Winston Calvert's clients range from elected officials and publicly-traded companies to individuals, small churches, and non-profits. Winston and the clients he counsels make headlines for winning high-stakes lawsuits and thriving despite public scrutiny.
Calvert formed his own law practice in 2015, after serving a term as City Counselor of the City of St. Louis. As Mayor Francis Slay explained in his Law Day Speech, he appointed Winston to drive the City's legal agenda in "a bolder, more progressive direction" and to "start pushing the envelope . . . to lead the legal reforms necessary to propel our region and our state forward."
One of Calvert's first projects was to craft a legal strategy to bring marriage equality to the State of Missouri. In an historic move, the City issued marriage licenses to four same-sex couples in direct violation of the Missouri's Constitution's marriage provision. After months of litigation, the court sided with Calvert's arguments that the Missouri Constitution was itself unconstitutional, and became the first court to order that same-sex marriage was the law of the land in Missouri.
Calvert pushed the envelope on several other significant reforms, playing a critical role in a complete overhaul of the city's laws regulating businesses, cutting taxes on micro-businesses, the City's response to the Ferguson protests, creation of the Civilian Oversight Board, retaining the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, reforming municipal courts, and bringing Uber to the St. Louis region. Calvert also drafted an ordinance creating a City minimum wage and crafted an inventive legal strategy that culminated in the Supreme Court's unanimous decision upholding the ordinance.
At the end of Calvert's time in City Hall, Mayor Slay tweeted, "Credit Winston Calvert and the Law Department with giving us the support we need to do new, progressive things." The St. Louis American also praised Calvert after he announced he was leaving office, explaining that "Calvert brought an unabashedly progressive voice and presence to city government that we welcome, and a beaming smile and collaborative approach." In recognition of his leadership of the City Counselor's Office, Missouri Lawyers Weekly awarded Winston Calvert with the "Law Firm Leader" award.
In 2015, Chief Justice Patricia Breckenridge appointed Calvert to the Missouri Supreme Court's Commission on Racial and Ethnic Fairness. In recognition of his contributions to reforming municipal courts in the St. Louis region, Calvert was assigned to study current practices, identify solutions, and make recommendations for improving the racial fairness and equity within the municipal justice system throughout the State of Missouri.
Honors and Awards
- Law Firm Leader, Missouri Lawyers Weekly, for leadership of City Counselor's Office
- Legal Champion of the Year, Missouri Lawyers Weekly, for representation of St. Stanislaus
- Rising Star, Super Lawyers
- Generation Now, St. Louis Magazine
Before public office, Calvert was an attorney at Armstrong Teasdale LLP, a large firm based in St. Louis. There, he focused his practice in complex litigation, environmental law, and highly-publicized client challenges of all types. His clients included St. Stanislaus Parish, a Catholic church which Calvert represented in resolving its contentious, 125-year-long property dispute with the Archdiocese of St. Louis and the Vatican. In recognition of his work for St. Stanislaus, Missouri Lawyers Weekly named Calvert one of the “Legal Champions of the Year.” Other significant representations included representing a publicly-traded company in the negotiations and purchase of an asset valued at $100 billion, representing one of the world's largest law firms in obtaining the dismissal of a $250 million legal malpractice claim, and representing a bi-partisan group of elected officials in the first marriage equality case to reach the Missouri Supreme Court. Super Lawyers rating service named Winston a “Rising Star."
Winston has served on the boards and committees for several education, arts, and community organizations. His civic involvement and successful communications and law practice led St. Louis Magazine to name Winston to its “Generation Now” list, which honors those considered to be the next generation of community leaders.
He and his six-year-old son have visited more than 50 national park service units since July 2016, and usually add a few units to that total each month.