Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP (WilmerHale) is pleased to announce that Debo P. Adegbile has joined the firm as a partner. Previously senior counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee and acting president and director-counsel at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, Inc. (LDF), Mr. Adegbile will focus his practice in WilmerHale's Litigation/Controversy Department and will be based in the New York office.
"Debo is an outstanding lawyer who has litigated and made strategic decisions at the highest levels," said WilmerHale Co-Managing Partner Robert Novick. "His litigation skills, business acumen, and vast experience across a wide range of government-facing, commercial and appellate litigation will greatly benefit our clients."
Mr. Adegbile, who began his career as a commercial litigator at a leading New York law firm, is considered one of the preeminent civil rights lawyers of his generation. He spent more than a decade working for LDF, rising quickly and eventually leading the premier civil rights law firm at the forefront of constitutional litigation. In 2007 he became the director of litigation and supervised a broad range of complex civil and criminal cases in trial and appellate courts, including the Supreme Court, and served as the final decision-maker for key strategic litigation decisions. From March 2012 to January 2013, he served as the acting president and director-counsel, succeeding John Payton—a former WilmerHale partner. In 2013, Mr. Adegbile argued his second Supreme Court case, Shelby County v. Holder. Most recently Mr. Adegbile was senior counsel for the Senate Judiciary Committee, in which capacity he advised the Committee Chairman, Senator Leahy.
"Once I decided to return to private practice, WilmerHale was a natural fit," said Mr. Adegbile. "I was drawn to the firm's exceptional attorneys, superb reputation and strong culture of public service. WilmerHale leverages that culture for the benefit of its clients in cutting edge cases that lie at the intersection of business, government regulation and public policy. I look forward to collaborating with my colleagues to contribute to WilmerHale's continued success."
Mr. Adegbile earned his law degree in 1994 from the New York University School of Law and his undergraduate degree in 1991 from Connecticut College for which he now serves as a trustee. Mr. Adegbile has chaired the boards of other New York City not-for-profits. He is the recipient of several professional awards including this week as an American Constitution Society Keeping Faith with the Constitution Awardee. In 2013, he was included in the Power 100 list of the Nation's Most Influential Black Attorneys.