October 2, 2023

Willkie Co-Chairs Thomas Cerabino and Matthew Feldman have been profiled by the New York Law Journal as winners of the 2023 “Distinguished Leaders” award.

The Q&A profile discussed Tom’s and Matt’s success in guiding Willkie to record growth and profitability while strengthening the core values – including the drive for professional excellence and the commitment diversity, pro bono advocacy and corporate citizenship – that have long characterized the firm.

“We set out on an aggressive push to build a national platform, bring more balance to our practice mix, and achieve measurable progress and tangible results with respect to our ESG commitment,” they told New York Law Journal. “Thanks to the hard work and dedication of many at our firm, including our staff professionals, we have met and even exceeded our goals.”

Under Tom’s and Matt’s leadership, Willkie has almost doubled in size in the last five years to more than 1200 lawyers, attracting high-profile talent across its platform and opening four new offices in Chicago and California. The strategic expansion has enhanced Willkie’s litigation practice, in particular, complementing its strengths in private equity, M&A, insurance, restructuring and asset management. Willkie achieved record results for revenue and income in 2022 while also recently earning recognition as one of the top firms for diversity and a leader in pro bono service. 

Throughout the transformation, Tom and Matt also focused on fostering Willkie’s cultural hallmarks, the spirit of collegiality, inclusiveness and collective excellence. They looked to the example set by former Willkie Chairman Jack Nusbaum, who led the firm for 20 years, and their success is part of his legacy.

“[Jack] encouraged others to live by his ‘Golden Rules’ of being a good lawyer and citizen: understand your client’s needs, fulfill your responsibilities promptly and ethically, have respect for the other side’s position, respect your role in society and live your life the way you would like your children to live theirs,” Tom and Matt said. “These are lessons we continue to instill as part of our leadership.”

Tom and Matt will be honored among the New York Law Journal’s 2023 “Distinguished Leaders” at the New York Legal Awards on October 4.

Read the “Distinguished Leaders” profile here.

Matthew A. Feldman Chairman Business Reorganization & Restructuring