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Neal Katyal

Partner
Washington, D.C.

Neal Katyal

Neal Katyal, the former Acting Solicitor General of the United States, focuses on appellate and complex litigation. In December 2017, American Lawyer magazine named him The Litigator of the Year; he was chosen from all the lawyers in the United States. At the age of 47, he has also already argued more Supreme Court cases in U.S. history than has any minority attorney, recently breaking the record held by Thurgood Marshall.

Full profile

Neal has extensive experience in matters of patent, constitutional, technology, securities, criminal, employment, and tribal law. He has orally argued 35 cases before the Supreme Court of the United States, with 33 of them in the last nine years. In the 2016-17 term alone, Neal argued seven cases in six separate arguments at the Supreme Court, far more than any other advocate in the nation—nearly 10% of the docket. His last decided case, Bristol Myers Squibb v. Superior Court, was a landmark victory for personal jurisdiction law.

Prior to joining Hogan Lovells, Neal served as Acting Solicitor General of the United States, where he argued several major Supreme Court cases involving a variety of issues, such as his successful defense of the constitutionality of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, his victorious defense of former Attorney General John Ashcroft for alleged abuses in the war on terror, his unanimous victory against eight states who sued the nation's leading power plants for contributing to global warming, and a variety of other matters. As Acting Solicitor General, Neal was responsible for representing the federal government of the United States in all appellate matters before the U.S. Supreme Court and the Courts of Appeals throughout the nation. He served as Counsel of Record hundreds of times in the U.S. Supreme Court. He was also the only head of the Solicitor General's office to argue a case in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, on the important question of whether certain aspects of the human genome were patentable.

Neal has also served as a law professor for over two decades at Georgetown University Law Center, where he was one of the youngest professors to have received tenure and a chaired professorship in the university's history. He has also served as a visiting professor at both Harvard and Yale law schools.

After graduating from Yale Law School, Neal clerked for The Honorable Guido Calabresi of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit as well as for The Honorable Justice Stephen G. Breyer of the U.S. Supreme Court. He also served in the Deputy Attorney General's Office at the Justice Department as National Security Advisor and as Special Assistant to the Deputy Attorney General during 1998-1999. Neal has published dozens of scholarly articles in law journals, as well as many op-ed articles in such publications as the New York Times and the Washington Post, and has testified numerous times before various committees of both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate.

Neal is the recipient of the very highest award given to a civilian by the U.S. Department of Justice, the Edmund Randolph Award, which the Attorney General presented to him in 2011. The Chief Justice of the United States appointed him in 2011 (and again in 2014) to the Advisory Committee on Federal Appellate Rules. Among other honors, he was named as One of the 40 Most Influential Lawyers of the Last Decade Nationwide by National Law Journal (2010); Appellate MVP by Law360 numerous times (most recently in 2017); winner of the Financial Times Innovative Lawyer Award for 2017 in two different categories (both private and public law); One of the 90 Greatest Washington Lawyers Over the Last 30 Years by Legal Times (2008); one of GQ's Men of the Year (2017); Lawyer of the Year by Lawyers USA (2006); Runner-Up for Lawyer of the Year by National Law Journal (2006); and one of the top 500 lawyers in the country by LawDragon magazine for each of the last 11 years. He also won the National Law Journal's pro bono award in 2004. He recently played himself, arguing a Supreme Court case against the Solicitor General, in an episode of House of Cards on Netflix.

After graduating from Yale Law School, he worked as a summer associate with Hogan Lovells' legacy law firm, Hogan & Hartson.

"One of the finest lawyers who has argued before the Court."

Chief Justice of the United States John Roberts

Education and admissions

Education

  • J.D., Yale Law School, 1995
  • A.B., with highest honors, Dartmouth College, 1991

Bar admissions and qualifications

  • District of Columbia

Court admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 8th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 4th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 2nd Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 7th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 6th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 10th Circuit
  • U.S. Supreme Court

2006-2017

Top 500 Lawyers in America; one of 41 nationwide to win every year; recognized on "Legends" list

Lawdragon Magazine

2013-2017

Appellate Law (Nationwide)

Chambers USA

2013-2017

Dispute Resolution: Appellate: Supreme Court (Federal and State), Leading Lawyer

Legal 500 US

2015

10 Most Innovative Lawyers

Financial Times

2013-2014

Appellate MVP

Law360

2015-2016

Intellectual Property: Copyright

Legal 500 US

2011

Edmund Randolph Award (highest award DOJ can give a civilian)

Department of Justice

2006

Lawyer of the Year

Lawyers USA

2006

Lawyer of the Year, Runner-up

National Law Journal

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