Louis R. Cohen

Senior Counsel

Cohen, Louis R.

Louis Cohen is a senior counsel in the firm's Litigation/Controversy Department, and a member of the Appellate and Supreme Court Litigation Practice Group. He joined the firm in 1967. Mr. Cohen served as Deputy Solicitor General of the United States from 1986-1988, and focuses on US Supreme Court and other appellate litigation and corporations law. Mr. Cohen’s appellate practice has included more than fifty cases on the merits in the US Supreme Court and a large number of cases in the courts of appeals. He has argued sixteen cases in the Supreme Court, winning fifteen.


Mr. Cohen’s victories before the Supreme Court include such significant cases as the City of New York v. Clinton (the Line Item Veto case), US Term Limits, Inc. v. Thornton (invalidating congressional term limits), and Cargill v. Monfort (predatory pricing under the Clayton Act). Other Supreme Court cases in which he has participated include: Regional Rail Reorganization Act Cases (constitutionality of a reorganization statute); Piper v. Chris-Craft (interpretation of the Williams Act); Basic v. Levinson (materiality issues under the federal securities laws); Carpenter v. United States (Rule 10b-5; wire fraud); and Norwest Bank v. Ahlers (priorities under the Bankruptcy Code).

Mr. Cohen’s court of appeals cases include arguments on behalf of Bear Stearns in deKwiatkowski v. Bear Stearns (2d Cir. 2002); Sears Roebuck in Bolin v. Sears Roebuck & Co., 231 F.3d 970 (5th Cir. 2000); Painewebber Group in Painewebber v. Zinsmeyer Partnership Trust, 187 F.3d 988 (8th. Cir. 1999); First Commonwealth Savings Bank in United States v. John C. York, et al., 112 F.3d 1218 (D.C. Cir. 1997); General Electric in United States ex rel Taxpayers Against Fraud v. General Electric Company (6th Cir. 1994), and the CBS and NBC television networks in Schurz Communications v. FCC, 982 F.2d 1043 (7th Cir. 1992).

On the corporate side, Mr. Cohen has advised clients (including both for-profit and nonprofit firms) in connection with offerings of securities, mergers and acquisitions, purchases and sales of businesses, proxy fights, tender offers, corporate restructurings and liquidations.

Honors & Awards

  • Selected by peers for inclusion in the 2005-2018 editions of the Best Lawyers in America in the areas of appellate law, commercial litigation (2006, 2008-2018), M&A (2005-2016), business litigation, and corporate and securities law (2005-2006, 2008-2018)
  • Selected for inclusion in the 2012-2016 Washington DC Super Lawyers lists
  • Featured in an American Lawyer article identifying leading litigation departments (2002)
  • "Highly recommended” in PLC's 2003/04 Dispute Resolution Global Counsel Handbook - Public Policy Award
  • National Trust for Historic Preservation - Public Policy Award
  • Pro Bono Advocacy Award, ACLU Foundation of Southern California

Publications & News


August 16, 2017

WilmerHale Lawyers Named Among the 2018 Best Lawyers in America®, Nine Recognized as Lawyers of the Year

Best Lawyers in America®—the oldest and most respected peer-review publication in the legal industry—recognizes 107 WilmerHale lawyers and names nine partners as Lawyers of the Year in its 24th edition.

August 15, 2016

WilmerHale Lawyers Named Among the 2017 Best Lawyers in America®, Six Recognized as Lawyers of the Year

Best Lawyers in America®—a respected peer-review publication in the legal industry—recognizes 101 WilmerHale lawyers and names six partners as Lawyers of the Year in its 23rd edition.

March 21, 2016

MIP Names WilmerHale Patent Contentious Firm of the Year and Natalie Hanlon Leh Colorado's Outstanding IP Litigator of the Year

In addition, the firm was recognized for its role in two “Milestone Cases of the Year:” Akamai Technologies v. Limelight Network (Fed. Circuit, August 2015), in which the firm argued on behalf of Akamai, and Authors Guild v. Google (Court of the Appeals for the Second Circuit, October 2015) in which the firm represented Google.

April 25, 2014

WilmerHale Attorneys Recognized in Annual Washington DC Super Lawyers Listing

The annual edition of the Washington DC Super Lawyers magazine, published by The Washington Post Magazine, released its 2014 listing which includes 37 WilmerHale attorneys.

October 10, 2012

Former, Current WilmerHale Partners Elected to American Law Institute

August 12, 2010

90 WilmerHale Lawyers Named to The Best Lawyers in America® 2011

Best Lawyers is based on an exhaustive peer-review survey in which more than 39,000 leading attorneys cast almost 3.1 million votes on the legal abilities of lawyers in their practice areas.

March 26, 2010

Lori A. Martin Elected to American Law Institute

Partner Lori A. Martin, a member of the Securities Litigation and Enforcement Practice and the Business Trial Group, was recently elected as a member of the American Law Institute (ALI).

August 10, 2009

100 WilmerHale Lawyers Selected for Inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America 2010

December 1, 2008

WilmerHale Widely Recognized by The Best Lawyers In America 2009

September 6, 2007

WilmerHale Receives Top Rankings in The Best Lawyers in America 2008

Recent Highlights

Mr. Cohen’s Supreme Court victories include Enron Power Marketing, Inc. v. FERC (2002) (non-discriminate access to the electric grid), and The Wharf (Holdings) Ltd. v. United International Holdings, Inc. (2001) (Breach of SEC Rule 10b-5).

Professional Activities

Mr. Cohen is a past winner of the Public Policy Award of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and of the Pro Bono Advocacy Award of the ACLU Foundation of Southern California. He is a member of the American Law Institute and the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers. He has served as National Chair of The Harvard Law School Fund. He has taught Corporate Finance courses at Harvard University and Stanford University, and Securities Regulation courses at George Washington University.


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LLB, magna cum laude, Harvard Law School, 1966

University of Oxford, Wadham College, Henry Fellow

AB, magna cum laude, Harvard University, 1962

Bar Admissions

District of Columbia

United States Supreme Court

Government Experience

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