Christopher Landau, P.C. - Partner

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Christopher Landau, P.C.

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Washington, D.C.
Phone: +1 202-879-5087
Fax: +1 202-879-5200
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Professional Profile

Chris Landau is the head of the Firm's Appellate Litigation Practice, based in the Washington office. He has handled appeals involving a wide range of subject matters in courts all across the country, including the United States Supreme Court, every one of the federal courts of appeals, and many state appellate courts. Chris served twice as a law clerk at the United States Supreme Court, first to Justice Antonin Scalia (1990-91) and then to Justice Clarence Thomas (1991-92).

Most recently, Chris has been recognized by Chambers USA as a leading lawyer in appellate law. In the 2016 edition one contact noted that he "exceeded expectations" in obtaining results for his client. The 2015 edition called him "articulate, fast-thinking, well prepared, and someone who has the respect of the panel." The 2014 edition noted his "mastery of a number of substantive areas" and "huge amount of credibility with the Supreme Court." Peers also commended him as "a hugely impressive lawyer" with "a lot of good qualities." The 2013 edition singled him out as a "superb appellate attorney" who is "a very effective advocate, both orally and in written briefs" and the 2012 edition described him as "an absolute top-notch appellate litigator," who "easily takes command of the facts, making convincing arguments to the court." The 2011 edition praised how "he impresses clients with his first-class intellectual ability and wise tactical sense" and the 2010 edition commended Chris on his "clear, direct and crisp style, and absolutely terrific business sense." Previous editions of Chambers noted that he is a "wonderful resource, with great talent and the ability to communicate the most important issues to the judges."

In the January 2016 article "Finding Certainty in Cert: An Empirical Analysis of The Factors Involved in Supreme Court Certiorari Decisions From 2001-2015," a study of 93,000 certiorari petitions filed at the U.S. Supreme Court between the 2001 and 2015 terms, Chris is highlighted as one of the “most successful petitioning attorneys” before the court. As a “top performing attorney,” he is cited as the “most successful…in terms of cert responses,” with a denial rate of nearly 95 percent in the 18 cases in which he was named as respondent attorney since 2001.

Chris has also been featured in The National Law Journal's “Appellate Hot List" in 2008, and from 2012-2015. He is quoted regarding Kirkland’s Law360 “2013 Appellate Group of the Year” win, and was named a “2012 MVP of the Year: Appellate” by the same publication. In 2012 and 2015 he was named a “Litigator of the Week” by The American Lawyer and named an “Appellate Lawyer of the Week” by The National Law Journal in 2012.

Chris has also commented on the Supreme Court on a variety of media outlets, including CNN, PBS, MSNBC, C-SPAN and radio.

Representative Matters

Focus on appellate litigation, and have worked on a broad variety of cases in both the federal and state courts. Some representative cases include:

  • U.S. Supreme Court:

    • DIRECTV, Inc. v. Imburgia, 136 S. Ct. 463 (2015): obtained reversal in U.S. Supreme Court of state-court decision interpreting arbitration agreement to thwart arbitration rights protected by Federal Arbitration Act;

    • Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC v. Simmonds, 132 S. Ct. 1414 (2012): obtained reversal in U.S. Supreme Court of a decision that effectively negated the statutory two-year time limit for filing actions under Section 16(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934;

    • Buckeye Check Cashing v. Cardegna, 546 U.S. 440 (2006): obtained reversal in U.S. Supreme Court of Florida Supreme Court decision refusing to enforce arbitration;

    • Free v. Abbott Labs., Inc., 529 U.S. 333 (2000): obtained affirmance in U.S. Supreme Court of a decision authorizing the exercise of supplemental jurisdiction to remove claims of absent class members to federal court;

    • Hughes Aircraft Co. v. Jacobson, 525 U.S. 432 (1999): obtained reversal in U.S. Supreme Court of a decision construing the federal employee‑benefits statute (ERISA) to allow participants in a defined benefit pension plan to obtain investment income generated by the plan;

    • Hughes Aircraft Co. v. United States ex rel. Schumer, 520 U.S. 939 (1997): obtained reversal in U.S. Supreme Court of a decision authorizing the retroactive application of amendments to the False Claims Act;

  • U.S. Courts of Appeals:

    • In re Jevic Holding Corp., 787 F.3d 173 (3d Cir. 2015): obtained affirmance of “structured dismissal” of Chapter 11 case in which bankruptcy court approved settlement that deviated from Bankruptcy Code’s priority system;

    • Memorylink Corp. v. Motorola Solutions, Inc., 773 F.3d 1266 (Fed. Cir. 2014): obtained affirmance of orders granting summary judgment on contract claims and dismissing tort claims in dispute over patent inventorship;

