Phil West Re-Elected Chair of Steptoe, Gwen Renigar to Serve as Vice Chair

(January 10, 2018, Washington, DC) — Steptoe & Johnson LLP is pleased to announce that Phil West has been elected to serve a second term as chair of the firm’s executive committee. Steptoe’s partners have also elected Gwen Renigar as vice chair. Both will serve four-year terms, effective January 1, 2018. In addition, Phil Malet, who has served as vice chair since 2006, will take on a new role as the firm’s chief operating partner.

Mr. West, who still actively practices in the firm’s Tax Group and is widely recognized as one of the premier international tax lawyers in the country, first joined Steptoe in 1993 as of counsel. After serving in the government for four years, including three years as the Treasury Department’s senior international tax lawyer, he rejoined the firm as a partner in 2002. He has been involved in Steptoe’s management over the past 15 years, and has served on the firm’s executive committee, as well as a number of other firm committees.

Ms. Renigar, who focuses her practice on professional liability and fiduciary litigation and has been recognized by The Legal 500 US, joined the firm as a summer associate, rejoined again after a clerkship, and was elected partner in January 2005. Over the course of her career at Steptoe, she has served on virtually every firm and management committee, and for the past two years, has served as the firm’s general counsel. At 45, Ms. Renigar is the youngest person elected to the leadership position, and the third woman.

Mr. West commented: “I am grateful that the partners have given me the opportunity to lead such a strong and storied firm. Its longevity and continued success can be attributed to the combined strength of our lawyers, who work hard every day to provide our clients with exceptional service, our staff, who time and again step up and make our work better, and of course our many longtime clients, who repeatedly turn to us for guidance in handling their most challenging legal matters, winning their cases, and developing creative approaches to meet their varied business needs. As I look ahead to the next four years, I am grateful that Gwen has agreed to work with me. She is a talented lawyer who represents the very best of the next generation of leaders at the firm. I also want to thank Phil Malet for his many contributions to Steptoe as vice chair over the years. There are a million things that he does that are vitally important to the day-to-day operations of the firm and I am grateful he has agreed to continue to work with us in this new role.”

Ms. Renigar added: “Steptoe has been my professional home for 20 years, and I am grateful for the opportunity to be a part of its leadership team. As a member of the executive committee and as general counsel, I have witnessed Phil’s strategic thinking and leadership firsthand. I look forward to helping him and all my colleagues take the best of Steptoe forward.”

During Mr. West’s first term as chair, Steptoe has further enhanced its business practices and client service, launching cutting-edge practices such as Blockchain & Digital Currency to serve new industries and client needs, solidifying its quality brand in established practices such as international regulatory compliance and government investigations, growing sought-after litigation practices in intellectual property and technology, and hiring professionals such as a chief information security officer, as well as a chief value officer to meet clients’ needs for greater creativity and certainty with respect to legal spend. Under the leadership of Mr. West, who has focused his management on innovation, service, and inclusion, the firm has also seen an increase in the diversity of its senior workforce, leadership, and thinking. Through its affinity programs – including its relaunched Pride Alliance, the LGBTQ affinity group at the firm – and its commitment to pro bono – including the launch by Steptoe partner Susan Esserman of the University of Maryland SAFE Center For Human Trafficking, the firm has continued its commitment to the people and communities it serves while it enhances its business practices.

The firm’s commitment to growth and enhanced service is also reflected in its recent work to renovate its flagship Washington office, which debuts in the new year with a fresh and modern look, as well as better technology and more spaces for collaboration. The new year also brings growth in the firm’s newest office in downtown San Francisco, which recently welcomed five new lawyers.

About Steptoe

Steptoe & Johnson LLP is an international law firm widely recognized for vigorous advocacy in complex litigation and arbitration, successful representation of clients before governmental agencies, and creative and practical advice in guiding business transactions. The firm has more than 500 lawyers and other professionals in offices in Beijing, Brussels, Chicago, London, Los Angeles, New York, Phoenix, San Francisco, and Washington. For more information, visit