Paul Sampson is a partner in the Salt Lake City office of Kirkland & Ellis LLP. Paul is a litigator with a wealth of experience in all aspects of high-stakes litigation, including significant trial experience. He recently joined the Firm after splitting a decade in Washington, D.C. at one of the nation's leading trial litigation boutiques and at a top-10 ranked "big law" firm.
Paul has worked with clients in a variety of industries, including biotechnology, pharmaceutical, healthcare, consumer products, interstate shipping, energy, and financial services. He has represented clients in antitrust and consumer class actions; shareholder derivative actions; defamation lawsuits; and government investigation and enforcement actions involving the U.S. Department of Justice, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Federal Trade Commission, state attorneys general, and the City of New York. He also represented a "special litigation committee" of a large pharmaceutical distributor's board of directors in shareholder derivative litigation involving opioid distribution and executive compensation issues.
Paul has also successfully represented clients in appellate matters in federal and state appellate courts throughout the country. He has briefed dozens of appeals to the U.S. Supreme Court, several federal circuit courts, and several state supreme courts. And he recently prevailed following briefing and oral argument to the District of Columbia Court of Appeals in a matter involving federal employee benefits.
Prior to joining the firm's Salt Lake City office, Paul practiced law for a decade in Washington, D.C. From 2016 to April 2021, Paul worked as an associate attorney, and later as counsel, for Wilkinson Walsh + Eskovitz LLP (now Wilkinson Stekloff LLP), a high-stakes, bet-the-company trial boutique that Paul joined at its founding in 2016. Earlier, Paul as an associate at Sidley Austin LLP where he gained significant experience, including defending numerous fortune 500 companies subject to government criminal and civil investigations. At Sidley, Paul also drafted appellate briefs to multiple federal appellate courts, including briefing that persuaded the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse the Eleventh Circuit on a complicated fuel-excise taxation issue.
Throughout his career, Paul has maintained an active pro bono practice. Fluent in Spanish, he has successfully represented an unaccompanied minor in a petition for asylum, and he secured full custody of three children for an El Salvadoran immigrant following a multi-day evidentiary hearing. He recently prevailed following briefing and oral argument to the District of Columbia Court of Appeals in a matter seeking reversal of a federal agency order denying the employment compensation claims of a pro se petitioner.
At the beginning of his legal career, Paul served two judicial clerkships — for the Honorable Justice Thomas R. Lee of the Utah Supreme Court and for the Honorable Kent A. Jordan of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.
Paul graduated magna cum laude from the J. Reuben Clark Law School at Brigham Young University, where he served as an Executive Editor of the BYU Law Review. He received his undergraduate degree in history, with a minor in economics, from Brigham Young University.
Admissions & Qualifications
- 2010, Utah
- 2011, District of Columbia (inactive)
- Brigham Young University, J. Reuben Clark Law SchoolJ.D.magna cum laude2010Executive Editor, BYU Law Review
- Brigham Young UniversityB.A., History2006