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Steptoe & Johnson

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Steptoe & Johnson
Steptoe & Johnson logo.gif
Headquarters Washington (DC)
Number of Offices 9
Number of attorneys 479
Practice Areas General practice
Key People Philip R. West (Chairman) (?)
Steptoe & Johnson Pay Scale
(all numbers in thousands of dollars)

Template:Notability Steptoe & Johnson LLP is an international law firm headquartered in Washington, D.C. with offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Phoenix, London, Brussels and Beijing. The firm advises notable multinational and Fortune 500 corporations on significant transactional, litigation, arbitration, regulatory, IP, white collar defense, tax and public policy matters and is considered a part of the group of elite American "white shoe" law firms. Based on various renowned rankings it is constantly ranked as a top-tier firm. According to the Am Law 100 it is the 93rd highest-grossing law firm in the United States[1].


Philip Steptoe and Col. Louis A. Johnson, classmates from the University of Virginia School of Law, formed Steptoe & Johnson in 1913 in Clarksburg, WV. In 1928, Steptoe & Johnson opened an office in Charleston, WV, to meet the expanding legislative and regulatory work available in the state capital. Meanwhile, Col. Johnson helped found the American Legion, bringing national prominence to himself and the firm when he served as the organization’s commander in the mid-1930s. President Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed Col. Johnson deputy secretary of war in 1937.

After leaving the Roosevelt administration, Col. Johnson opened the Washington D.C. office of Steptoe & Johnson in 1945. Shortly thereafter, Col. Johnson was again tapped for public service, this time by President Harry S. Truman, for whom he served as secretary of defense until 1950.

The firm’s Washington office grew quickly under Col. Johnson’s influence. Among its first clients were the members of the growing airlines industry, as well as pipelines, railroads, and foreign companies whose assets had been seized during World War II. In assisting these clients, Steptoe became known as a prominent firm in regulatory law, tax, and international trade.

In 1980, the firm began a period of growth, starting with the amicable separation of the Washington and West Virginia offices. The West Virginia firm known as Steptoe & Johnson PLLC is still based in Clarksburg, WV.

In 1987, a combination of client needs and business opportunities led to the opening of a Steptoe office in Phoenix. Since 1997, the firm has opened offices in Los Angeles (1997), London (2001), Brussels (2002), New York (2005), Chicago (2007), Beijing (2010), and Palo Alto (2014; relocated to San Francisco in 2017).

Steptoe attorneys have frequently served in high-level government positions, and are often quoted on current business, political, and legal happenings in national media.[2][3][4] The firm is notable for being one of the first to establish a blockchain practice[5] and to accept payment in bitcoin.[6]

Pro Bono

Steptoe ranked 19th among Am Law 200 firms in The American Lawyer's 2015 pro bono report,[7] based on average hours spent on and breadth of commitment to pro bono work. The firm’s pro bono efforts have been recognized by the Animal Legal Defense Fund,[8] the John Carroll Society,[9] the Children’s Law Center,[10] the Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation,[11] and the ABA Death Penalty Representation Project,[12] among others.

Recent Awards & Rankings

  • Bloomberg Law[13] recognized Steptoe for having a record of promoting women to partner (2017)
  • Chambers Asia-Pacific[14] recognized two practice areas and three attorneys (2017)
  • Chambers Europe[15] recognized three practice areas and three attorneys (2017)
  • Chambers Global[16] recognized 14 practice areas and 26 attorneys (2017)
  • Chambers UK[17] recognized one practice area and five attorneys (2017)
  • Chambers USA[18] recognized 20 practice areas and 57 attorneys (2016)
  • China Law & Practice[19] recognized Steptoe as International Trade Firm of the Year
  • Global Arbitration Review[20] recognized Steptoe in the 10th Edition of the GAR 100 (2017)
  • Law360[21] named the firm one of "The 100 Best Law Firms For Minority Attorneys" list (2015)
  • The Legal 500 Europe, Middle East & Africa[22] recognized 5 practice areas and 11 attorneys (2017)
  • The Legal 500 United Kingdom[23] recognized 13 practice areas and 12 attorneys (2016)
  • The Legal 500 United States[24] recognized 28 practice areas and 114 attorneys (2017)
  • The National Law Journal[25] named Steptoe the DC Litigation Department of the Year in White Collar (2017)
  • U.S. News & World Report[26] recognized 23 practices in national and 45 in metropolitan rankings, and named the firm Railroad Law Firm of the Year (2016)
  • Vault Law 100[27] ranked Steptoe as No. 19 in the Energy, Oil and Gas Sector (2017/2018)
  • Who's Who Legal[28] recognized 38 experts from Steptoe

Notable Current and Former Attorneys


  1. Firms Ranked by Gross Revenue,
  2. Banks not looking to rip up Dodd-Frank,
  3. Schumerland ascends to new heights in Senate,
  4. What Mnuchin Should Expect From Senate Vetting: Tax Primer,
  5. Bitcoin & Blockchain, Attorneys at Law: One firm's big switch,
  6. Will Work for Bitcoin, Steptoe & Johnson Says,
  7. Pro Bono Report 2015: The Charts,
  8.  Pro Bono: Giving Back to the Animal CommunityThe Animals' Advocate  (Winter 2013)
  9. The Red Mass,
  10. Steptoe Receives Pro Bono Champion Award from Children’s Law Center,
  11. Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation and LexisNexis Recognize Five Lex Mundi Member Firms for Outstanding Pro Bono Contributions in 2012,
  12. ABA Death Penalty Representation Project presents Volunteer Service Awards,
  13. "These Law Firms Made the Most Women Partners in 2016 | Big Law Business". Bloomberg Law. Retrieved 2017-08-15.
  14. "Steptoe & Johnson LLP - Washington, DC - Law Firm Profile - Chambers Asia-Pacific 2017 - Chambers and Partners". Chambers & Partners. Retrieved 2017-08-15.
  15. "Steptoe & Johnson LLP - Washington, DC - Law Firm Profile - Chambers Europe 2017 - Chambers and Partners". Chambers & Partners. Retrieved 2017-08-15.
  16. "Steptoe & Johnson LLP - Washington, DC - Law Firm Profile - Chambers Global 2017 - Chambers and Partners". Chambers & Partners. Retrieved 2017-08-15.
  17. "Steptoe & Johnson LLP - Washington, DC - Law Firm Profile - UK Guide, 2017 - Chambers and Partners". Chambers & Partners. Retrieved 2016-12-14.
  18. "Steptoe & Johnson LLP - Washington, DC - Law Firm Profile - Chambers USA 2016 - Chambers and Partners". Chambers & Partners. Retrieved 2014-09-30.
  19. The China Law & Practice Awards 2016 fetes the industry's finest,
  20. "The GAR 100: A guide to the leading international arbitration firms". Global Arbitration Review. Retrieved 2017-08-15.
  21. "The 100 Best Law Firms For Minority Attorneys". Law360. Retrieved 2015-09-15.
  22. "Steptoe & Johnson LLP". The Legal 500. Retrieved 2017-08-14.
  23. "Steptoe & Johnson". The Legal 500. Retrieved 2016-12-19.
  24. "Steptoe & Johnson LLP". The Legal 500. Retrieved 2017-08-15.
  25. "The 2017 D.C. Litigation Departments of the Year ". The National Law Journal. Retrieved 2017-08-15.
  26. Steptoe & Johnson LLP,
  27. [1].
  28. [2].

External links