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Winston & Strawn Strengthens Corporate and Environmental Litigation Teams
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Winston & Strawn Strengthens Corporate and Environmental Litigation Teams

  • Winston & Strawn LLP expands Environmental Litigation Team with the addition of Ex-DOJ Senior Official Jonathan D. Brightbill.
  • James R. Brown and Douglas C. Lionberger will join Winston & Strawn LLP as corporate partners in its Houston Office.

Winston & Strawn LLP has added Jonathan D. Brightbill, former Acting Assistant Attorney General at the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) as a partner in its Washington D.C. Office and member of its Litigation and White Collar, Regulatory Defense, and Investigations Practices. At the DOJ, he worked with the Environment & Natural Resources Division (ENRD) where he led ENRD’s team of 425 lawyers and handled 6,500 active matters, with an annual budget of $150 million.

As a leading national environmental litigator and criminal and civil law enforcement official, Jonathan argued some of the most important appellate and district court matters during his time at the DOJ including the Affordable Clean Energy Rule and Clean Power Plan Repeal (D.C. Cir.), the Navigable Waters Protection Rule and Clean Water Rule Repeal (10th Cir., district courts), defense of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) actions on pesticide tolerances under Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) and the Food Drug and Cosmetic Act (FDCA) (9th Cir. en banc).


His practice focuses on assisting individuals, public and private companies, and corporate officers in regulatory defense, white-collar, government and internal investigations matters, and complex commercial disputes. He represents clients in commercial litigation including environmental and regulatory litigation, false advertising, business disputes, consumer protection, intellectual property disputes, and class action and citizen suit defense work. Previously, he has also worked with Kirkland & Ellis LLP as a trial lawyer and partner in the firm’s Washington D.C. office. He completed his JD from Georgetown University Law Center.

Tom Fitzgerald, Winston & Strawn’s Chairman, said, “Jonathan’s addition to the team in D.C. speaks directly to the diversity and complexity of issues we are managing for our existing and expanding client base. Jonathan was the principal federal litigator for environmental matters and served amongst the most senior policy and decision-makers at the Department of Justice— experiences that will be invaluable to companies as they navigate changes to compliance and enforcement in environmental, maritime, automotive, manufacturing, and other sectors.”

Commenting on his latest move, Jonathan said, “Winston’s reputation as a trial and appellate firm is unparalleled, and I am proud to join this distinguished group of renowned litigators and transactional lawyers. I am also joining the team at a pivotal moment for environmental law. Beyond increased commitment to climate regulation and continued momentum towards adopting actionable Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) principles, corporations can expect increased federal regulation and enforcement on air emissions, discharges to waters and land, and more chemical and pesticide regulation, including limitations on ‘forever chemicals’ like PFAS.”

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Bolstering its Corporate Practice, Winston & Strawn has added James R. Brown & Douglas C. Lionberger as members of the Capital Markets Practice and corporate partners in the firm’s Houston office. James has previously worked with Vilson & Elkins and Douglas joins the firm from Thompson & Knight LLP.

James & Douglas bring extensive capital markets experience including assisting issuers and underwriters with initial public offerings and public and private offerings of equity and debt securities. Their practice focuses on finance and securities law including private equity transactions, special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), securities offerings, mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance and compliance, and general corporate representation. They also counsel public companies and board of directors on SEC compliance, governance, and disclosure matters.

Winston Chairman Tom Fitzgerald, said, “James and Doug are outstanding additions to our Houston team and underscore Winston’s ability to provide complex corporate transactional work across the global capital markets. Their experience with all types of capital markets transactions strengthens our capabilities to nimbly help clients leverage changes in the markets.”

Douglas said, “Winston & Strawn has led the market in advising clients on significant SPAC deals since this instrument surged in popularity last year. With the rich opportunities provided by so many public and private companies relocating to Texas, James and I are looking forward to collaborating with the firm’s capital markets and transactions teams on deals both domestically and internationally.”

James said, “The volume and complexity of corporate transactions native to Houston continues to increase in line with the state’s growth in a post-COVID environment. As more companies make Texas their home, there is a corresponding demand for legal expertise that can help clients navigate complex deal structures with an informed understanding of the region’s critical place in the energy sector. Winston’s global platform will also allow us to diversify our practice, both geographically and across the industries we service.



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