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 before the United States Supreme Court in PDR Network, LLC v. Carlton & Harris Chiropractic, Inc., a Telephone Consumer Protection Act case involving significant questions of administrative law. The Supreme Court ruled 9-0 in favor of Sidley’s client, vacated the 4th Circuit’s challenged ruling, and remanded the case to the 4th Circuit for further proceedings. On remand, the 4th Circuit adopted Sidley’s principal administrative law argument and declined to reinstate its prior decision.
Representing an educational institution in a federal administrative law dispute with the Department of Veterans Affairs in the Federal Circuit.
- Representing a leading financial services company in a Helms-Burton Act litigation currently pending in the District of Delaware.
- 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.
- 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 10th 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 2015 “D.C. Rising Star” by The National Law Journal.
Prior to joining the firm, Kwaku served as a law clerk to Justice Stephen G. 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. Kwaku began his career with clerkships for Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis of the Eastern District of New York and Judge Robert A. Katzmann of the 2nd Circuit.