Our Firm:

Overview Overview Culture Results News


Sedgwick has come a long way from its modest beginnings as a two-attorney law firm to our current status as an international trial firm with 14 offices, dozens of practice areas and more than 250 attorneys worldwide. 

The firm that would become Sedgwick LLP was founded in 1933 in San Francisco and continued to grow through the 1930s and 1940s, expanding its service offerings and solidifying its reputation as a trial and litigation firm. The 1950s represented the emergence of the first multiplaintiff consumer litigation. Sedgwick was chosen to represent Cutter Laboratories in the polio vaccine lawsuits that filled the courtrooms during most of the 1950s. The firm name Sedgwick, Detert, Moran & Arnold was adopted in 1959 and shortened to Sedgwick LLP in 2011.

Read our full history

Meet the Executive Committee

Michael F. Healy Chair of the Firm San Francisco
San Francisco 415.781.7900
Eugene Brown, Jr. Chair, Complex Division San Francisco
San Francisco 415.627.1570
Ralph A. Guirgis Chair, Insurance Division Orange County
Orange County 949.567.7804
Marilyn Klinger Chair, Commercial Division Los Angeles
Los Angeles 213.615.8038
Edward G. Smerdon Office Managing Partner London
London 44 20 7398 8927

Meet the Management Committee

John W. Blancett Office Managing Partner New York
New York 212.898.4012
Mark Chudleigh Office Managing Partner Bermuda
Bermuda 441.278.7160
Kimberly A. Cook Office Managing Partner Miami
Miami 305.671.2159
Ralph A. Guirgis Office Managing Partner Orange County
Orange County 949.567.7804
James J.S. Holmes Office Managing Partner Los Angeles
Los Angeles 213.615.8031
Maria K. Karos Office Managing Partner Dallas
Dallas 469.227.4677
Chris S. Marks Office Managing Partner Seattle
Seattle 206.462.7564
Eric C. Scheiner Office Managing Partner Chicago
Chicago 312.849.1973
Stephanie A. Sheridan Office Managing Partner San Francisco
San Francisco 415.627.1410
Edward G. Smerdon Office Managing Partner London
London 44 20 7398 8927
Robert D. Towey Office Managing Partner New Jersey
New Jersey 973.286.4374
Richard E. Wallace, Jr. Office Managing Partner Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C. 202.204.3710

Professional Management

San Francisco 415.627.1462
Craig E. Peterson Chief Human Resources Officer Kansas City
Kansas City 816.423.2100
Brandon M. Summers Interim Chief Financial Officer Kansas City
Kansas City 816.423.2160
Holly Tamisiea Chief Operations Officer Chicago
Chicago 847.920.1804
DiAnna K. Thimjon Chief Information Officer Kansas City
Kansas City 816.423.2100
Patricia L. Williamson Chief Strategy Officer Kansas City
Kansas City 816.423.2274
Maggie T. Watkins Chief Marketing Officer Kansas City
Kansas City 816.423.2215

Meet our people

Practice Support

Sedgwick attorneys are in court every day, and the legal and technical professionals that make up our Practice Support team are there to assist them in presenting the best possible case for our clients. High-stakes complex litigation requiring sophisticated technological support has driven up the cost of litigation throughout the industry. The attorneys and the Practice Support team at Sedgwick are using the latest tools, well-tested procedures, and skilled technicians to keep these costs at a minimum while maximizing positive outcomes at trial. Our internal team provides faster and more efficient services than outside vendors can offer. 

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Alternative Fee Arrangements

One of Sedgwick’s greatest strengths is our ability to provide the finest legal services at a reasonable cost. Sedgwick initially developed this reputation by pairing cost consciousness with a tolerance for nothing other than success. For all of the clients of the firm, we continue to be efficient, cost conscious and effective.

