Emily P. Hughes is a partner in the Washington, D.C., office of Kirkland & Ellis LLP. Her practice focuses on counseling and advising on complex litigation matters and tax controversies, as well as general corporate representations, private investment structuring, and charitable structuring, governance, and giving for private/family owned companies, ultra high net worth individuals, and nonprofits.

Emily began her career as a commercial litigator and has practiced before the IRS, in federal and state trial and appellate courts, and arbitrations. She has represented private equity firms and Fortune 500 companies in complex commercial litigation and class actions, including civil and criminal tax matters, securities fraud, shareholder derivative actions, fiduciary duty claims, and contract disputes. She also routinely advises and counsels private equity and corporate clients on litigation risks associated with deal structures and targets.

Emily served as a law clerk to Judge Emilio M. Garza of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.


Thought Leadership


Moderator, “Critical Leadership Skills For Managing A Remote Workforce,” Women, Influence & Power in Law Virtual Conference (2020)

Speaker, “Advising Non-Compliant Taxpayers: When is the Updated Voluntary Disclosure Practice the Best Choice?,” NYU 11th Annual Tax Controversy Forum (2019)

Speaker, “Practical Privilege Issues,” Tax Executives Institute Inc. (TEI) Audits & Appeals Seminar (2018)

Speaker, “Managing Tax-Related Whistleblowers, Leaks and Derivative Suits,” ABA Tax Section International Tax and Enforcement Controversy Conference (2017)

Speaker, “Privilege & Work-Product Protections Around the World,” Tax Executives Institute Inc. (TEI) Annual Conference (2017)


Recognized by The National Law Journal as a D.C. Rising Star in 2019.

Recognized in Washington DC Super Lawyers as a “Rising Star” from 2014–2019.

Recognized in The Legal 500 U.S. for Commercial Litigation in 2015.

Guest Judge for the 2014 Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition.

Guest Judge for American University Washington College of Law 2013 Burton D. Wechsler First Amendment Moot Court Competition.

Emily achieved 20+ pro bono hours in the following years: 2006, 2008–2014, 2017, 2018.

Member of Kirkland team awarded the 2009 Outstanding Achievement Award in the Field of Public Accommodations” by the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs for successful resolution of race discrimination claim.

Memberships & Affiliations

Vice Chair, District of Columbia Bar, Tax Audits and Litigation Committee

Chair, Board of Directors of Little Beginnings Child Development Center

American Bar Association, Member, Litigation, Criminal Justice, and Tax Sections

District of Columbia Bar, Member, Taxation and Litigation Sections

Women’s Bar Association of the District of Columbia, Member


Admissions & Qualifications

  • 2008District of Columbia
  • 2007California


  • 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 Fifth Circuit
  • United States District Court for the District of Columbia
  • United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas
  • United States District Court for the Northern District of California


  • Brown UniversityA.B., Biomedical Ethicswith Honors
  • Georgetown University Law CenterJ.D.magna cum laude

    Order of the Coif

    Dean’s List all years

    Special Projects Editor, Georgetown Law Journal

  • New York UniversityLL.M., Taxation