KWAKU AKOWUAH is a partner in Sidley’s Supreme Court and Appellate group. His wide-ranging practice encompasses traditional appellate litigation, administrative law disputes, contract disputes, and pre-litigation counseling, particularly where the potential litigation involves difficult questions of constitutional, statutory, or contract interpretation.
Kwaku’s recent matters include:
- Representing a medical industry publisher in an administrative law dispute currently pending before the United States Supreme Court.
- Representing an educational institution in a federal administrative law dispute with the Department of Veterans Affairs. The case, which challenges the validity of an agency rulemaking on substantive and procedural grounds, is currently pending in the Federal Circuit.
- Representing a leading pharmaceutical company in a contract and Lanham Act dispute currently pending in the District of New Jersey.
- Representing a leading consumer goods manufacturer in a case brought by the company to challenge the constitutional validity of a municipal ordinance that purports to control the manufacturer’s out-of-state manufacturing and labeling practices. The District Court for the District of Columbia entered a preliminary injunction enjoining enforcement of the ordinance on First Amendment grounds.
- Advising FDA-regulated companies in connection with potential administrative litigation against the agency.
- Representing a leading telecommunications company before the D.C. Circuit in a challenge to a ruling issued by the Federal Communications Commission. The D.C. Circuit overturned the Commission’s ruling.
- Representing a professional sports franchise in an action to vacate an arbitration award entered by a league panel. A New York trial court vacated the award on grounds of evident partiality. An appellate panel unanimously affirmed the vacatur ruling.
- Representing a major pharmaceutical wholesaler in a nine-figure breach of contract dispute.
- Representing a corporate executive before the U.S. Supreme Court, arguing that the executive’s three-month sentence of incarceration under the “responsible corporate officer” doctrine, as derived from the Food Drug and Cosmetics Act, violates the Due Process Clause.
- Representing a leading life sciences manufacturer before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit in a constitutional challenge to a state’s effort to regulate the manufacturer’s nationwide pricing practices.
Kwaku was named one of 2016’s top 40 under 40 business leaders by the Washington Business Journal. In recognition of his litigation success, he was also named a “D.C. Rising Star” by the National Law Journal 2015.
Prior to joining the firm, Kwaku served as a law clerk to Justice Stephen Breyer of the U.S. Supreme Court. From 2009 to 2012, Kwaku was an Attorney-Adviser in the Office of Legal Counsel at the U.S. Department of Justice. In that role, he provided legal advice to departments and agencies of the executive branch on a variety of matters, including questions relating to the constitutional separation of powers, the interpretation of federal statutes, and international law principles. Prior to his time at the Justice Department, Kwaku was an associate in the appellate litigation practice of a global law firm in New York, where he also gained trial court experience representing clients in commercial, products-liability and securities cases.
Admissions & Certifications
- U.S. Supreme Court
- U.S. Court of Appeals, 2nd Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals, 4th Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals, 10th Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals, 11th Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit
- U.S. District Court, District of Columbia
- U.S. District Court, E.D. of New York
- U.S. District Court, S.D. of New York
- District of Columbia
- New York
- Harvard Law School, J.D., 2004 (magna cum laude)
- Princeton University, A.B., 1999
- Stephen G. Breyer, United States Supreme Court (2012 - 2013)
- Robert A. Katzmann, U.S. Court of Appeals, 2nd Circuit (2005 - 2006)
- Nicholas G. Garaufis, U.S. District Court, E.D. of New York (2004 - 2005)