WilmerHale Named Litigation Department of the Year Finalist by The American Lawyer

WilmerHale Named Litigation Department of the Year Finalist by The American Lawyer


The American Lawyer has named WilmerHale a 2021 Litigation Department of the Year Finalist in recognition of the firm’s exemplary litigation work. This biennial award honors the firms considered the “absolute best in the industry when it comes to litigation prowess” the publication says, offering clients novel solutions to their most complex cases.

Partners Felicia Ellsworth, Sonal Mehta and Anjan Sahni discussed the department’s winning culture and cross-practice cooperation in a profile detailing some of the firm’s notable cases over the past two years. 

“We are fortunate to have credibility in government-facing matters, having dozens of partners and attorneys who come from the most senior levels of government,” Sahni shared, adding that while WilmerHale zealously advocates for its clients, it does so in a way that reflects the firm’s values and principles.

The American Lawyer highlighted that the firm has a strong reputation in the most important practice areas for a firm with a large Washington, DC practice: public policy and legislative affairs, regulation, antitrust, intellectual property and international trade. The profile further noted that WilmerHale is home to some of the most well-known appellate and Supreme Court litigators in the country, including Seth Waxman, who was recognized as a recipient of The American Lawyer’s 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award.

Mehta noted that WilmerHale’s strength is not just in its world-class litigators, but the ease and frequency of cross-practice cooperation that exists at the firm. That collaboration has been key to a number of recent intellectual property litigation victories, she said. This sentiment is shared by Ellsworth, who was a key member on the team that successfully defended Harvard’s race-conscious admissions policy.

“Many practice areas—civil litigation, appellate, education—contributed to the work we have done for Harvard,” Ellsworth said. Recognizing that the case could go all the way to the US Supreme Court, the WilmerHale team utilized its appellate bench to ensure that their legal arguments would position them for victory down the line.

The finalists will be recognized at The American Lawyer Industry Awards on Thursday, December 2, at the Marriott Marquis in New York.