Washington, D.C.

Located in our Nation’s capital, Foley’s Washington, D.C. attorneys provide diverse and comprehensive legal services to meet your challenging legal, regulatory, economic, and political needs.

Our Washington, D.C. attorneys offer our clients a full spectrum of legal representation and counseling, with particular strength in the following areas:

Regulatory and Legislative: We routinely handle matters for clients like you before all major government agencies, including:

  • U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ)
  • U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and other self-regulatory organizations
  • United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)
  • Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
  • The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Federal Communications Commission, the Federal Elections Commission, the Federal Maritime Commission, and the U.S. Postal Service
  • The U.S. International Trade Commission and Office of the United States Trade Representative
  • The Federal Reserve Board, Comptroller of the Currency, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and Office of Thrift Supervision
  • The Federal Election Commission
  • Office of Government Ethics (Executive Branch) and the House and Senate Ethics Committees
  • The U.S. Department of Energy and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)

We represent clients before the U.S. Congress, including designing strategy, drafting bills, and pursuing their enactment, as well as lobbying to defeat proposals. We can assist you in giving testimony before congressional committees and in forming coalitions to achieve legislative goals. We monitor legislative and regulatory issues as well track the political reality of the process.

Business Law: Our Washington, D.C. Business Law attorneys provide a full range of corporate services. Our clients range from start-up technology and consumer services companies to NYSE-listed public companies. The clients are engaged in a wide spectrum of activities, including real estate, health care, social networking, energy, telecommunications, manufacturing, infrastructure and life sciences.

We provide sophisticated legal advice on the issues most important to public and private companies, including all aspects of merger and acquisition transactions. Our corporate attorneys have extensive experience in public and private mergers and acquisitions; going private transactions; cross-border and international transactions; divestitures, recapitalizations, spin-offs, and carve-outs; joint ventures; leveraged buyouts; contested transactions; and unsolicited offers. In addition to providing legal advice, we can help you add value to these transactions through business counseling, including identifying and evaluating acquisition candidates, maximizing value when selling, and minimizing risks when buying.

We regularly represent issuers, underwriters, and investors in public and private securities transactions in the United States and in foreign markets, ranging from venture capital seed funding for emerging companies to significant public equity and debt offerings for large public companies. We work closely with you on disclosure, registration, listing, enforcement, and other matters. In addition, we use our significant experience with regulatory and enforcement agencies to provide you with valuable counsel on important interpretive and procedural issues.

The office also has tax experience in the transactional, not-for-profit and business succession areas.  In addition, our office has attorneys who focus their practice in estate planning, probate administration, and trust law.

Energy: Our Washington, D.C. attorneys have substantial experience counseling electric and natural gas industry clients on a full range of matters concerning compliance with regulatory requirements of FERC and other agencies. We have substantial experience in energy and utility operations, including significant skills in electric energy and natural gas restructuring; natural gas and electric rates and certificate regulation; negotiation of power sales contracts; facilities siting and certification; and reliability and outage investigations. We also counsel developers involved in wind, solar, and geothermal regarding FERC requirements and represent them in issues involving generation interconnection, market-based rate applications, and EWG and QF matters. When we combine these capabilities with Foley's longstanding firmwide representation of hundreds of companies involved in the production and distribution of energy resources, you can count on our energy counsel to be comprehensive and effective.

Environmental: Our Washington, D.C. attorneys have been at the forefront of this complex field. We are experienced in all aspects of environmental law, particularly in dealing with regulations and policies issued by the EPA under the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, and the “Superfund” law. Our Environmental attorneys have played significant roles representing clients in major EPA rulemakings, and have successfully challenged those rules in the judicial review process. They have significant experience in representing facility owners at the regional and state levels in dealing with environmental compliance issues, permitting, and enforcement, and have represented parties of all types in waste-site cleanups and disputes under the Superfund and similar laws.

Government Contracts: Spanning the complete range of federal contract issues, from bid protests to suspension and debarment litigation, our D.C. attorneys are uniquely situated to excel in handling government matters. Our practice is particularly known for its knowledge of cost accounting standards, taking claims against the federal government, defending clients against defective pricing and False Claims Act allegations, and intellectual property rights involving the federal government. On your behalf, we will negotiate contracts, file and defend bid protests, negotiate claims settlements, litigate contract disputes and claims, and assist you in obtaining statutory relief from Congress when necessary.

Health Care: Our Health Care attorneys are part of the nation's largest and most comprehensive Health Care Industry Team, with service from coast to coast. Our attorneys are at the forefront of health policy and marketplace developments, providing innovative counsel to the entire spectrum of the health care industry. In addition, our D.C. health care attorneys have served in key government agencies, including the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Office of Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.