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Firm Culture

More than 80 years ago, two attorneys formed what is now the international trial and business law firm known as Sedgwick. With 250 attorneys in 14 offices around the world, Sedgwick’s collective experience spans the globe and virtually every industry. Sedgwick’s growth and expansion has not altered the core values that have defined the firm since its formation. The legacy of its founders, unparalleled client service, integrity, creativity and the highest quality legal services, continues to define Sedgwick’s core values and culture today. While our core values define us, our strength is derived from our commitment to a progressive work environment that empowers and challenges our attorneys and professional staff to achieve excellence and to effect positive change in the legal and business communities we serve. At Sedgwick, we enjoy working in a diverse environment that values individual talents, abilities, personalities, cultures and backgrounds. Our firm’s leaders foster an atmosphere in which people of all backgrounds are given access to the mentorship, education and opportunity critical to reaching their full potential.

Our firm is committed to the communities in which our employees live and work. Through our pro bono initiatives we provide services to a variety of underserved groups. Sedgwick employees regularly team together to volunteer their time and energy for local charitable institutions and causes and can often be found working with the homeless, disadvantaged and children forgotten by the system.

A collegial atmosphere was embedded in Sedgwick’s foundation in 1933, and we know that our clients are better served by a firm whose members truly enjoy working together. We are proud of our firm and will hold true to those values that have driven our success, thanks to the ongoing efforts of all of the members of the Sedgwick family.

Inclusion and Diversity

Sedgwick’s commitment to inclusion and diversity comes from a belief that attorneys and staff from diverse backgrounds and experiences, working toward a common goal, offer the best opportunity to deliver the superior legal services that our clients expect. We understand that in the diverse and interconnected world in which we live and work, it is essential that we engage people from different racial, ethnic and cultural backgrounds. To support and cultivate a progressive and empowering work environment, we are dedicated to the recruitment, retention and advancement of highly skilled attorneys and staff. To view the Inclusion and Diversity Annual Report 2016, click here.

Awards and Recognition

Sedgwick has been recognized for its commitment to inclusion and diversity in many ways. These accolades come as a result of the creative approach the firm has taken to address the need for greater inclusion and diversity within the legal profession.

  • Listed on Law360’s 100 Best Law Firms for Female Attorneys.
  • Named by Law360 as one of the 100 Best Law Firms for Minority Attorneys.
  • Achieved a perfect score on the 2017 Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index for the ninth consecutive year.
  • Ranked 48 on The American Lawyer’s 2016 Diversity Scorecard of the 200 largest law firms.
  • Recognized as a 2016 Top Illinois Law Firm for LGBT diversity and inclusive practices by Equality Illinois for the fifth consecutive year.
  • Attained 2016 “Gold Standard Certification” from the Women in Law Empowerment Forum.
  • Named by the Chevron Law Function as a recipient of its tenth annual Law Firm Diversity Recognition Award in 2014.

Inclusion and Diversity Committee

Sedgwick’s Inclusion and Diversity Committee is comprised of partners and special counsel from each of our offices, including members of the firm’s Executive Committee and the chair of the firm. Working with a dedicated budget to support the firm’s diversity programs and events, the committee meets monthly to monitor the progress of the firm’s inclusion and diversity efforts. It also works closely with the firm’s Practice Group Leaders to ensure that inclusion and diversity take hold throughout the firm.

Affinity Groups

Sedgwick has five affinity groups to aid in the firm’s diversity efforts: the African American Lawyers Forum, Asian Pacific Islander Forum, Hispanic Lawyers Forum, LGBT Action Committee and Women’s Forum. With the firm’s support, members of these affinity groups are active in various minority bar organizations, law student and alumni groups, and charitable and professional associations. Our affinity groups have also assisted the firm in reaching out to potential lateral attorney candidates, mentoring current Sedgwick lawyers and offering recommendations on ways to improve the firm’s diversity efforts.

African American Lawyers Forum

Asian Pacific Islander Lawyers Forum

Hispanic Lawyers Forum

LGBT Action Committee

Women’s Forum

In 2004, Sedgwick created a program designed to revolutionize the way gender is addressed in our firm, and potentially within the legal industry. Since its inception, the internal training and client events offered through the Women’s Forum have been nationally recognized for their innovation and for successfully addressing the obstacles professional women face. The effect of the Sedgwick Women’s Forum can be felt in the growing number of Sedgwick’s women partners, women leaders, and the attorneys who cite the Women’s Forum as their reason for choosing to work at Sedgwick.