    • Jentz v. ConAgra Foods, Inc., 767 F.3d 688 (7th Cir. 2014): obtained reversal of judgment of $177 million in compensatory and punitive damages, and entry of judgment in client's favor, on the ground that client owed plaintiffs no legal duty as a matter of law;

    • In re Syncora Guarantee Inc., 757 F.3d 511 (6th Cir. 2014): obtained writ of mandamus directing district court to promptly decide appeal arising out of Detroit bankruptcy to allow appellate court to review that decision before confirmation of a plan of adjustment;

    • St. Stephen's School v. PricewaterhouseCoopers Accountants N.V., 2014 WL 2766174 (2d Cir. June 19, 2014): obtained interlocutory appellate review, and vacatur, of order certifying a worldwide class of investors to pursue negligence claims against accountants of funds that had entrusted substantially all of their assets to Madoff investment firm;

    • In re Emoral, Inc., 740 F.3d 875 (3d Cir. 2014): obtained affirmance of district court decision holding that individual creditors lack standing to pursue generalized "mere continuation" claims against alleged successor of debtor-in-bankruptcy;

    • Peterson v. Winston & Strawn LLP, 729 F.3d 750 (7th Cir. 2013): obtained affirmance of district court decision dismissing malpractice claim against law firm brought by trustee of bankrupt investment funds;

    • Kopp v. Klein, 722 F.3d 327 (5th Cir. 2013): obtained affirmance of district court decision dismissing claims that corporate officers and directors violated the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) by allowing participants in employer-sponsored retirement plan to continue holding and investing in employer stock notwithstanding allegation that employer was aware of material nonpublic information that would adversely affect stock's value;

    • Dow AgroSciences LLC v. National Marine Fisheries Serv., 707 F.3d 462 (4th Cir. 2013): obtained not only reversal of district court decision upholding administrative agency action on the basis of post hoc rationalizations but also vacatur of underlying agency action as arbitrary and capricious for failure to explain critical assumptions;

    • Beer v. United States, 671 F.3d 1299 (Fed. Cir. 2012), and 696 F.3d 1174 (Fed. Cir. 2012) (en banc): first obtained panel ruling that plaintiff Article III judges were not bound by adverse class-action judgment of which they had not received notice, and then obtained en banc ruling overruling prior precedent and holding that Congress cannot constitutionally withhold judicial salary adjustments previously established by law;

    • Raytheon Co. v. Indigo Sys. Corp., 688 F.3d 1311 (Fed. Cir. 2012): obtained reversal of decision granting summary judgment on trade-secret misappropriation claims on statute-of-limitations grounds;

    • Stephenson v. PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP, 2012 WL 1764191 (2d Cir. May 18, 2012): obtained affirmance of order dismissing negligence and fraud claims against third-party auditor in connection with Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme;

    • CSX Corp. v. The Children's Investment Fund Mgmt. (UK) LLP, 654 F.3d 276 (2d Cir. 2011): obtained vacatur of district court injunction based on the existence of a "group" under Section 13(d) of the Williams Act, and obtained affirmance of district court order refusing to enjoin defendants from voting in proxy contest notwithstanding alleged violation of Section 13(d);

    • Sher v. Raytheon Co., 2011 WL 814379 (11th Cir. Mar. 9, 2011): obtained interlocutory review and reversal of class certification order where district court failed to conduct rigorous analysis of expert testimony upon which certification was based;

    • Dow AgroSciences LLC v. National Marine Fisheries Serv., 637 F.3d 259 (4th Cir. 2011): obtained reversal of district court decision refusing, on jurisdictional grounds, to address challenge to administrative agency action that was causing clients immediate injury;

    • Cook v. Rockwell Int'l Corp., 618 F.3d 1127 (10th Cir. 2010): obtained reversal of $926 million judgment in favor of plaintiff class in nuclear environmental contamination case on a variety of grounds, including erroneous interpretation of the federal Price-Anderson Act establishing claims for nuclear-related liability, erroneous approach to preemption of state law by federal nuclear safety standards, and erroneous interpretation of the Colorado common law of trespass and nuisance;

    • Hoosier Energy Rural Elec. Co-op., Inc. v. John Hancock Life Ins. Co., 582 F.3d 721 (7th Cir. 2009): obtained affirmance of preliminary injunction preventing non-profit rural electricity supplier from being forced into bankruptcy as a result of credit default swap;

    • June v. Union Carbide Corp., 577 F.3d 1237 (10th Cir. 2009): obtained affirmance of summary judgment for defendants in case alleging injury from exposure to radioactive emissions, and seeking damages and medical monitoring, under the Price-Anderson Act;

    • Brown v. Jevic, 575 F.3d 322 (3d Cir. 2009): obtained reversal of order remanding case to state court for lack of federal jurisdiction under the Class Action Fairness Act;

    • Roberts v. Financial Technology Ventures, L.P., 320 Fed. App'x 350 (6th Cir. 2009): obtained affirmance of summary judgment in contract case involving legality of contract and enforceability of release;