The combination of our focused industry knowledge with the firm's general legal and business capabilities ensures that your legal needs are addressed by attorneys who understand your strategic business objectives, your business operational plans, the specific laws affecting the health care industry, and the methods to overcome any regulatory obstacles to achieving your business goals. Our D.C. attorneys are sought in particular for assistance with the Physician Self-Referral Law, the anti-kickback statute, Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement and regulatory requirements, and the Office of Inspector General's Civil Monetary Penalty Law and exclusion authorities. In addition, our Health Care attorneys partner with litigators, many of whom have served in the DOJ or the United States' Attorneys offices to investigate and litigate matters under the federal and state False Claims Acts.

Intellectual Property: As members of our 200-attorney IP Department, our D.C. IP attorneys handle all aspects of patent counseling, opinions, licensing, and litigation. On the patent procurement side, we help companies protect their core technology and associated market share through strategic patent procurement and management. We evaluate patents for licensing and infringement avoidance purposes. We handle patent litigation across the full spectrum, from offensive cases to protect your patent rights to defending against patent enforcement entities. Our attorneys have specific experience in all the significant federal district courts, the ITC, and the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

We complement our technical bench with experienced attorneys in trademark and copyright matters, helping you to secure exclusive rights in marketing tools such as trademarks and service marks, exploiting and enforcing such rights, and avoiding liability for infringing the intellectual property rights of others.

Our D.C. IP attorneys, located in the same city as the Federal Circuit and less than 10 miles from the USPTO's main campus in Alexandria, Virginia, have a front-row seat for their decisions, so they can swiftly determine how their decisions and policies can impact your IP portfolio. Numerous attorneys served as clerks at the Federal Circuit and former USPTO Examiners. We also support lobbying efforts on Capitol Hill for clients looking to shape future key IP legislation.

Life Sciences and Nanotechnology: Our Life Sciences Industry Team provides comprehensive legal and regulatory services for innovative enterprises as products and services evolve from concept to commercial reality in the fields of pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, medical devices, biomedicine, and health care. With our integration of skills in business law, regulatory affairs, IP, health care law, and taxation, we can guide you through the maze of challenges confronting you in competitive global markets.

We also are involved in the emerging nanotechnology and microsystems sector that lies at the intersection of materials science, organic chemistry and biochemistry, semiconductor design, fluidics, and computer science, among other disciplines. Through our Nanotechnology Industry Team, we can bring real value to your nanotechnology or microsystems company because we have a keen comprehension of each of these areas, and the ability to suggest strategies that will keep your company on the path to commercial success.

Litigation: Both locally and nationally, the litigators in Foley's Washington, D.C. office are recognized as being pre-eminent in their fields. Publications such as Chambers USA: America's Leading Business Lawyers, The Best Lawyers in America©, and Washingtonian Magazine have recognized several of our D.C. Litigation practice areas and attorneys, including:

  • Business Litigation & Dispute Resolution
  • Distribution & Franchise (Chambers National Ranking)
  • Government Contracting (Chambers National Ranking)
  • Securities Enforcement & Litigation
  • Government Enforcement, Compliance & White Collar Defense

Foley litigators know and are respected in state and federal courts throughout the country but most specifically in Washington, D.C. and the neighboring states of Maryland, Virginia, and Delaware at both the trial and federal level. As a result, Foley litigators may be defending a TRO motion in D.C. Superior Court, pursuing breach of contract claims in Maryland state court in Baltimore, protecting intellectual property rights in the “rocket docket” (U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia), defending creditors' rights in bankruptcy court in Wilmington, Delaware, or arguing an appeal in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in Richmond.

Being in the nation's capital and a short drive from state capitals in Maryland and Virginia, Foley litigators also are no strangers to proceedings before state and federal administrative agencies. These include some of the largest SEC investigations and massive Hart-Scott-Rodino Act second requests from the FTC and DOJ Antitrust Section. These also include franchise termination proceedings before state alcoholic beverage control and motor vehicle departments. The pre-eminence of our federal agency practice is demonstrated by the fact that a Foley litigator is president of the Federal Circuit Bar Association.

Our litigators regularly appear in arbitration proceedings, both domestically and overseas, before major ADR purveyors such as the AAA and JAMS, as well as in industry-specific arbitration venues such as FINRA.

Government and Public Policy: Foley's Public Policy Practice provides a full range of public strategies, including policy development, issue management, government relations, and strategic communications. Our services cover the full spectrum of public policy, from key issue research and policy creation to managing all aspects of public interaction — all on one team. We can help you thrive in the high-stakes arena of media and politics. Decades of experience in the trenches of public policy and a capacity to manage the most complex and sensitive public matters are available to you as soon as the need arises. And we can partner with attorneys in our key industry teams to provide additional knowledge and experience as needed. The practice is bipartisan, with a significant presence in two state capitals and Washington, D.C. and strong ties to state and federal government officials across the country. Our Public Policy Practice is well positioned to serve you locally and nationally.

