Pepper Hamilton

Pepper Hamilton LLP
Headquarters Two Logan Square
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
No. of offices 13 offices
No. of attorneys approximately 500
No. of employees approximately 1,200 total
Major practice areas General practice
Key people
  • Thomas M. Gallagher, Chairman of Executive Committee
  • Thomas J. Cole, Jr., Managing Partner
Revenue $324.6 million (2011)
Date founded 1890
Founder George Wharton Pepper
Company type Limited liability partnership
Slogan We counsel each client as if it were our only client.

Pepper Hamilton LLP is a U.S. based law firm with 13 offices and around 500 attorneys.[1] The firm is ranked among the 100 largest firms by revenue in the United States. The firm’s largest practices include defense of pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers in product liability litigation and related matters, corporate transactions and commercial litigation.


The firm was founded in 1890 in Philadelphia by George Wharton Pepper, who joined the practice of Bayard Henry. Pepper emerged as a leading lawyer in Philadelphia and the nation, and was prominent in Republican politics. In 1954, the Pepper firm and another Philadelphia law firm — Evans, Bayard & Frick — merged as Pepper, Bodine, Frick, Scheetz & Hamilton creating a 35-lawyer entity. Shortly after the merger of the Pepper and Evans firms, George Wharton Pepper retired from practice because of failing health. In 1955, he was succeeded as chairman of the firm by John D.M. Hamilton, who was chairman of the Republican National Committee in 1940. In 1960, another merger brought in the firm of Moffett, Frye & Leopold. The firm grew significantly in the 1980s, 1990s and in recent years. In 2007, the partnership elected Nina M. Gussack as chairwoman of Pepper’s Executive Committee, the first woman to be elected to that position.[2] Pepper partner A. Michael Pratt became the Philadelphia Bar Association’s 81st Chancellor in 2008.[3] He is the third African-American to serve in that office since the Association’s founding in 1802.


In 2004–2005, Pepper was hit with lawsuits first in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court[4] and then the District Court in Delaware. The first lawsuit alleged that "Pepper Hamilton's simultaneous representation of SFC and its affiliates, as well as its insurer, Royal Indemnity, and the Gagne family members as investors, created a situation in which the law firm had 'unavoidable and inevitable divided loyalties.'" Thus the complaint alleged that Pepper "foreseeably contributed to the financial demise of SFC" and caused "hundreds of millions of dollars of harm."[5]

In the second lawsuit, Royal Indemnity made malpractice claims against Pepper Hamilton and Gagne, as well as two accounting firms, Freed Maxick & Battaglia and McGladrey & Pullen, alleging that the lawyers and accountants garnered millions in fees from SFC and were effective "SFC insiders" who "had every incentive to ensure the success of SFC's fraud."[5]

Pepper settled the lawsuits in late 2007.

In 2012, Google Inc. claimed Pepper Hamilton failed to notify them when they were representing a patent licensing business that sued Google's Android partners.[6]

Notable cases


The firm's chairman is Thomas M. Gallagher, who succeeds Louis Freeh (Feb 2013Oct 2014). Prior to Freeh, Nina Gussak held this role.



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