In 2013, the Washington DC office will celebrate its 50th Anniversary in the nation’s capital. The Firm opened its doors in DC in 1963 with just 3 lawyers and has grown to be one of the city’s largest law firms, home to nearly 290 lawyers and policy professionals. Located on K Street, two blocks from the White House, we work at the crossroads of law and policy, providing comprehensive regulatory, policy and litigation services to domestic and international clients in numerous industries.
Many of our lawyers possess an invaluable perspective garnered from years of experience in prior government service. Dozens of DC lawyers have held high-level positions at the Justice Department, other federal departments and agencies, the White House, and on Capitol Hill. More than 70 DC lawyers have served as clerks in federal and state courts across the country, including 16 who served as U.S. Supreme Court clerks.
Many of Sidley’s DC-based practices and the lawyers who comprise those teams are recognized as leaders in their respective fields. US News & World Report rates 28 DC practice areas among the region’s top-tier groups, and 40 of our DC partners are recognized in Chambers USA 2012. DC lawyers also have received recognition from The American Lawyer, Law360, PLC, The National Law Journal, Who’s Who Legal, Best Lawyers, IFLR 1000, LMG Life Sciences, IAM Patent 1000, Washingtonian magazine, Benchmark Litigation and the International Legal Alliance.
Befitting its location in the nation’s capital, the Firm’s DC office has extensive regulatory capabilities, as well as a distinguished Government Strategies group. The office’s regulatory practices—which generally involve both counseling and specialized litigation—are as diverse as the clients we serve. They include: Antitrust/Competition, Banking and Financial Services, Communications Regulatory, Corporate Reorganization and Bankruptcy, Energy, Environmental, Food, Drug and Medical Device, Healthcare, International Trade, Privacy, Data Security and Information Law, Project Finance and Infrastructure, Securities & Derivatives Enforcement and Regulatory and Transportation.
Our litigation practice is one of the region’s largest and has a record of success in litigating against the government and private parties. More than 210 lawyers have litigated trials in federal and state courts around the United States and across a broad range of subject matters and industry-focused practices, including: Accountants/Professional Service Firms Liability, Complex Commercial Litigation, Food, Drug and Medical Device Enforcement, Intellectual Property, Government Contracts Litigation, Products Liability, International Arbitration and Securities & Derivatives Enforcement and Regulatory. The White Collar: Government Litigation and Investigations practice is one of the largest in the office and leads a Firmwide global and international enforcement practice anchored by our renowned Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) practice.
The office is well known for building one of the first and most prestigious Supreme Court and Appellate practices in the city. The team’s lawyers have briefed over 190 cases on behalf of Firm clients on the merits before the Court and have argued more than 108 cases. In the October 2011 Term, our lawyers argued six cases in the Court with no losses. Sidley’s appellate team has appeared in every federal circuit, as well as in numerous state appellate courts. Since January 2011, members of the Appellate practice filed briefs in more than 120 cases in the United States Courts of Appeals, presenting argument in more than 62 percent of the appeals.
Sidley’s roots in Washington are deep, as is our commitment to pro bono representation and involvement in the community. Our lawyers, legal assistants and staff devote tens of thousands of hours each year to pro bono work and have championed a number of area initiatives. Many projects come to us via longstanding partnerships we have with DC-based organizations. For over 15 years, Sidley has partnered with Thomson Elementary School through the DC Public School Partnership Project, directed by the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs, and since 2009, Sidley lawyers have staffed the Landlord Tenant Resource Center (LTRC) of the DC Superior Court. Since it was started 20 years ago, we have volunteered twice a year with the DC Bar Pro Bono Program’s Advocacy and Justice Clinic, representing at least ten clients a year in landlord-tenant, disability benefits, and family law cases. We have served for several years as reading partners and mentors to elementary school students through a program run by Everybody Wins! DC. The office also holds an annual Service Week that engages lawyers, summer associates and staff in a variety of volunteer activities, including working a local soup kitchen, donating blood, making sandwiches for distribution by the Salvation Army, helping asylees apply for permanent residence in the United States, and donating money and essential items to a local homeless outreach center. As part of National Pro Bono Week in October 2012, our staff and lawyers, on Go Casual for Justice Day, raised over $10,000 for the DC Bar Foundation’s loan repayment assistance program for local legal services attorneys.
Sidley values the recognition it has received in response to its pro bono activities. The DC office was honored for the fifth consecutive year in 2012 by the chief judges of the District of Columbia federal courts at the “40 at 50” Judicial Pro Bono Recognition ceremony, an event that honors law firms in which 40 percent of the lawyers devoted 50 or more hours to pro bono work. Also in 2012, Sidley was among 23 law firms recognized for donating a total of more than $3 million to the DC Access to Justice Commission’s initiative to increase funding to local legal services providers whose recipients are primarily vulnerable, low-income DC residents. In 2011, Sidley received a Defender of Freedom Award from the Foundation for Criminal Justice in response to the Firm’s pro bono work representing criminal defendants before the U.S. Supreme Court.