Joan McPhee and Jane Willis Named to Benchmark Litigation’s List of Top 250 Women in Litigation

Practices: Litigation

Ropes & Gray litigation partners Joan McPhee, and Jane Willis have been named to Benchmark Litigation’s first edition of the Top 250 Women in Litigation. The guide honors female litigators in all 50 U.S. states for their achievements in the field. Only one other female outside of Ropes & Gray was selected to the list in Massachusetts. The women featured in the guide were selected from their respective states' roster of local litigation stars in the 2012 edition of Benchmark Litigation.

The guide praises Jane Willis for her “antitrust and general commercial litigation acumen.” In addition to class action litigation, Jane focuses on business disputes in federal and state courts. Jane was involved in the defense of Daewoo, a Korean company, in an antitrust class action stemming from an alleged international cartel and representing senior living provider Five Star Quality Care, Inc. in litigation brought against a competitor.

Joan McPhee has over two decades of experience representing multi-national and domestic corporations, financial institutions and hospitals, as well as officers, directors and other clients in criminal and civil litigation, enforcement actions, and federal and state grand jury investigations. Benchmark’s editors write “Joan McPhee garners steady praise for her white-collar criminal defense and expertise in anti-corruption laws such as the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and the UK Bribery Act.”

In June Ropes & Gray received a 2012 “Gold Standard” award from the Women in Law Empowerment Forum for its record with regard to women’s achievement at the firm. This follows Ropes & Gray’s recognition as the #3 firm for diversity for women and #3 firm for overall diversity in the 2012 Vault rankings.

Ropes & Gray has a longstanding commitment to recruiting, retaining, and developing women attorneys and supporting their progress once they arrive at the firm. Ropes & Gray hired its first female associates in 1942 and named its first female partner in 1973. The number of women currently practicing at the firm demonstrates Ropes & Gray’s progress since that time: as reflected in the firm’s 2012 report to NALP, 40 percent of the firm’s lawyers and 20 percent of the firm’s equity partners are women, as are six of the 13 lawyers promoted to partner in 2011.

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