Kannon K. Shanmugam
Williams & Connolly, L.L.P.
725 Twelfth Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20005
(District of Columbia)

Position: Member

TEL: 202-434-5050


Email: Click Here


Admitted: District of Columbia

Law School: Harvard Law School, J.D., magna cum laude, 1998; Executive Editor, Harvard Law Review

College: University of Oxford, M. Litt., 1995 (Marshall Scholar) Harvard University, A.B., summa cum laude, 1993

Birth Date and Place: 

Practice Areas: Insurance Defense, Products Liability Defense, Civil Litigation, White Collar Criminal Defense

Additional Information: Kannon Shanmugam leads Williams & Connolly's Supreme Court and appellate litigation practice. Mr. Shanmugam has argued 13 cases before the Supreme Court—tying him with the legendary Edward Bennett Williams for the most by a lawyer in the firm’s history. He has been recognized by numerous publications as one of the nation’s leading Supreme Court and appellate advocates. In a recent profile, The National Law Journal praised Mr. Shanmugam for his “confident manner and elegant elocution” before the Court. In listing him as a notable appellate practitioner, Chambers USA described him as an “extraordinary advocate” who is “recommended by clients for his fresh perspective and energetic approach.” Mr. Shanmugam has handled significant matters before the Supreme Court in a number of areas, including securities, patent, and antitrust litigation. He recently represented Merck in the closely watched K-Dur antitrust litigation, on the validity of a pharmaceutical patent settlement between brand-name and generic drug manufacturers. On behalf of the United States, he successfully argued Tellabs v. Makor Rights, which involved the standard for pleading state of mind in securities-fraud actions, and Weyerhaeuser v. Ross-Simmons, which concerned the standard for predatory-bidding claims under the federal antitrust laws. Mr. Shanmugam has also argued some of the highest-profile criminal cases decided by the Supreme Court in the last few years. Most recently, he presented oral argument on behalf of the defendant in Maryland v. King, the landmark case on the constitutionality of DNA testing of arrestees that one justice described as “perhaps the most important criminal procedure case that this Court has heard in decades.” Last year, Mr. Shanmugam successfully represented a Louisiana death-row inmate in Smith v. Cain, in which the Court ruled by an 8-1 vote that the district attorney’s office had engaged in prosecutorial misconduct by failing to disclose favorable statements made by the key eyewitness before trial. Beyond the Supreme Court, Mr. Shanmugam has argued numerous appeals and dispositive motions in federal and state courts across the country, including patent appeals in the Federal Circuit. Mr. Shanmugam has represented Pfizer in a series of appeals on the question whether the consumer of a generic drug can sue the manufacturer of the corresponding brand-name drug on the so-called theory of “innovator liability.” He recently represented a former AIG executive in his successful appeal to the Second Circuit from his conviction for securities fraud arising out of a reinsurance transaction. Mr. Shanmugam joined Williams & Connolly LLP in 2008 after serving as an Assistant to the Solicitor General in the Department of Justice. He was the first lawyer to join the firm directly as a partner for 22 years. Born and raised in Lawrence, Kansas, Mr. Shanmugam received his A.B. summa cum laude from Harvard College in 1993; his M. Litt. from the University of Oxford, where he was a Marshall Scholar; and his J.D. magna cum laude from Harvard Law School, where he was executive editor of the Harvard Law Review. Mr. Shanmugam clerked for Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and for Judge J. Michael Luttig on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. Lawdragon magazine has named Mr. Shanmugam one of the 500 leading lawyers in America, and Washingtonian magazine has selected him as one of the top lawyers practicing before the Supreme Court and as one of 20 people in Washington to watch. The Associated Press featured him in a story on “The Supreme Court of Tomorrow.” In addition, before Mr. Shanmugam turned 40, he was listed by The National Law Journal as one of the top 40 lawyers under 40 in Washington and also as one of the top 40 minority lawyers under 40 in the country. Mr. Shanmugam is president of the Edward Coke Appellate Inn of Court, the principal bench-bar organization for appellate judges and lawyers in the Washington area. He also currently serves as vice chair of the American Bar Association’s Appellate Practice Committee. Mr. Shanmugam is an adjunct professor of law at Georgetown University Law Center, where he teaches a class on Supreme Court advocacy. In the community, Mr. Shanmugam is a member of the board of Thurgood Marshall Academy, a public charter high school in Southeast Washington, and a member of the management committee of the Bard Association of the Shakespeare Theatre.

Firm Members: Douglas Marvin

Firm Members: Ryan Scarborough

Firm Members: Steven Farina

Firm Members: Howard Gutman

Firm Members: Margaret Keeley

Firm Members: James McDonald

Firm Members: Edward Barnidge

Firm Members: Dane Butswinkas

Firm Members: Benjamin Stoll

Firm Members: Richard Wiegmann

Firm Members: David Kendall

Firm Members: Simon Latcovich

Firm Members: Nicholas Gamse

Firm Members: Amanda MacDonald

Firm Members: Enu Mainigi

Firm Members: Jessica Rydstrom

Firm Members: James Bruton

Firm Members: David Horniak

Firm Members: David Zinn

Firm Members: Elise Baumgarten

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