Oral History of Mary B. Cranston

Mary B. Cranston is the Firm Senior Partner and immediate past Chair of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP. Pillsbury is an international law firm with over 800 attorneys in 16 offices, including San Francisco, New York, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, London, Tokyo, Shanghai and Sydney. In business for more than 140 years, the firm's practice focuses on capital markets and finance, energy, global sourcing, litigation, real estate, technology, life sciences and communications.

In her eight years as Chair, Ms. Cranston expanded the firm from a regional California base into an international platform through two large mergers and the addition of seven offices. Gross revenues increased from $224 million in 1998 to $600 million in 2006. Other strategic initiatives included a comprehensive client service program ranked by Fortune 1000 General Counsel in the top five in the world, and innovative programs to increase diversity. The firm was one of three law firms ranked in the top 100 companies in the U.S. for working mothers.

Ms. Cranston is an expert in complex class action litigation, antitrust counseling and litigation, regulated industries counseling and litigation, and securities litigation. She has litigated over 300 class actions in state and federal courts and is an expert on class action procedural and trial issues and all aspects of class action settlements.

Ms. Cranston has been named one of "The 100 Most Influential Lawyers in America" by the National Law Journal, one of two "Best Law Firm Leaders in the United States" by Of Counsel, and one of the "Top 100 Lawyers in California" by the San Francisco Daily Journal and the Los Angeles Daily Journal. She has been profiled as "One of the Best Female Antitrust Lawyers in the World" by Global Competition Review. In 2005, Ms. Cranston was the recipient of the Margaret Brent Award, the American Bar Association's highest award for women lawyers given for legal excellence and for paving the way for other women lawyers.

Ms. Cranston holds a J.D. from Stanford Law School where she was a member of the Law Review. She also holds an M.A. from the University of California at Los Angeles and an A.B. from Stanford University, where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa and with distinction.

Ms. Cranston is married to Harold Cranston, and has two children, Susie Cranston and John Cranston.

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Mary B. Cranston, A.B.A.: Previous Margaret Brent Women Law. Achievement Award Recipients, See video of introduction and acceptance speech.