Firm’s Entrepreneurial Culture, West Coast Growth Plans, National Platform Strong Fit for Retail and E-Commerce Litigation Powerhouse.
Benesch is deepening its bench of litigation talent on the West Coast with the addition of one of the top retail and e-commerce powerhouse practices in the country, headed by Stephanie Sheridan. Bringing nearly 35 years of experience, Sheridan will serve as Partner in Charge of the firm’s San Francisco office, as well as Vice Chair of the firmwide Litigation Group and as a member of Benesch’s Executive Committee, effective February 21.
“We are bullish on the California market, and Stephanie’s addition in San Francisco is just one of the reasons,” said Gregg A. Eisenberg, Benesch’s firmwide managing partner. “Culturally, Stephanie is a shoo-in. She’s a unique lawyer who understands that business is about people and relationships at its core, and she has proven her abilities in successfully partnering with clients to navigate the rapidly evolving competitive and regulatory landscape. We know she will bring that same passion to our San Francisco office, our entire team, and our services nationally.”
“I’m thrilled to lead Benesch’s expansion in the West, particularly since the firm has really hit the ground running here, with an impressive roster of California-based clients and a start-up ethos that complements the Bay Area market,” said Sheridan. “It’s remarkable that the firm has assembled such an impressive crew in San Francisco in such a short time in the toughest market in the country–during COVID to boot. In Chicago, Benesch has grown more than 200 percent in just five short years, and I’m excited to mirror that success. Benesch has the entrepreneurial spirit, flexibility, and passion that it takes to scale.”
“As we consistently strive to meet client demands, Benesch has been on a rapid, strategic growth trajectory, with our Chicago office most recently leading the firm in adding vibrant practices and talented professionals,” said J. Erik Connolly, managing chair of the firm’s Litigation Group and a member of the Executive Committee. “We’re confident that under Stephanie’s leadership, our San Francisco office and presence in California will emerge as the next hot spot for Benesch. In fact, we’re already actively scouting for additional talent in private equity, real estate, and litigation.”
A trusted advisor to the country’s largest retailers, Sheridan advises on and defends against matters involving claims of alleged deceptive pricing; wiretapping litigation; false advertising cases; violations of federal and state privacy matters; automatic renewal claims; call recording suits; “Made in the USA” and other ‘country of origin’ claims; and environmental issues impacting the industry, such as advising retailers on emerging PFAS regulatory requirements while also defending against the country’s first class action against retailers on those claims and litigating California’s Proposition 65 matters. Over the past 20 years, she also has maintained a robust, national litigation practice defending retailers in both state and federal courts across a spectrum of industry-critical issues. Sheridan also has an impressive track record for successfully defending against significant consumer class actions and has earned a reputation for her prowess in defeating class certifications. An accomplished trial lawyer having defended jury trials throughout her career, in 2021, Sheridan prevailed in a pricing practices case brought by the State of California and seeking more than $350 million in penalties against a major national retailer.
“From the firm’s full-service, national platform and team of 300+ entrepreneurial lawyers, including resources in retail-critical practices, such as real estate, labor and employment, and transportation, to the amazing professional development opportunities it delivers for associates, Benesch has the culture that supports success – for clients and lawyers” noted Sheridan. “I’ve had the benefit of both collaborating with and referring clients to Benesch lawyers, so I already know first-hand that my clients will be the biggest beneficiaries of this move, getting the highest caliber of legal problem-solvers.”
Prior to joining Benesch, Sheridan was the head of Steptoe & Johnson’s Retail & E-Commerce Practice Group and served as the Managing Partner of the San Francisco office. Sheridan began her legal career with Sedgwick, where she practiced until 2017 and was a Managing Partner of the firm’s San Francisco headquarters.
Sheridan is the only attorney to be named by Law360 as an “MVP in Retail & E-Commerce” for four consecutive years and is the only woman attorney to achieve this distinction. Focused exclusively on representing the retail industry since 2006, she is nationally regarded as a thought leader in the space, called upon by the press, multiple industry groups and retail general counsel roundtables to advise on emerging trends impacting retailers. Sheridan serves on the Board of Directors of the California Retailers Association and on the Board of Directors of Legal Momentum, the oldest advocacy organization fighting for the rights of women and girls. Sought after by the press to comment on emerging issues impacting retailers, Sheridan also publishes often on new risks and trends in the space. She earned her J.D. from University of San Francisco School of Law, where she was Editor in Chief of the Law Review, and currently serves on its Board of Governors.