its leadership structure.  

During his tenure the firm has doubled its revenue to more than $1bn and grown its global office network to 15, including in Miami, where it opened last year.  

In 2022 the firm, which alongside its litigation clout is noted by legal directory Chambers and Partners for its growing strength in private equity, reached revenue of $1.15bn against profits per equity partner of $3.1m. 

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