David W. Ogden


Chair, Government and Regulatory Litigation Practice Group

Ogden, David W.

A nationally recognized litigator and counselor with more than thirty years' experience, David Ogden focuses his practice on complex disputes with serious financial implications. He served as the Deputy Attorney General of the United States from 2009 to 2010 and as Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division, United States Department of Justice, from 1999 to 2001. Mr. Ogden is chair of the firm's Government and Regulatory Litigation Group.

Principal areas of practice include:

  • civil litigation and government enforcement actions under regulatory regimes such as the False Claims Act, fair lending and other anti-discrimination laws, the antitrust or competition laws, securities laws, fraud, consumer protection, financial services, and environmental laws;
  • matters raising issues of public and private international law, such as transnational litigation in US courts, transnational regulation and enforcement, investor-state disputes, enforcement of foreign judgments, injunctions against foreign litigation, and controversies outside the United States;
  • administrative law and other litigation involving defects in government regulations or other official actions;
  • litigation to restrain the enforcement of federal or state statutes, including first amendment, federal preemption, Commerce Clause, equal protection, due process, and expropriation issues;
  • development and advocacy of policy reforms relating to litigation and enforcement issues; and
  • Supreme Court and appellate litigation.

Mr. Ogden is consistently highly ranked by leading publications such as Chambers USA, which describes him as a “fabulous litigator” with extensive experience in both civil and criminal litigation. Additionally, U.S. News - Best Lawyers reported in its 2016 “Best Law Firms” rankings that Mr. Ogden “is both a great litigator and a great counselor. He understands that litigation is a tool and not an end in itself. He is highly strategic, great at seeing around corners, and a pleasure to work with to boot.”  

His clients have included leading companies in the pharmaceutical, petrochemical, technology, retail, insurance, defense, financial, manufacturing, airline, automotive, rail, media, entertainment, and government services industries, as well as major trade and professional associations, nonprofit foundations, and individuals.

Government Experience

Mr. Ogden served as the Deputy Attorney General of the United States from 2009 to 2010. In that position, he was the second ranking official of the United States Department of Justice and its chief operating officer, supervising the Justice Department’s 110,000 employees, almost $30 billion budget, and all of its components and operations. Among the components reporting to Mr. Ogden were the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other law enforcement agencies, the 93 United States Attorneys Offices, and all of the Justice Department’s national litigating divisions including the Criminal Division, National Security Division, Civil Division, Civil Rights Division, Antitrust Division, Environment and Natural Resources Division, and Tax Division. He led major Justice Department and Executive Branch initiatives addressing healthcare fraud, financial and mortgage fraud, international organized crime, Mexican drug cartels, immigration, international tax enforcement, the government's compliance with criminal and civil discovery, and law enforcement in Indian Country. He worked regularly with the leaders of foreign justice and interior ministries on international disputes and national security and law enforcement matters

Earlier, Mr. Ogden served as the Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division (1999-2001), where he directed the Justice Department's largest litigating unit representing federal agencies and officials in major civil litigation, including the government's largest regulatory, constitutional, international, national security, administrative, government contract, commercial, fraud and false claims, tort, immigration, and consumer matters. He also served as Chief of Staff and Counselor to former Attorney General Janet Reno (1997-1999), Associate Deputy Attorney General (1995-1997), and Deputy General Counsel and Legal Counsel at the United States Department of Defense (1994-1995).

Honors & Awards

  • Selected as a leading lawyer for his work in the litigation field in the 2013-2015 editions of Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business
  • Selected by his peers for inclusion in the 2015 and 2016 editions of Best Lawyers in America for Litigation - Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy)
  • Named by The Ethisphere Institute to its 2015 list of Attorneys Who Matter in the Specialists - Private Practice category. 
  • Recommended as a litigation star in Washington DC in Benchmark Litigation's The Guide to America's Leading Litigation Firms and Attorneys (2008, 2012 and 2013)
  • The 2012 Distinguished Brief Award, given by The Thomas M. Cooley Law Review for briefs filed before the Michigan Supreme Court, for the amicus brief of the American Psychological Association in Michigan v. Kowalski
  • Edward H. Levi Award for Outstanding Professionalism and Exemplary Integrity, US Department of Justice (2010) 
  • Named a 2007, 2008, 2009, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 Washington DC Super Lawyer for business litigation
  • One of Washington Business Journal's "Top Washington Lawyers" in the area of corporate litigation (2006)
  • National Law Journal Pro Bono Award (2006)
  • Outstanding Legal Service Award, National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty (2005)
  • Edmund J. Randolph Award for Outstanding Service, US Department of Justice (2001)
  • Attorney General's Medallion, US Department of Justice (1999)
  • Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service (1995)

Publications & News


March 27, 2016

WilmerHale Lawyers and Practices Recognized in 2016 Edition of Chambers USA

Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business announced its final rankings for the 2016 edition, with WilmerHale ranking among the nation's best in 47 practice area categories. Chambers also ranked 82 WilmerHale lawyers as leaders in their respective fields.

