Jonathan Y. Ellis, a former Assistant to the Solicitor General, has joined McGuireWoods as a partner in Raleigh, North Carolina, and Washington, D.C., and co-leader of the firm’s appeals and issues team.
During his tenure at the Office of the Solicitor General in the U.S. Department of Justice from 2017 to 2021, Ellis argued nine cases before the U.S. Supreme Court and was the primary author of dozens of briefs filed with the high court. He briefed and argued cases involving patent, copyright, ERISA, international arbitration, telecommunications, securities, administrative and constitutional law.
Ellis earlier served as a law clerk to John G. Roberts, Jr., Chief Justice of the United States, and to Judge A. Raymond Randolph of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. At McGuireWoods, he co-leads an appellate team recognized nationally for achieving critical victories in high-stakes cases, helping clients reverse losses and defend significant wins, and providing critical guidance on clients’ most difficult legal issues wherever they arise. The team includes 10 former U.S. Supreme Court clerks and many former law clerks from federal and state appeals courts. Ellis also is a member of the firm’s Complex Commercial Litigation Department.
“Jonathan’s significant experience briefing and arguing cases before the Supreme Court and other appellate courts will greatly benefit our clients as they confront complex issues and appeals in litigation,” said Dion Hayes, McGuireWoods’ deputy managing partner for litigation. “Jonathan’s valuable experience and strategic perspective will make him a formidable asset in our clients’ litigation arsenal.”
“We are thrilled to add an appellate advocate of Jonathan’s caliber to our national litigation practice,” noted Robert Muckenfuss, chair of the firm’s Complex Commercial Litigation Department.
In addition to Ellis, McGuireWoods’ appellate team includes former U.S. Supreme Court clerks John Adams, Kathryn Barber, Gilbert Dickey, Matthew Fitzgerald, Michael Francisco, Benjamin Hatch, Andrew McBride, John Moran and Brian Schmalzbach.
“The insight Jonathan gained as an advocate before the Supreme Court, in private practice and as a law clerk to Chief Justice Roberts is invaluable,” said Schmalzbach, co-leader of the firm’s appellate team. “He is an outstanding addition who will play an important role as we continue to expand our appellate practice.”
Ellis earned his J.D. at the University of Pennsylvania Law School and has served as a lecturer at the school. He holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science from North Carolina State University and worked as a software engineer at IBM Corp. before attending law school.
“McGuireWoods is a litigation powerhouse with a talented appellate team,” Ellis said. “I look forward to helping the firm strengthen its Supreme Court capabilities and collaborating with outstanding lawyers to serve our clients.”