Washington DC firm Steptoe & Johnson is the latest US firm to enter the Chicago market, launching an office there on 2 January by taking nine partners from local firm Gardner Carton & Douglas ahead of its merger with Philadelphia-headquartered Drinker Biddle & Reath, also effective from 2 January. With Chicago the firm wants to leverage off its London office to offer a transatlantic team in insurance and insurance litigation. Chicago is Steptoe's seventh office and will be headed by litigation partner Steven Davidson and employment partner Paul Mickey, both currently based in the DC office. In July the 450-lawyer firm opened a California office in Century City. Steptoe is just the latest of a spate of firms rushing to enter the Chicago market. In recent months Paul Hastings Janofsky & Walker and Reed Smith have opened offices in the city.