Winston & Strawn targets Bay Area expansion with hire of two class action partners from Squire Patton Boggs

Troy Yoshino and Eric Knapp bring blue-chip representation experience across healthcare, automotive, insurance and financial services

Eric Knapp (l) and Troy Yoshino Images courtesy of Winston & Strawn

Top 50 US law firm Winston & Strawn has hired a pair of class action litigators in San Francisco from Squire Patton Boggs as it continues to target growth in California. 

Troy Yoshino and Eric Knapp have moved over to the Chicago-based firm after six years at Squire, which they joined from Californian law firm Carroll Burdick & McDonough when it was absorbed by Squire in 2016.

In an interview with Bloomberg Law today (1 February), Winston chairman Tom Fitzgerald identified growth in Northern California as a priority for the firm, which significantly boosted its Los Angeles presence when it acaquired litigation boutique Scheper Kim & Harris in February 2021.

San Francisco office managing partner Joan Fife said: “Troy and Eric are outstanding class action litigation attorneys who bring blue-chip representation experience at the intersection of health care, automotive, insurance, and financial services. Their addition underscores Winston’s continued growth in the Bay Area and expands our leadership in class action defense and complex litigation matters.”

Yoshino defends class actions including cases involving consumer claims, employment, privacy, financial services, insurance and toxic tort. He has a successful record of coordinating class actions and defending clients facing litigation in multiple jurisdictions around the world and is also an experienced appellate lawyer, having handled appeals before the Supreme Court of the United States as well as federal circuits and various state appellate courts.

Meantime Knapp defends companies in state and federal court against major class actions involving claims such as consumer protection law violations, product defects, toxic torts, unfair business practices and violation of wage and hour law. His clients include some of the world’s largest corporations in industries such as automotive, insurance, chemicals and food and beverage. 

“Winston & Strawn has a well-earned reputation in complex class action matters, including toxic torts and product liability,” said Yoshino. “As multidistrict and class action cases continue to evolve and become increasingly complex, I’m excited to join my new colleagues along with Troy to help navigate critical issues in the Bay Area and beyond.” 

Following the duo’s arrival Winston will have 31 lawyers in San Francisco, including 14 partners. Most of the office’s lawyers are members of the litigation team, including Fife, who leads the labour and employment group in San Francisco and represents employers in class action litigation. 

Another is Sandra Edwards, who chairs the firm’s product liability and mass torts practice and recently helped secure a unanimous jury verdict on behalf of longtime client Monsanto in a Roundup product liability jury trial defending against allegations that the herbicide causes non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. 

The hire of Yoshino and Knapp follows Winston adding six partners including commercial litigation duo David Coulson and Gustavo Membiela to open an office in Miami last year, with the new recruits joining from firms including Greenberg Traurig, Jones Day and Hogan Lovells.

Also last year the firm bolstered its complex litigation ranks in Chicago with the hire of partner duo Terrence Dee and Christopher Murphy from McDermott Will & Emery, where Murphy had served as co-chair of the class action practice group before leaving. 

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