    • In re W.R. Grace & Co., 316 Fed. App'x 134 (3d Cir. 2009): obtained affirmance of order disallowing asbestos property damage claims filed after bankruptcy bar date;

    • Bell v. Hershey Co., 557 F.3d 953 (8th Cir. 2009): obtained reversal of order remanding class action to state court for lack of federal jurisdiction, and persuaded Court of Appeals to adopt favorable legal standard for a defendant attempting to prove that the amount in controversy in a class action exceeds the $5 million jurisdictional minimum under Class Action Fairness Act;

    • Koch v. CompuCredit Corp., 543 F.3d 460 (8th Cir. 2008): obtained reversal of order denying motion to compel arbitration, on ground that termination of underlying contract does not terminate obligation to arbitrate disputes arising under that contract;

    • Extra Equipamentos v. Case Corp., 541 F.3d 719 (7th Cir. 2008): obtained affirmance of summary judgment for defendants on fraud and fraudulent inducement claims;

    • Chartschlaa v. Nationwide Mutual Ins. Co., 538 F.3d 116 (2d Cir. 2008): obtained reversal of first judgment allowing insurance agent to sue insurance company under a franchise statute for lack of standing under the bankruptcy laws;

    • United States v. W.R. Grace & Co., 526 F.3d 499 (9th Cir. 2008) (en banc): obtained overruling of adverse circuit precedent limiting trial court's authority to order Government to disclose witnesses in criminal cases before trial;

    • Leonard v. Nationwide Mut. Ins. Co., 499 F.3d 419 (5th Cir. 2007): obtained reversal of adverse rulings in insurance coverage case involving damage from Hurricane Katrina;

    • Boehner v. McDermott, 484 F.3d 573 (D.C. Cir. 2007) (en banc): obtained reversal of ruling that the First Amendment does not protect the disclosure of truthful information on matters of public concern by persons who obtained such information with knowledge or reason to know it had been unlawfully intercepted by someone else (although a different majority of the court ultimately affirmed the judgment);

    • Discover Bank v. Vaden, 396 F.3d 366 (4th Cir. 2005): successfully defended exercise of federal subject matter jurisdiction over motion to compel arbitration;

    • Kern v. Siemens Corp., 393 F.3d 120 (2d Cir. 2004): obtained reversal, on interlocutory review, of class certification order;

    • In re W.R. Grace & Co., 2004 WL 2404546 (3d Cir. 2004): obtained reversal of order directing remand of product liability claims to state court for lack of federal bankruptcy jurisdiction;

    • Republic Tobacco Co. v. North Atlantic Tobacco Co., 381 F.3d 717 (7th Cir. 2004): obtained 60% remittitur of damages award in commercial defamation case (after obtaining a prior 60% remittitur of damages award in post-trial motions in district court);

    • Ball v. Union Carbide Corp. et al., 376 F.3d 554 (6th Cir. 2004): obtained affirmance of judgment declining to certify class action, and dismissing claims of individual plaintiffs on statute of limitations grounds;

    • Hawkins v. Aid Ass'n for Lutherans, 338 F.3d 801 (7th Cir. 2003): obtained affirmance of judgment compelling arbitration of claims against fraternal benefit society;

    • Beech Nut v. Gerber Prods. Co., 69 Fed. Appx. 350, 2003 WL 21317277 (9th Cir. June 4, 2003): obtained reversal of judgment dismissing Beech Nut's antitrust claims against Gerber for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted;

    • Deutsch v. Turner Corp., 317 F.3d 1005 (9th Cir. 2003): obtained affirmance of order dismissing World War II forced‑labor claims against Japanese corporations on the ground that the California statute creating such claims violated the exclusive federal realm of foreign affairs;

    • AM General Corp. v. DaimlerChrysler Corp., 311F.3d 796 (7th Cir. 2002): obtained affirmance of order denying preliminary injunction in case involving trademark claims by DaimlerChrysler, owner of the Jeep mark, against General Motors, owner of the Hummer mark;

    • Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel Corp. v. Mitsui & Co., Inc., 221 F.3d 924 (6th Cir. 2000): obtained affirmance of a ruling that the 1916 Antidumping Act does not authorize injunctive relief, and that courts have no "inherent power" to award such relief;

    • Hermès International v. Lederer de Paris Fifth Avenue, Inc., 219 F.3d 104 (2d Cir. 2000): obtained reversal of a summary judgment dismissing trademark infringement claims against sellers of knockoff luxury handbags;

  • U.S. District Courts:

    • Syngenta Seeds, Inc. v. County of Kauai, 2014 WL 4216022 (D. Haw. Aug. 25, 2014): obtained summary judgment and injunctive relief against enforcement of local ordinance seeking to regulate use of pesticides and genetically modified seeds on the ground that the ordinance was preempted by state law;

