George W. Hicks, Jr., is a partner in the Washington, D.C., and Dallas offices of Kirkland & Ellis LLP. His practice focuses primarily on Supreme Court and appellate matters as well as critical motions and legal issues in the trial courts. George has successfully argued before the Supreme Court, written successful merits briefs in twelve cases before the Supreme Court and authored numerous successful petitions for certiorari and briefs in opposition to certiorari. He has argued thirty-five appeals across the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh and District of Columbia Circuits—including eighteen arguments before the Fifth Circuit alone—as well as before federal district and bankruptcy courts.
George’s matters address a wide range of subjects including administrative law, arbitration, bankruptcy, CERCLA, constitutional law, energy law, False Claims Act, federal criminal law, Indian law, intellectual property, labor and employment law, product liability and securities law. His Supreme Court work has been recognized by the National Law Journal and Law360, his court of appeals work has been repeatedly recognized by the AM Law Litigation Daily and he was recently named one of Lawdragon’s “500 Leading Litigators in America.” His recent victories include:
- Street v. BP Exploration & Production, Inc., ___ F.4th ___ (5th Cir. 2023). Fifth Circuit decision affirming summary judgment in 40 consolidated toxic-tort appeals for lack of general causation and holding that district judge’s failure to recuse does not require vacatur.
- In re Navient Solutions, LLC (Tate v. Navient Solutions, LLC), 2023 WL 3487051 (2d Cir. 2023). Second Circuit decision dismissing involuntary bankruptcy action against student loan servicer and affirming award of attorney’s fees.
- Sheehan v. Breccia Unlimited Co., 48 F.4th 513 (7th Cir. 2022). Seventh Circuit decision holding that foreign parties were not subject to personal jurisdiction in U.S. bankruptcy court for alleged violations of automatic stay.
- Gulfport Energy Corp. v. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 41 F.4th 667, (5th Cir. 2022). Fifth Circuit decision vacating Federal Energy Regulatory Commission orders and holding that FERC cannot prevent rejection of contract in Chapter 11 proceedings or require continued performance of rejected contract.
- In re Ultra Petroleum Co., 28 F.4th 629 (5th Cir. 2022). Fifth Circuit decision holding that rejection of energy company contract in Chapter 11 proceedings does not collaterally attack rate filed with FERC and that FERC public-interest hearing is not required before contract rejection.
- In re Bouchard Transportation Co., Inc., 2022 WL 1746922 (S.D. Tex. 2022). District court decision holding that breakup fee to Chapter 11 stalking-horse bidder was justified under business judgment rule and administrative expense standard.
- In re Ultra Petroleum Co., 2022 WL 989389 (5th Cir. 2022). Fifth Circuit decision holding that challenge to Chapter 11 plan of reorganization is equitably moot.
- O’Brien’s Response Management, LLC v. BP Exploration & Production, Inc., 24 F.4th 422 (5th Cir. 2022). Fifth Circuit decision holding that energy company may seek indemnification for claims relating to oil spill.
- In re Deepwater Horizon BELO Cases (Griffin), 2022 WL 104243 (11th Cir. 2022). Eleventh Circuit decision affirming exclusion of expert evidence and summary judgment in toxic-tort cases.
- Sheehan v. Breccia Unlimited Co., 2021 WL 4355363 (N.D. Ill. 2021). District court decision holding that bankruptcy court lacked jurisdiction over foreign party alleged to have violated automatic stay.
- In re Akorn, Inc., 2021 WL 4306222 (D. Del. 2021). District court decision rejecting challenges to Chapter 11 bankruptcy plan.
- Snyder’s-Lance, Inc. v. Frito-Lay North America, Inc., 991 F.3d 512 (4th Cir. 2021). Fourth Circuit decision holding that decisions of Trademark Trial and Appeal Board are reviewable in either Federal Circuit or district court.
- Amgen, Inc. v. Sanofi, 987 F.3d 1080 (Fed. Cir. 2021). Federal Circuit decision holding that functional genus claims to cholesterol-lowering antibodies are invalid for lack of enablement.
- United States v. North, 985 F.3d 196 (3d Cir. 2021). Third Circuit decision reversing criminal convictions of bank executive indicted for securities violations and false statements.
George served as a law clerk to Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. of the Supreme Court of the United States and to Judge Janice Rogers Brown of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. He graduated from Harvard College and Harvard Law School, where he was a member of the Harvard Law Review. George worked as an investment banker before law school and was a partner at Bancroft PLLC before joining Kirkland. He is a member of the Edward Coke Appellate Inn of Court.
Co-Author with Jon David Kelley, “Removal and Remand: Simple Yet Complex,” The Advocate: State Bar Litigation Section Report, Vol. 97 No. 29, Winter 2021
Co-Author with Matthew Fagen "Appealing From Bankruptcy Court: An Abbreviated Primer," New York Law Journal, August 21, 2020
Author, "Oral Argument: A Guide to Preparation and Delivery for the First-Timer," New York Law Journal, August 16, 2019
“Bobbleheads and Smoked Brisket at SCOTUS: Recollections and Advice from Former Supreme Court Law Clerks Who Now Practice in Texas,” The Texas Lawbook, August 1, 2022
Appointed by U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts to the Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on Appellate Rules
Recognized as a “Litigation Star” by Benchmark Litigation, 2024
Recognized in Lawdragon’s “500 Leading Litigators in America,” 2024
Recognized in The Legal 500 United States — Appellate, 2018–2023
Washington, DC Super Lawyer “Rising Star” in appellate practice, 2014–2017
Admissions & Qualifications
- District of Columbia
- Supreme Court of the United States
- United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
- United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
- United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
- United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
- United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
- United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
- United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
- United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
- United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
- United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
- United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
- United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
- United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
- United States District Court for the District of Columbia
- Harvard Law SchoolJ.D.magna cum laude
Primary Editor, Harvard Law Review
- Harvard CollegeA.B., Economicscum laude
John Harvard Scholarship