January 13, 2016

FTC Report Examines Legal and Policy Considerations for Big Data Analytics, Promises More Enforcement

The Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) recent report, Big Data: A Tool for Inclusion or Exclusion?, released on January 6, warns businesses engaged in big data analytics that the practice poses liability risks. While the FTC does not propose new law or policy, the report advises that existing laws-including the FTC Act, the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA)-already can reach certain uses of big data

January 12, 2016

False Claims Act: 2015 Year-in-Review

In 2015, the Justice Department continued to give high priority to False Claims Act investigations, bringing in nearly $3.6 billion in settlements and judgments. 

December 7, 2015

Supreme Court To Address Permissibility and Scope of Implied Certification Liability Under the False Claims Act

On Friday, December 4, the Supreme Court agreed to hear a case raising the questions of whether implied certification liability is permissible under the False Claims Act and, if so, under what circumstances.

July 24, 2015

A second chance in life

An article written by David Ogden, Kelly Dunbar and Jessica Leinwand, published in The Baltimore Sun on July 24, 2015.

July 6, 2015

Disparate Impact Survives—Court Outlines Limitations on Liability  

On June 25, 2015, the US Supreme Court issued a decision in Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Communities Project, holding that disparate-impact claims are cognizable under the Fair Housing Act.  

June 15, 2015

CFPB Finalizes Automobile Finance Larger Participant Rule and Publishes Examination Procedures

On June 10, 2015, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced a final rule that will allow it to supervise larger nonbank automobile finance companies.

May 26, 2015

Supreme Court Strengthens False Claims Act’s Statute of Limitations, Narrows First-to-File Bar

The U.S. Supreme Court today resolved two important questions under the False Claims Act, holding that (1) the Wartime Suspension of Limitations Act (WSLA), 18 U.S.C. § 3287, applies only to criminal cases, and (2) the FCA’s first-to-file bar, 31 U.S.C. § 3730(b)(5), ceases to apply once the earlier-filed action that might have created the bar has been dismissed.

May 19, 2015

WilmerHale Practices, Lawyers Ranked Among Nation’s Best by Chambers USA

Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business announced its final rankings for the 2015 edition, with WilmerHale ranking among the nation's best in 46 practice area categories. Chambers also ranked 86 WilmerHale attorneys as leaders in their respective fields.

March 16, 2015

Partner David Ogden Discusses FCA Reforms at 2015 Global Ethics Summit

WilmerHale Partner David Ogden was a guest speaker during several events at the 7th Annual Global Ethics Summit held in New York on March 10-11, 2015.

Representative Matters

International Disputes  

  • Obtaining for a US petrochemical company judicial declarations that foreign judgments totaling more than $500 million are unenforceable in the United States
  • Successfully managing for US pharmaceutical and international petro-chemical companies high-stakes litigations in foreign courts raising issues of judicial corruption and investor-state protections
  • Representing an American company in litigation against a foreign state under the expropriation and commercial activities exceptions to the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act
  • Representing a foreign sovereign in US litigation with another foreign sovereign concerning ownership of mineral rights
  • Successfully defending foreign airlines in two separate US antitrust litigations seeking more than $50 billion in damages, and managing related litigation worldwide
  • Successfully representing an international law firm in a civil racketeering suit brought by a former adversary in international arbitration
  • Representing corporate clients in investor-state arbitration under ICSID and UNCITRAL Rules  
  • Representing a former US Secretary of State in Alien Tort Statute litigation

Government and Public Policy Litigation and Investigations  

  • Successfully representing an international law firm in a civil RICO action
  • Representing defense, retail and entertainment industry clients in qui tam actions brought under the False Claims Act
  • Representing insurance, pharmaceutical, technology, banking, and, government service companies in Justice Department False Claims investigations
  • Representing financial institutions in CFPB investigations under fair lending, RESPA, and other regulatory regimes
  • Representing manufacturing, legal services, and financial services entities in SEC investigations
  • Obtaining on behalf of a major national mortgage lender dismissal with prejudice of a putative nationwide discrimination class action and representing an investment bank in similar litigation
  • Representing a major insurance company in fair lending investigation by a state regulatory authority
  • Obtaining for a trade association summary judgment striking down on Commerce Clause and preemption grounds a state price control statute
  • Obtaining for a trade association summary judgment striking down on preemption grounds a state statute that invalidated arbitration clauses in certain agreements
  • Advising a major insurance company and other financial institutions with respect to Dodd-Frank issues, including the Financial Stability Oversight Council
  • Submitting amicus briefs for a major professional and scientific association and a major industry association in the US Supreme Court and other appellate courts

Professional Activities

In 2010, 2012 and 2014, Mr. Ogden was elected and currently serves as a public member of the Administrative Conference of the United States.


Skip Navigation Links.


JD, magna cum laude, Harvard Law School, 1981, Editor, Harvard Law Review

BA, summa cum laude, University of Pennsylvania, 1976, Phi Beta Kappa

Bar Admissions

District of Columbia


The Hon. Harry A. Blackmun, US Supreme Court, 1982 - 1983

The Hon. Abraham D. Sofaer, US District Court for the Southern District of New York, 1981 - 1982