Ten Employee Benefits Lawyers Leave McDermott for Winston

By Gayle Cinquegrani, Bloomberg BNA

A group of 10 employee benefits and executive compensation partners left law firm McDermott Will & Emery to join Winston & Strawn.

Seven of Winston’s new partners will be based in Chicago and three in Washington.

The partners joining Winston’s Chicago office are Gerrie, Joseph S. Adams, Amy M. Gordon, Erin Kartheiser, William W. Merten, Susan M. Nash, and Susan Peters Schaefer.

The partners who will join Winston’s Washington office are David E. Rogers, Brian A. Benko, and Joanna C. Kerpen.

Big Law Business previously reported news of the hires, but at that time, only Rogers’ identity was known, with the names of the other nine lawyers unknown. Today, Winston announced the hire of all 10 partners.

Many of the firm’s new members will fill leadership roles with Winston similar to those they filled at McDermott.

Gerrie, who will co-chair Winston’s EBEC practice with Landau, served as the co-chair of McDermott’s qualified plans affinity group and as the office managing partner of its Chicago office for many years. Merten chaired McDermott’s ESOP team and will fill the same role at Winston.

Other new Winston partners also headed affinity groups at McDermott. Gordon and Nash chaired McDermott’s health and welfare affinity group, Adams co-chaired its executive compensation affinity group, and Schaefer chaired its ERISA fiduciary and investments affinity group for several years. Rogers headed McDermott’s employee benefits, compensation, labor, and employment practice group and served on its management and executive committees.

For Kartheiser, the move is a bit of a homecoming. She worked at Winston for 14 years before leaving for McDermott in May 2016.

Winston has more than 875 lawyers in 17 offices located throughout North America, Asia, and Europe, the firm said.

“It was a really perfect fit for us” because Winston had “the global capabilities we were looking for,” Nancy S. Gerrie, one of those who made the move, told Bloomberg BNA July 13.

Winston already had “a strong practice” in employee benefits and executive compensation, but “we saw the opportunity for growth in that section,” Scott Landau, co-chair of Winston’s EBEC practice, told Bloomberg BNA July 13. “The combined group now puts us in a tremendous place, and I see us gaining tremendous market share.”

“While we wish our departing colleagues well, we’re excited about the future of our employee benefits practice under its new leadership. McDermott looks forward to formally announcing the new leadership team in the coming days,” Ira J. Coleman, chairman of McDermott, told Bloomberg BNA in an email July 13.

A McDermott spokeswoman issued a press release late Thursday saying that partner Todd A. Solomon was appointed as the new global leader of the Firm’s Employee Benefits practice.

-Additional reporting by Casey Sullivan.

To contact the reporter on this story: Gayle Cinquegrani in Washington at gcinquegrani@bna.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Tony Harris at tharris@bna.com

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