Prominent Supreme Court Advocates Join McDermott


McDermott Will & Emery is pleased to announce the arrival of established Supreme Court advocates Paul W. Hughes and Michael B. Kimberly to the Firm’s Washington, DC office. They will lead McDermott’s Supreme Court & Appellate Practice and provide innovative and strategic counsel for clients in complex, high-stakes matters.

“We pride ourselves on going further for our clients. When they are facing an appeal we want to ensure that we’re delivering the strongest briefs and the best oral arguments. Paul and Michael don’t just deliver, they invest deeply in every case and work passionately in pursuit of their clients’ objectives,” said Ira Coleman, chairman of McDermott. “Our new colleagues are among the most elite appellate advocates in the country today, and we’re proud they have chosen McDermott as their new home.”

Paul and Michael brief and argue appeals throughout the country, handling appellate matters at all levels, including in the US Supreme Court, all thirteen federal courts of appeals, and state appellate courts. Between the two of them, they have argued 10 cases before the Supreme Court, including Michael’s recent 9-0 victory in Smith v. Berryhill. They are awaiting decisions in three of their other highly anticipated cases: Manhattan Community Access Corp. v. Halleck, Lamone v. Benisek and Kisor v. Wilkie. In addition, the pair is scheduled to argue at least one case next term, Kansas v. Garcia, which is garnering national attention from the business community.

“Paul and Michael offer game-changing experience for clients navigating complex disputes, and their commitment to appellate advocacy is truly unmatched,” said David Rosenbloom, global head of McDermott’s Litigation Practice Group. “Their thriving Supreme Court practice is an important ingredient for us to be able to offer seamless representation at all levels of the litigation process, and we are thrilled to welcome them to the team.”

Paul Hughes has handled over 250 appellate matters, including 21 merits cases at the US Supreme Court. He briefs and argues complex appeals across a wide variety of subject matters with an emphasis on administrative law, immigration, bankruptcy, securities, and intellectual property. Paul unanimously won Lamar, Archer & Confrin, LLP v. Appling (2018), a case involving the reach of the fraud bar to bankruptcy discharge, and Ross v. Blake, 136 S. Ct. 1850 (2016), where he convinced the Court to reframe the issues presented. Paul’s body of work has been lauded throughout the legal community and he has received recognition as an MVP by Law360 in 2018, as well as an “Appellate Rising Star” from the National Law Journal (2017) and Law360 (2017 and 2018).

Michael Kimberly has handled more than 200 appellate matters, including 22 merits cases at the US Supreme Court. He argues complex appeals and trial court motions with a focus on constitutional law, antitrust law and administrative law. He has an impressive track record in front of the US Supreme Court including unanimous victories in the administrative law case Smith v. Berryhill and the gerrymandering case Shapiro v. McManus. Michael’s work has earned him recognition as a rising star in the Supreme Court and appellate arena by the National Law Journal, Legal 500, Law360 and Benchmark Litigation.

“We are honored to have the opportunity to bring our experience to bear in growing and enhancing this area of focus for McDermott.” Hughes said. “Michael and I love what we do, and we’re excited to put that passion to work for the Firm and its clients.”

“It’s always a privilege to stand up and advocate on behalf of our clients, and we know that McDermott’s collegial platform will provide us with unmatched opportunities to continue giving our clients the highest quality appellate representation,” Kimberly added. “The pride we have for our work is a pride that McDermott lawyers share, and we are very excited to be a part of the McDermott team.”

Paul and Michael both earned their JDs from Yale Law School where they were editors of The Yale Law Journal, and today they are co-directors of the Yale Law School Supreme Court Clinic. They both also clerked on the courts of appeals: Paul for Judge Diana Gribbon Motz of the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and Michael for Judge Michael Daly Hawkins on the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

About McDermott

McDermott Will & Emery partners with leaders around the world to fuel missions, knock down barriers and shape markets. With more than 20 locations on three continents, our team works seamlessly across practices, industries and geographies to deliver highly effective—and often unexpected—solutions that propel success. More than 1,100 lawyers strong, we bring our personal passion and legal prowess to bear in every matter for our clients and the people they serve.

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