Minority Recruiting

Sedgwick teams with minority student law organizations to participate in on-campus recruiting events and sponsors and attends recruiting events presented by the various minority bar associations. Sedgwick also sponsors events and initiatives of Catalyst, an organization that promotes the recruitment and advancement of women in management; Lavender Law, the career fair and conference of the National LGBT Bar Association; the Chicago and Northeast regional chapters of the MCCA; and the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund. Sedgwick knows that an attorney starting or continuing a career at a new law firm will have many questions that can only be answered by those who have been at the firm for several years. We have taken steps to ensure that our attorneys have access to the support they need to develop the knowledge, skills and confidence that are essential to being an excellent attorney.

Diversity Pipeline Programs

The firm supports various programs that foster an interest in minority high school and college students to pursue careers in the legal profession and that support first-year law students in the pursuit of their careers. In August 2014, Sedgwick’s San Francisco office launched the firm’s first ever pre-L diversity pipeline program, coined Sedgwick Connect. The goal of Sedgwick Connect is to provide these students with a professional network of mentors and friends, advice about how to be a successful law student and exposure to law firm culture.

Involvement with Diversity Organizations

The firm is a reliable supporter of the Minority Corporate Counsel Program and the California Minority Corporate Counsel Program. Members of the firm have served on programs conducted by these two well-respected organizations as well as on the ABA Pipeline Initiative and the ABA Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession. Several members of the firm have also served in leadership positions with the California Association of Black Lawyers, the Japanese American Bar Association and the Chinese American Lawyers Association, to name a few.

Pro Bono

Sedgwick’s commitment to its pro bono program allows our attorneys and staff to regularly give back to the communities in which we live and work. Through pro bono work, our lawyers make their skills and talents available to those who cannot afford legal representation. Sedgwick’s pro bono program has been embraced by our attorneys, many of whom have long histories of volunteer legal work, and our lawyers have handled hundreds of pro bono matters involving issues that run the gamut from serving the unmet legal needs of children, including guardianship proceedings, immigration status, school disciplinary hearings and medical benefit matters, to civil rights issues. Our firm takes pride in sharing our talent and expertise with those in need of legal assistance but who cannot afford it. Please click below to learn more about pro bono at Sedgwick. 

Pro Bono

Professional Development

Sedgwick University

Sedgwick University, our professional development training program, is designed to ensure that all Sedgwick attorneys realize their full potential as advocates, counselors and leaders — from the courtroom to the boardroom. The University's curriculum includes coursework that sharpens legal acumen and cultivates superior trial skills, while promoting the highest ethical standards. Sedgwick University enables and empowers Sedgwick lawyers to provide the highest quality of legal services the the firm's clients. Please click below to learn more. 

Sedgwick University

Trial Academy

Sedgwick University’s training programs are intended to sharpen our lawyers’ legal acumen and cultivate superior trial skills, while promoting the highest ethical standards. Our firm offers associates the opportunity to demonstrate and fine tune their trial advocacy skills in a courtroom setting at Sedgwick University’s Trial Academy, an intensive six-day mock trial. During this program, senior trial partners lead students through a series of realistic courtroom exercises that address individual trial skills, including voir dire, opening statements, case presentation, cross-examination and impeachment of witnesses, and closing arguments, as well as courtroom demeanor and use of technology. These skills are taught through two simultaneous tracks, one for basic skills and a second covering more advanced trial techniques.  Being selected to participate in Trial Academy is an honor coveted by those associates who are ready to take their careers to the next level.


Sedgwick’s Mentoring Program provides our associates with individualized counseling on career advancement and firm culture. We pair first- through fourth-year associates with two mentors — a junior mentor (associate with five-plus years of experience) and a senior mentor (partner or counsel). Associates with five or more years of experience are also paired with a senior mentor. Our mentors serve as guides on life at Sedgwick and life as an attorney and maintain an open door policy where mentees are encouraged to ask questions and share concerns. In conjunction with the courses offered through our firmwide training program Sedgwick University, our mentors assist our new attorneys in identifying and achieving their short- and long-term career goals and help cultivate the skills mentees need to lead the firm into the future.


Defense verdicts. Dismissals. Summary judgment. Appellate rulings. Our clients come to us for what we do. How well we do it is defined by our clients' successes.  


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