Gwendolyn Prothro Renigar is Vice Chair and General Counsel at Steptoe & Johnson LLP. For over 20 years, Gwen has pursued clients’ interests, legal clarity, and reform, in courts, government agencies, client businesses, and her own workplace. At Steptoe, she has risen through the ranks and to firm leadership. Today, she maintains a broad civil litigation and counseling practice, manages the firm as Vice Chair, and oversees the Firm’s loss prevention initiatives and legal obligations as General Counsel.
A native of Beirut, Lebanon, Gwen moved to the U.S. in the 1980s, with a passion for law even as a child, having seen how lawlessness can devolve into civil war and chaos. She graduated with a degree in politics from Princeton and law from Harvard. She began her career as a clerk for the Hon. Lee H. Rosenthal in the Southern District of Texas in 1996, joined Steptoe in 1997, and made equity partner in 2005. Gwen defends law firms, professionals, fiduciaries, financial services providers, retirement plans, and healthcare industry clients in complex litigation and class actions raising breach of fiduciary duty and professional liability claims, as well as in US Department of Labor (DOL) government investigations into alleged ERISA violations. Gwen also counsels lawyers and law firms on loss prevention practices, risk management, policy setting and implementation, and lawyer mobility.
At her firm, Gwen has been a partner and mentor to her colleagues, the chair of the associates’ committee, the co-chair of the women’s forum, a member of the compensation committee, and a practice group leader. Her judgment and commitment to the institution resulted in her appointment as the firm’s General Counsel and, most recently, her election as (the youngest ever) Vice Chair of the firm.
In addition to her practice and management of the firm, Gwen participates in a number of associations and informal groups for the advancement of the law, the advancement of women in the law, and the advancement of the legal profession, including the Women’s Lawyer Liability Group, the Law Firm Roundtable in Georgetown’s Center of Ethics and the Legal Profession, and the ABA. Gwen also recognizes the importance of pro bono to the profession, and represents women, children, and victims of violence seeking visa or asylum relief in the United States. A zealous advocate dedicated to advancing clear legal standards and well-defined duties of care, Gwen strives every day to model legal strength and good character, and to be part of enhancing the law and the legal profession.