Political Law:  Foley's Political Law Practice provides compliance guidance and counsel to companies, individuals, issue organizations, and candidates to ensure that the political and public policy activities in which clients are involved are conducted in compliance with applicable federal, state, and local law. Foley attorneys have represented clients across the country and across the spectrum of political and public policy interactions. The team has decades of real-world experience that it relies upon to guide clients through the key areas of political law, including but not limited to campaign finance/election law and lobbying/ethics regulation. In addition, our Political Law attorneys have worked with our Government Enforcement, Compliance & White Collar Defense teams in successfully representing high-profile individuals before the Department of Justice in various matters arising from political and public policy activities of our clients.

Securities Enforcement: When faced with scrutiny from external or internal investigations initiated by the SEC, U.S. Commodities Futures Trading Commission, state and federal regulatory and law enforcement agencies, and FINRA and other self-regulatory organizations, it is important to work with counsel that is experienced in internal investigations. Our D.C. attorneys have experience with public company audit committees; investigations of broker-dealers to determine whether violations of procedures, laws, or regulations have occurred; and other forms of investigations or audits.

When faced with scrutiny for alleged impropriety involving financial accounting and reporting; brokerage firm trading, sales, and underwriting practices; FCPA violations; insider trading; market abuses, including manipulation, stock options, and options/futures trading; securities offerings; asset management; structured and new products; municipal securities; failure to supervise; anti-money laundering and clearance and settlement; knowing that former securities regulators who have worked for the SEC, FINRA, and securities fraud teams within several U.S. Attorneys' offices are counseling you. Our D.C. attorneys have extensive trial experience, including cases in state and federal courts across the country, administrative proceedings before SEC administrative law judges (ALJs), disciplinary hearings before FINRA's Office of Hearing Officers, other regulatory tribunals, and arbitration forums.

Transportation: For more than 25 years, Foley attorneys have earned an outstanding reputation for representing Class I freight railroads, shortline railroads, commuter authorities, ocean carriers, airports, transportation suppliers, vehicle manufacturers and suppliers, and a host of other parties in rail, sea, air, and on-road transportation on federal regulatory and legislative matters. Our leadership in transport issues stems from our depth of operational knowledge and public policy experience in all areas of the transportation industry. Our extensive industry experience, combined with a full range of comprehensive legal services, enables us to provide practical advice and craft meaningful solutions. Our D.C. attorneys represent clients before U.S. Department of Transportation agencies — including the Surface Transportation Board, the Federal Railroad Administration, the Federal Transit Administration, the Federal Aviation Administration, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, and the Maritime Administration — and before Congress, addressing the full spectrum of compliance, enforcement, legislative, and policy matters. We also provide tax, transactional, antitrust, and federal court litigation representation to our transportation industry clients.

U.S. Regulation of Exports, International Conduct, and International Trade: The U.S. government is aggressively enforcing its regulation of international conduct and international trade, including through the imposition of record fines and penalties. We regularly counsel clients regarding the intricacies of laws regulating the transfer of goods, technology, and information to foreign countries and foreign nationals, including the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) restrictions on the export of controlled dual-use items and technology and the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) restrictions of defense articles and services. We also counsel clients regarding U.S. regulation of international conduct, including Office of Foreign Assets Controls (OFAC) administration of the economic sanctions regulations and the FCPA restrictions on the bribery of foreign officials. We regularly conduct detailed risk assessments for companies and prepare tailored compliance programs that help minimize the risks posed by the aggressive enforcement of these laws. Finally, we work closely with clients to investigate potential violations, including through the preparation and submission of voluntary disclosures and by working with the agencies to deal with problems.

We also regularly counsel clients on the in-bound side of transactions. We help clients comply with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) requirements by seeking classification and valuation rulings from CBP that achieve import duty savings for clients, counseling clients regarding country-of-origin rules, and developing effective CBP compliance programs and performing assessments of them on a periodic basis. Where trade litigation arises, we draw on more than 30 years of experience in international trade disputes on behalf of numerous foreign and U.S. companies, and numerous foreign governments, covering a large variety of industries and countries all over the world.

White Collar Defense and Corporate Compliance: Our Government Enforcement, Compliance & White Collar Defense attorneys represent companies and individuals in criminal investigators and trials, as well as related civil and regulatory proceedings. Our attorneys have vast experience in representing clients in a wide array of criminal matters before the DOJ and United States Attorneys' offices. Our capabilities also include conducting domestic and international internal investigations; counseling with respect to federal and state criminal statutes and regulatory schemes; and counseling and defending clients in enforcement actions focused on foreign business practices, including the FCPA and export control laws.

Our attorneys are deeply involved in D.C.'s public and civic affairs and maintain a commitment to charitable efforts that enhance our vibrant community, including work with such organizations as Children's Charitable Organizations, the Archdiocesan Legal Network, the Institute for Responsible Citizenship, the Francis-Stevens Education Campus, and the Thurgood Marshall Academy Public Charter High School.