Publications & News

Carl J. Nichols Joins WilmerHale

January 12, 2010

WilmerHale is pleased to announce the arrival of Carl J. Nichols in the firm’s Washington DC office as a partner in the Litigation/Controversy and Regulatory and Government Affairs Departments. Nichols was most recently the Principal Deputy Associate Attorney General at the United States Department of Justice (US DOJ), and previously served as the Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Federal Programs Branch of the Civil Division at the US DOJ. At WilmerHale, Nichols’ practice will center on litigation and counseling on matters with a governmental or regulatory focus.

“We are excited to welcome Carl to the firm,” said Litigation/Controversy Department Chair Howard M. Shapiro. “Carl’s extensive litigation experience in both the government and in private practice is a terrific addition to our talented Litigation Department. We look forward to working with Carl to continue providing the best possible service to our clients.”

Nichols has significant experience as a litigator. During his tenure at the US DOJ, Nichols served as the government’s lead counsel in a number of landmark suits, including the House Judiciary Committee’s lawsuit seeking to enforce subpoenas issued to senior White House officials, several suits filed by the federal government to enjoin state investigations into alleged activities of the National Security Agency, and various lawsuits filed against telecommunications companies alleging their participation in national security programs. As Principal Deputy Associate Attorney General, Nichols was responsible for overseeing the Department’s five civil litigating components, and as Deputy Assistant Attorney General, Nichols personally handled and supervised the government’s most sensitive civil cases. Prior to his time with the US DOJ, Nichols was a partner at Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP, where he litigated complex commercial cases at the trial and appellate levels on behalf of clients in various industries.

“Carl’s addition will further expand the deep bench of government and regulatory experts we have here,” said WilmerHale Co-Managing Partner, William J. Perlstein. “We are delighted he is joining WilmerHale and know that his experience and background will be a tremendous asset to our clients.”

WilmerHale’s Litigation/Controversy and Regulatory and Government Affairs Departments have been recognized as among the best in the nation. In December 2009, The Lawyer ranked the firm in the top 10 of its annual list of the top 50 litigation practices. Vault's 2009 List of Most Prestigious Law Firms ranked the firm in both the “Best in Litigation” and “Best in DC” categories.

“It was a tremendous honor to serve at the Department of Justice, and I am extremely excited to be returning to private practice at one of the world’s leading international law firms,” said Nichols. “WilmerHale’s Litigation Department is second to none, and I am thrilled to join the talented group of lawyers at the firm.”

Nichols received his BA from Dartmouth College, and his JD from The University of Chicago Law School, where he graduated with high honors and was a member of The University of Chicago Law Review. Following law school, Nichols served as a law clerk to Judge Lawrence H. Silberman of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, and to Justice Clarence Thomas of the Supreme Court of the United States.