14 Dec 2021

Winston & Strawn builds Chicago litigation offering with McDermott partner duo

Co-chair of McDermott’s class action practice moves over along with product liability specialist

Chris Murphy and Terrence Dee Images courtesy of Winston & Strawn

Top 50 US firm Winston & Strawn has added two litigation partners focused on class actions, antitrust and other complex litigation in its home city of Chicago from local rival McDermott Will & Emery.

Christopher Murphy was co-chair of McDermott’s class action practice group before leaving the firm, which he joined more than 30 years ago, and has represented clients including Apple, Bayer and Blue Cross Blue Shield.

He regularly represents clients before the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation and commented that consumer class actions “continue to rise in volume, profile and jurisdictional complexity, demanding proven experience and capacity of the highest calibre from trusted legal partners”.

He added that he was “thrilled to be joining Winston & Strawn at such a critical juncture.”

Terrence Dee, meanwhile, joined McDermott in 2015 after more than 20 years as a partner at Kirkland & Ellis. His practice focuses on product liability and product-related class actions and mass torts cases and he also offers pre-marketing advice to clients developing products in the health, medical device and pharma industries to manage potential risk areas.

Dee commented that “challenges related to product liability, particularly in the health care sector, are expected to be more aggressive and complex as courts continue to return to normal schedules post-pandemic. I look forward to meeting these challenges as part of the Winston litigation team.”

Chicago office managing partner Cardelle Spangler said the firm anticipates uptick in complex commercial litigation, class actions and antitrust in the new year and would look to “leverage” the pair’s skills to serve evolving client need.

“The impact of class actions and related litigation reaches far beyond the courtroom,” said Tom Fitzgerald, chairman of Winston & Strawn, adding that Murphy and Dee “bring complementary skills in resolving highly complex matters on behalf of our clients.”

The hires follow Winston’s 21-strong promotions round last week that saw it add eight litigators to the partnership, including Jeffrey Huelskamp in Chicago.

The firm also boosted its environmental litigation offering earlier this year with the addition of former senior justice department official Jonathan Brightbill in Washington DC.

Back in Chicago, Silicon Valley firm Cooley added a trio of litigation partners from Kirkland & Ellis, Mayer Brown and the Department of Justice to its office there in July, which it opened in May with the hire of nine partners including five from Winston & Strawn.

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