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Paul, Weiss Adds Kannon Shanmugam, Renowned Supreme Court and Appellate Lawyer

January 27, 2019 Read the press release

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP announced today that Kannon K. Shanmugam, a renowned Supreme Court and appellate lawyer, has joined the firm as a partner in the Litigation Department and will chair the Supreme Court and Appellate Practice Group.

“We are thrilled to welcome Kannon, who is one of the most accomplished Supreme Court and appellate advocates in the country,” said Paul, Weiss Chairman Brad S. Karp. “Kannon is an extraordinary and rare talent, with an unparalleled track record on behalf of the world’s most sophisticated clients. Kannon’s appellate experience will complement our leading litigation and white-collar regulatory practice.”

“I am excited by this unique opportunity to help lead the D.C. office of Paul, Weiss, one of the world's great law firms. Paul, Weiss is a dynamic institution with a legendary history, distinctive culture and extraordinary leadership,” said Mr. Shanmugam. “I'm looking forward to building a Supreme Court and appellate practice that befits the firm's stellar reputation, and to further strengthening our D.C. office as the premier law office in the capital.”

Mr. Shanmugam has argued 27 cases before the Supreme Court and dozens of appeals before all 13 federal courts of appeals and in numerous state appellate courts. He has already argued four cases in the ongoing 2018-2019 Supreme Court term–more than any other lawyer in private practice. Prior to private practice, Mr. Shanmugam served as an Assistant to the Solicitor General at the U.S. Department of Justice. He also served as a law clerk to Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and to Judge J. Michael Luttig of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.

Mr. Shanmugam will serve as managing partner and Kenneth A. Gallo will serve as chair of Paul, Weiss’s Washington, D.C. office. 

“We have been planning a Supreme Court and appellate practice for a long time, and have finally found in Kannon the right advocate to launch and grow it,” said Mr. Gallo. “Kannon is a superstar in the appellate bar, and an inspiring and widely recognized teacher and leader. He will be a wonderful addition to our D.C. office and our partnership.”

Mr. Shanmugam has been called a “titan” of the SCOTUS bar by The American Lawyer’s Litigation Daily, and has been recognized as a “Litigator of the Week” by the publication on several occasions. In 2018, Mr. Shanmugam obtained review in three separate cases on the same day—an unprecedented feat for a lawyer in private practice. Among his many significant matters before the Supreme Court, he successfully represented Digital Realty in the case requiring whistleblowers to report to the SEC before filing suit for retaliation under the Dodd-Frank Act (Digital Realty v. Somers); Santander on the question of which financial institutions are subject to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (Henson v. Santander); and Omnicare in a case on the actionability of statements of opinion under federal securities laws (Omnicare v. Laborers District Council).

Mr. Shanmugam’s winning record extends to the federal courts of appeals. In 2015, he convinced the Second Circuit to vacate securities fraud convictions against Jefferies bond trader Jesse Litvak. In 2016, on behalf of Bank of America, Mr. Shanmugam persuaded the Second Circuit to reverse a $1.3 billion penalty against the bank levied by a New York district court. Later that year, on behalf of AstraZeneca, he convinced the First Circuit to keep intact the first jury verdict in any antitrust class action challenging pharmaceutical patent settlements.

Mr. Shanmugam is also active in high-impact pro bono matters. In November, he argued at the Supreme Court on behalf of survivors of the 2000 USS Cole bombing, who are trying to enforce a $315 million default judgment against the Republic of Sudan for allegedly providing material support to al-Qaida and Osama bin Laden.

Mr. Shanmugam earned an A.B. in Classics, summa cum laude, from Harvard University; a Master’s Degree in Classics from Oxford University, where he was a Marshall Scholar; and a J.D., magna cum laude, from Harvard Law School.

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