Patrick F. Philbin - Partner

PDF Print Friendly Page
Patrick F. Philbin

Download V-Card

Washington, D.C.
Phone: +1 202-879-5030
Fax: +1 202-879-5200
Overview News Publications

Professional Profile

Patrick Philbin's practice focuses on cases involving complex legal issues at both trial and appellate levels. He has represented clients in numerous cases in the federal courts of appeals and the Supreme Court and has argued before the International Court of Justice at The Hague. He has extensive experience challenging federal agency decisions in the courts of appeals and in particular served as one of Verizon Communications Inc.'s primary outside counsel in challenging multiple FCC rulemakings implementing the Telecommunications Act of 1996.

From 2001 to 2005, Patrick served at the Department of Justice. There, his responsibilities centered on national security, intelligence, and terrorism issues. As a Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Office of Legal Counsel from 2001 to 2003, Patrick advised the Attorney General and the Counsel to the President on issues related to the War on Terrorism. As an Associate Deputy Attorney General from 2003 to 2005, Patrick oversaw and managed the national security functions of the Department, including espionage, counterterrorism, and counterintelligence investigations and applications for electronic surveillance under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. He also had extensive experience with the Electronic Communications Privacy Act and the Stored Communications Act. Based on his experience in government, he has been invited to testify before Congress and is regularly invited to speak on legal issues relating to war powers, national security, and the War on Terrorism.

Representative Matters

Patrick's broad experience includes the following:

  • Currently representing Verizon in a purported consumer class action seeking more than $100 million in damages. On appeal, secured dismissal of plaintiffs' primary claim as time-barred. Also secured and successfully defended on appeal denial of class certification.

  • Currently representing major national corporation in purported class action alleging violations of the California Invasion of Privacy Act related to recording telephone calls to an 800 number.

  • Currently representing major defense contractor in action alleging misappropriation of trade secrets and tortious interference with prospective economic advantage in connection with a government contract.

  • Currently representing private equity fund in appeal of a preliminary injunction arising from a suit alleging misappropriation of trade secrets by a portfolio company and its employees.

  • Represented Bain Capital and Advent International in the DKK17 billion acquisition of Nordic card-payment company Nets Holding AS.

  • Represented major corporation in an appeal before the Eighth Circuit defending lower court holding that Indian tribes are not protected by tribal sovereign immunity from third party discovery subpoenas issued by a federal court.

  • Served as national coordinating counsel for Verizon Wireless for litigation arising from divestiture transactions required by DOJ consent decree relating to acquisition of Alltel Corporation.

  • Successfully defended, on behalf of GTE Reinsurance Company Ltd., the Rhode Island Voluntary Restructuring for Solvent Insurers Act against a claim that it violated the Contract Clause.

  • Successfully compelled arbitration in federal district court and currently represent wireless telecommunications carrier in a contract dispute with an Indian tribe concerning ownership of wireless telecommunications infrastructure.

  • In an arbitration in which more than $64 million in damages were claimed, successfully secured early ruling on key legal issues in favor of Verizon Wireless and subsequently settled case.

  • After removing breach of contract action to federal court, secured dismissal of claims seeking injunctive relief that threatened to derail a $200 million transaction. Case settled after key claims were dismissed.

  • Secured dismissal of consumer fraud claims in purported class action in state court against a major telecommunications carrier.

  • Successfully compelled arbitration and represented major defense contractor in a classified (TS/SCI) arbitration concerning a teaming agreement dispute.

  • Appointed Special United States Attorney in the Eastern District of Virginia to defend against motion by John Walker Lindh, the "American Taliban," seeking privileged combatant status.

  • Argued on behalf of the United States before the International Court of Justice in Mexico v. United States (the Avena case).

  • Successfully challenged FCC spectrum allocation rulemaking on behalf of National Public Radio. NPR v. FCC, 254 F.3d 226 (D.C. Cir. 2001).

  • Successfully secured federal court jurisdiction over a challenge to portions of the Michigan Telecommunications Act as preempted by federal law and secured a ruling striking down part of the Michigan Telecommunications Act. See GTE North Inc. v. Strand, 209 F.3d 909 (6th Cir. 2000) and Verizon North Inc. v. Engler, 257 F.3d 587 (6th Cir. 2001).

  • Drafted briefs for GTE in successful effort to secure a stay of substantial portions of the FCC's primary rulemaking implementing the Telecommunications Act of 1996. See Iowa Utilities Board v. FCC, 109 F.3d 418 (8th Cir. 1996).

Memberships & Affiliations

D.C. Circuit Advisory Committee on Procedures

Law360's Advisory Editorial Board on Privacy and Consumer Protection

Other Distinctions

The Attorney General’s Award for Excellence in Furthering the Interests of U.S. National Security, June 2004.

Office of the Secretary of Defense, Exceptional Civilian Service Award for Support to the Secretary of Defense in the War on Terror, October 2002.


Panelist at symposium:  Combating Terrorism:  Charting the Course for a New Administration, The Center on Law, Ethics, and National Security, Duke University, April 11, 2008.

Paper:  Executive Power and the Benefits of Constitutional Uncertainty, presented at conference:  The United States Supreme Court:  Contested Constitutional Doctrines, Michigan State University, March 28, 2008.

Testimony before the Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties; House Committee on the Judiciary; Oversight Hearing on the Reform of The State Secrets Privilege, January 29, 2008.

Testimony before the Senate Committee on the Judiciary; Hearing: "FISA Amendments: How to Protect Americans' Security and Privacy and Preserve the Rule of Law and Government Accountability," October 31, 2007.

Panelist, FISA Modernization: National Security Surveillance in the 21st Century, Georgetown University Law Center, September 10, 2007.

Testimony before the House Armed Services Committee; Hearing: "Upholding the Principle of Habeas Corpus for Detainees," July 26, 2007.

Testimony before the House Armed Services Committee; Hearing: "The Military Commissions Act of 2006 and the Future of the Detention and Interrogation Facilities at the U.S. Naval Station, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba," March 29, 2007.

Panelist, Study Group on National Security Law and Policy: The Way Forward, Institute of Politics, Kennedy School of Government, February 28, 2007.

Panelist, "Presidential Powers: An American Debate," Center for Law and Security, New York University Law School, April 2006.     

Panelist, "King George or Commander-in-Chief? President Bush's Theory of Executive Power and the Constitution," American University Washington College of Law, March 2006.

Prior Experience

U.S. Department of Justice
Associate Deputy Attorney General, June 2003-November 2005

Deputy Assistant Attorney General, Office of Legal Counsel, September 2001-June 2003

Kirkland & Ellis, Washington, D.C.
Partner, 1998-2001; Associate, 1995-1998

© 2016 Kirkland & Ellis LLP