Appellate and Supreme Court Litigation

Appellate and Supreme Court Litigation

Combining our trial and appellate strengths allows us to shape litigation strategy from the outset to maximize the likelihood of ultimate success.

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Meet Our Team


  • Award Text

    National Tier 1 in Appellate Practice 2019

    U.S. News – Best Lawyers


  • Award Text

    Appellate Hot List 2019

    The National Law Journal


  • Award Text

    Top-Tier Appellate Practice

    The Legal 500 United States

    TIER 1 RANKING IN 2018

  • The National Law Journal included WilmerHale's Appellate and Supreme Court Litigation Practice in its "Appellate Hot List" in 2019 for the 12th consecutive year, and in 2017 named WilmerHale the Washington DC Litigation Department of the Year in the General Litigation category. In addition, Partners Mark Fleming and Danielle Spinelli were named Appellate Lawyer of the Week in 2011 and 2010, respectively.
  • Chambers USA has recognized the firm’s Appellate and Supreme Court Litigation Practice since 2005, including with a Band 1 ranking in 2018 and 2019. Clients praise the group, saying "they have an incredibly deep appellate bench with experience at all circuits as well as the Supreme Court that is second to none." In 2016, Partner Seth Waxman was cited as a star individual, with sources calling him "simply the best appellate lawyer in the country right now" and a "powerhouse." Partner Paul Wolfson is described as a "wonderful writer and a phenomenal thinker," and Partner Danielle Spinelli is noted for her "very good academic knowledge" and "detailed and methodical arguments.”
  • In U.S. News - Best Lawyers' 2013–2019 Best Law Firms rankings, our Appellate and Supreme Court Litigation Practice ranked in the first tier nationally and in Boston and Washington DC.
  • IAM Patent 1000 again ranked WilmerHale a leading firm in 2019 for litigation nationally, as well as in California, Colorado, the DC Metro area and Massachusetts. Partners Bill Lee and Seth Waxman were both recognized as top practitioners in the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
  • In 2019, The Legal 500 United States again ranked WilmerHale's Appellate and Supreme Court Litigation Practice in the top tier in its annual guidebook, naming Partner Seth Waxman an elite "Leading Lawyer" and Partner Danielle Spinelli a "Next Generation Lawyer" in the category of "Dispute Resolution: Appellate." It has also commended the firm for its “superb pedigree before the US Supreme Court.”
  • In January 2016, Appellate and Supreme Court Litigation Practice Chair Seth Waxman, a former US Solicitor General, was recognized as Litigator of the Year by The American Lawyer. Waxman has delivered 80 oral arguments in the US Supreme Court and many more in the lower federal and state courts.
  • In April 2016, Partners Thomas Saunders and Catherine Carroll were named two of Law360's six Appellate Rising Stars. Partner Felicia Ellsworth was also selected as one of five Trial Rising Stars.
  • Law360 named WilmerHale’s Appellate and Supreme Court Litigation Practice a “Practice Group of the Year” for the 2010–2016 and 2019 editions. This annual series highlights up to five practice groups that notched the biggest litigation victories or deals of the year. The publication has also recognized Partner Mark Fleming as an “MVP of the Year” with distinction in appellate law (2011) and Partner Seth Waxman as an “Appellate MVP of the Year” (2014).
  • According to Law360, in the 2013 US Supreme Court term, WilmerHale had more arguments than any other firm, with seven in the term. In addition, the firm's five wins were the most achieved by any firm.
  • Managing IP recognized WilmerHale with an Impact Case of the Year award in 2020 for its work for Mission Products Holdings Inc. in Mission Products Holdings Inc. v Tempology LLC, led by Danielle Spinelli and Craig Goldblatt. WilmerHale, along with Partner Greg Lantier, received Managing IP's 2019 Impact Case of the Year award for its work for PNC Bank in PNC Bank National Association v Secure Axcess. In 2015, the firm and Partner Seth Waxman received Managing IP's Supreme Court Milestone Case of the Year award for the successful representation of POM in POM Wonderful v. Coca-Cola.
  • Benchmark Litigation 2013 recognized WilmerHale's Appellate and Supreme Court Litigation Practice nationally. In addition, Benchmark Appellate 2013 specifically praised our Appellate and Supreme Court Litigation Practice with a first-tier national ranking and highly recommended the group in Washington DC and in the US Courts of Appeal for the First and Federal Circuits.

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