Ben is a partner in the firm's Government Investigations and White Collar Litigation group. Prior to joining McGuireWoods, Ben spent nine years as a federal prosecutor with the United States Attorney's Office, serving in the Alexandria, Richmond and Norfolk divisions of the Eastern District of Virginia. Most recently, Ben served as the Managing Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA) and Criminal Chief in the Norfolk Division.
During his time as an AUSA, Ben successfully argued nine appeals in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and conducted thirteen jury trials and two bench trials in the Norfolk, Alexandria and Richmond Divisions.
His work involved a diverse array of criminal cases, including prosecuting complex national security matters, white collar, public corruption and violent crime. Ben received The John Marshall Award for Trial of Litigation, one of the highest awards given for trial practice by the Department of Justice, from then Attorney General Eric Holder for his role in a two month trial of several Somali pirates.
Ben previously served as a law clerk to Justice Antonin Scalia of the Supreme Court of the United States and Judge J. Michael Luttig of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. He graduated magna cum laude from the Harvard Law School. At Harvard, Ben served as an editor of the Harvard Law Review. He was also part of a team that won Harvard Law School's Ames Moot Court Competition, and Ben received the George Leisure Award for being recognized as the best oralist.
For the last six years, Ben has served as an Adjunct Professor teaching the Advanced Brief Writing class at the College of William and Mary Marshall-Wythe School of Law.
Selected for inclusion in “Legal 500 United States,” Corporate Investigations and White-Collar Criminal Defense, 2020, 2021, 2022
Selected for inclusion as a "Leading Lawyer," Corporate Investigations and White-Collar Criminal Defense, Virginia, Legal 500 US, 2017
John Marshall Award for Trial of Litigation, Attorney General’s Award, 2014
Director’s Award for Superior Performance by a Litigative Team, Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys, 2011
Jonathan Ellis, Former Assistant to U.S. Solicitor General, Joins McGuireWoods
January 5, 2022
McGuireWoods Earns 32 Nationwide Practice Rankings in Legal 500 United States Guide
June 30, 2020
National Honor for White Collar Team
February 13, 2020