Richard D. Klingler

Klingler, Richard D.


Washington, D.C. +1 202 736 8063

1501 K Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20005
+1 202 736 8063

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Richard D. Klingler


RICHARD D. KLINGLER is a partner based in the Washington, D.C., office. His practice focuses on national security matters and litigation in U.S. courts involving constitutional law, administrative law, and cross-border disputes. He has extensive litigation and regulatory experience working on behalf of telecommunications, finance, energy, and media clients. He has participated in matters before the U.S. Supreme Court, other appellate courts, trial courts and regulatory bodies, as well as matters addressed in Congressional investigations and Executive Branch proceedings.

Mr. Klingler joined the firm in 1990 and first became a partner in 1996. He served from 2006-2007 as the General Counsel and Legal Adviser on the National Security Council staff. From 2005-2007, he served in the Office of the Counsel to the President, concluding as Special Assistant and Senior Associate Counsel to the President. He worked from 1997-2002 as an investment banker with Credit Suisse First Boston on equity capital market and M&A transactions in the telecommunications, energy, and finance sectors. From 1994-96 he worked in Australia (while a Sidley lawyer) as Regulatory Advisor and then Regulatory Counsel for Telstra Corp.

Mr. Klingler has been an Adjunct Fellow with the American Enterprise Institute, addressing counter-terrorism legal issues, and, from 1993-94, was a Guest Scholar at The Brookings Institution, which published his book, The New Information Industry: Regulatory Challenges and the First Amendment (1996). He has testified several times before Congress on Constitutional, counter-terrorism, and sovereign immunity issues, and has written on public policy matters for various national publications. He serves on the Board of the National Veterans Legal Services Program.

Mr. Klingler served as  a law clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor (1989-90) and Judge Kenneth W. Starr of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit (1988-89). He obtained law degrees from Oxford University, which he attended as a Rhodes Scholar, and from Stanford Law School, where he was Senior Articles Editor of The Stanford Law Review and a member of Order of the Coif.

His recent legal work includes:

  • Advisory and litigation assignments related to rules implementing provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act.
  • District court and appellate proceedings addressing the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act.
  • Litigation in U.S. district court, the Second Circuit, and the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of certain victims of the September 11, 2001 attacks, addressing personal jurisdiction, foreign sovereign immunity, and counter-terrorism laws. 
  • Litigation in federal district and appellate courts addressing the sale of goods pursuant to the United Nation’s Oil-for-Food Program.
  • Defending a military officer in U.S. district court, the Fourth Circuit, and the U.S. Supreme Court against a damages action brought by an enemy combatant. 
  • Advising a company regarding cybersecurity issues, including statutes addressing the interception of electronic communications.
  • Appellate litigation concerning the extraterritorial application of U.S. intellectual property laws and personal jurisdiction over foreign corporate defendants.
  • Advising financial institutions, governments, and a central bank on the scope of foreign sovereign immunity in U.S. courts, including for purposes of enforcement of contracts and immunity from suit or execution of judgments.
  • Filing briefs in separate U.S. proceedings on behalf of the European Commission and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in cases involving conflicting U.S. and foreign legal obligations concerning production of documents.
  • Filing a U.S. Supreme Court amicus brief addressing the state secrets doctrine and government contracting processes as applied to a defense systems contract.
  • Pro bono representation of a veteran’s widow in an appeal of a denial of benefits for war-related injuries.
  • Providing advice and litigation assistance addressing choice of law, conflict of law, and enforcement and recognition of judgments in parallel litigation proceeding in U.S. and Canadian courts.
  • Advising financial institutions and a financial trade association regarding Takings Clause, Bill of Attainder, Commerce Clause, and Direct Tax implications of proposed federal and state legislation.
  • Providing commercial, regulatory, and litigation support for the development of a cross-border natural gas pipeline project.
  • Defending a company in U.S. federal court against an Alien Tort Statute suit arising from environmental damage occurring in South America.
  • Representing corporations, investors, and individuals regarding the enforcement of judgments secured by victims of state-sponsored terrorism, including representing the respondent before the U.S. Supreme Court in Ministry of Defense (Iran) v. Elahi, No. 07-615.
  • Advising corporations on the potential litigation consequences of cross-border shipments of goods and revisions to cross-border commercial arrangements.
  • Defending corporations in a civil suit brought by a foreign sovereign and relating to the operation of a United Nations program.
  • Advising investors and corporations regarding review of transactions by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS).
  • Advising on U.S. counter-terrorism laws and legal processes.
  • Advising several companies regarding their dealings with U.S. intelligence agencies.
  • Advising companies regarding potential violations of U.S. export control laws.
  • Filing a U.S. Supreme Court amicus brief advocating the Second Amendment right to self-defense, in District of Columbia v. Heller, No. 07-290.
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