March 31, 2020

New York, NY (March 31, 2020) --- Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP today announced the opening of its Chicago office with the addition of Craig C. Martin and five other prominent lawyers. Mr. Martin will join Willkie as a partner, a member of its Executive Committee, and as Chairman, Midwest for the firm. Also joining Willkie today as partners in Chicago are Amanda Amert, Matt Basil, Sara Horton, Barbara Grayson and Matthew Thomas.

Mr. Martin is a noted attorney to whom major corporations and wealthy families turn for their most significant trials and appeals and as a strategist for major litigation. He is well-known for leading board-driven investigations for major corporations as well as advising on governance issues.

Ms. Amert, Mr. Basil, Ms. Horton and Mr. Thomas are trial lawyers who have worked with Mr. Martin and each other for decades. Together with Mr. Martin they will bolster Willkie’s litigation practice with experience in antitrust, class actions, commercial contract, employment, ERISA, intellectual property, international trade, patent, RICO, as well as investigations.

Ms. Grayson is a luminary in private wealth, estates and trusts.

Willkie Chairman Thomas Cerabino said: “Even at this moment of uncertainty, we feel that the opportunity to secure Craig, whom we have admired for years, and his team, is too good to pass up. We are thrilled to welcome this powerhouse team of first-chair trial lawyers, who are an excellent strategic fit for us. They will bolster our national litigation, investigations and IP practices, as Barbara strengthens our Private Client Practice. In the coming months, we anticipate a flight to quality to handle the unprecedented legal issues arising from the current crisis. Craig and the team will provide clients with the highest level of expertise and service to navigate these matters.”

“Willkie is among the top firms internationally with a broad litigation and corporate platform, and I am honored to launch its Chicago office,” said Mr. Martin. “Our clients require the multi-faceted solutions that Willkie’s partners and attorneys deliver every day. Willkie’s strengths in financial services, asset management, private equity and real estate, among others, enhance our ability to provide such solutions. We hope our intense focus on critical trials and investigations enhances the firm’s offerings to its Midwest and national clients.”

Mr. Martin, a civically engaged Chicagoan, serves on the Civic Committee and is a member of the boards of Lurie Children’s Hospital, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, World Business Chicago, the Commercial Club of Chicago and the Economic Club of Chicago. Mr. Martin has also been active in leadership of the American Bar Association and was recently inducted to the American Law Institute.

He has maintained an active pro bono litigation practice since entering the profession. Last December, Mr. Martin achieved a path-breaking $11 million federal district court award on the rights of the incarcerated to adequate health care, in a court-appointed case.

“Craig’s commitment to Chicago’s civic life is exemplary. Willkie looks forward to participating along with Craig and our new partners,” Mr. Cerabino said.

Willkie’s Chicago announcement follows successful office openings in San Francisco in 2019 and Palo Alto in 2018. Willkie’s Chicago offices will be located at 300 N. LaSalle Street.

Biographical notes:

Craig C. Martin: Legal research guide Chambers describes Mr. Martin as a “courtroom to boardroom lawyer” and one “who juries love.” The National Law Journal’s 2019 “Masters of the Courtroom: Winning Litigators” special report praised Mr. Martin. He received a BA from the University of Notre Dame and a JD from Harvard Law School. See information in body of press release for more details.

Amanda S. Amert focuses on ERISA litigation and has a wide variety of business litigation, appellate and arbitration experience. She has represented employers in federal courts around the country at the trial and appellate levels, in both individual and class-action lawsuits, and in disputes with the U.S. Department of Labor. She received a BA from Williams College and a JD from Duke University.

Matt D. Basil represents Fortune 500 companies in a wide array of commercial disputes, particularly complex contract, financial and fraud litigation. He has tried a number of cases in federal court and represented clients in arbitration proceedings. He received a BS from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a JD from Loyola University Chicago School of Law.

Barbara R. Grayson represents high-net-worth individuals and families, family owned businesses, family offices, and charitable organizations. She has extensive experience in estate planning, including structuring solutions for transferring wealth to younger generations and succession planning for difficult family situations. She received a BA from the University of Missouri – Kansas City and a JD from Harvard Law School.

Sara Tonnies Horton concentrates her practice in complex civil litigation, focusing on patent and technology-related litigation. She has represented clients in complex disputes involving a variety of technologies. She has tried more than 10 cases and has significant courtroom experience. She received a BS from the University of Notre Dame and a JD from De Paul University College of Law.

Matthew J. Thomas represents Fortune 500 companies in complex business matters in federal and state courts throughout the United States, and in arbitrations, mediations and appeals. He has first-chair trial experience in multimillion-dollar cases, and has litigated a variety of issues including breach of contract, fraud, real estate finance, securities and shareholder disputes, defamation, class actions, and breach of fiduciary duties. He also advises corporate clients on internal investigations, employment issues, and officer and director liability, among other matters. He received a BBA from the University of Michigan and a JD from the University of Michigan Law School.

About Willkie’s Litigation Practice

Willkie’s Litigation Department includes approximately 200 lawyers worldwide who represent major U.S. and non-U.S. financial services companies, accounting firms, insurance and reinsurance companies and brokers, media companies, and individuals in complex commercial and class-action litigation. The department has extensive experience conducting internal corporate investigations and internal corporate matters. In addition, the team regularly represents companies and individuals in investigative and enforcement proceedings brought by federal and state regulatory agencies.

About Willkie’s Private Clients Practice

The Firm’s Private Clients Group provides the full range of legal services to U.S. and non-U.S. clients on matters including income, estate and gift tax planning, administration of complex estates and lifetime trusts, charitable giving, and the creation of charitable organizations.


Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP is an international law firm of more than 700 attorneys with offices in New York, Washington, Houston, Palo Alto, San Francisco, Chicago, Paris, London, Frankfurt, Brussels, Milan and Rome. The Firm is headquartered in New York City at 787 Seventh Avenue. Tel: 212.728.8000.

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