    • In re: Emoral, Inc., 2013 WL __ (D.N.J. Jan. 23, 2013): obtained reversal of bankruptcy court decision holding that individual creditors have standing to pursue generalized "mere continuation" claims against alleged successor of debtor-in-bankruptcy;

    • In re Oil Spill by Oil Rig Deepwater Horizon in Gulf of Mexico, on April 20, 2010, 902 F. Supp. 2d 808 (E.D. La. 2012): obtained dismissal of claims against BP under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, general maritime law, and state law for "pure stigma" injury to property values, loss of recreational opportunities, and taint to BP brand arising out of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill;

    • In re Oil Spill by Oil Rig Deepwater Horizon in Gulf of Mexico, on April 20, 2010, 802 F. Supp. 2d 725 (E.D. La. 2011): obtained dismissal of claims against BP brought under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) arising out of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill;

    • Allen v. Honeywell Retirement Earnings Plan, No. 04-424 (D. Ariz. Aug. 21, 2008 & Oct. 9, 2009): twice obtained reconsideration of order granting plaintiffs summary judgment against retirement plan under Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) on issues implicating hundreds of millions of dollars in pension liability;

    • Franco v. Dow Chem. Co., WL 24288299 (C.D. Cal. Oct. 21, 2003): obtained dismissal of action to enforce $489 million Nicaraguan judgment against American defendants;

    • Lichtman v. Siemens AG, 65 F. Supp. 2d 248 (D.N.J. 1999): obtained dismissal of lawsuits challenging the use of forced labor by German industry during the Second World War on the ground that the claims involve non‑justiciable political questions;

  • State Appellate Courts:

    • Tincher v. Omega Flex, Inc., 104 A.3d 328 (Pa. S. Ct. 2014): obtained reversal of strict-liability judgment for defective product design, and persuaded Pennsylvania Supreme Court to overhaul Pennsylvania product-liability law and overrule a longstanding precedent that lessened plaintiffs' burden to prove defective product design;

    • Don Johnson Prods., Inc. v. Rysher Ent'ment, 209 Cal.App.4th 919 (Cal. Ct. App. 2012): obtained affirmance of judgment establishing liability in case brought by actor's corporation against production studio under contract provision giving actor's corporation partial copyright ownership in television series;

    • Henry v. Dow Chemical Co., 772 N.W.2d 301 (Mich. 2009): obtained reversal of class certification order in mass environmental contamination case;

    • Innophos, Inc. v. Rhodia, S.A., 882 N.E.2d 389 (N.Y. 2008): obtained affirmance of summary judgment in contract dispute over responsibility for $130 million assessment by Mexican government for use of water;

    • Biko et al. v. Siemens Corp. et al., 246 S.W.3d 148 (Tex. App. 2007): obtained affirmance of summary disposition of $80 million contract and tort claims involving employee incentive program;

    • Cosio v. United States, 927 A.2d 1106 (D.C. 2007) (en banc): participated as amicus curiae by invitation of the Court, and persuaded Court to reverse criminal conviction based on ineffective assistance of counsel;

    • Patterson v. General Motors Corp., 2005 WL 1160605 (Mich. App. 2005): obtained affirmance of summary disposition of employment discrimination claims;

    • AIDA v. Time Warner Entertainment Co., LLP, 722 N.E.2d 953 (Ill. App. 2002): obtained affirmance of decision dismissing lawsuit contending that "The Sopranos" television series violated the "Individual Dignity" Clause of the Illinois Constitution;

    • ServiceMaster v. Martin, 556 S.E.2d 517 (Ga. App. 2001): obtained complete reversal of $45 million punitive damages award, and judgment for client as a matter of law, in employment dispute after default judgment entered against client.

Other Distinctions

Trustee of the U.S. Supreme Court Historical Society

Adjunct Professor of Administrative Law at Georgetown University Law Center (Fall 1994 and 1995)


  • Born November 13, 1963 in Madrid, Spain

  • Fluent in Spanish; proficient in French

  • Lived in Spain, Canada, Paraguay, Chile, Venezuela, and France

  • Married to Caroline Bruce Landau; two children, Nathaniel (born 2001) and Julia (born 2007)

Prior Experience

Kirkland & Ellis LLP, Washington, D.C.
     Partner, 1995–present; Associate, 1993–1995

Georgetown University Law Center, Washington, D.C.
     Adjunct Professor of Administrative Law, Fall 1994 and 1995

Justice Clarence Thomas, United States Supreme Court
     Law Clerk, 1991–92

Justice Antonin Scalia, United States Supreme Court
     Law Clerk, 1990–91

Judge Clarence Thomas, U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit
     Law Clerk, 1990


U.S. Supreme Court

U.S. Courts of Appeals for the First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh, District of Columbia and Federal Circuits

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