Perkins Coie

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Perkins Coie
Perkins Coie logo.jpg
Headquarters1201 Third Avenue
Seattle, Washington
No. of offices19
No. of attorneys1000+
Major practice areasGeneral practice
RevenueUS$710 million (2014)[1]
Date founded1912 (Seattle)
Company typeLLP

Perkins Coie is an international law firm headquartered in Seattle, Washington, and founded in 1912. It is the largest law firm headquartered in the Pacific Northwest and has offices across the United States and in China and Taiwan. In addition to corporate representation, the firm often represents political clients.


The firm was founded in 1912 and has represented the Boeing Company since the founding of the aerospace company in 1916. Other clients include or have included Microsoft,, Starbucks, Costco, Craigslist, Google, Facebook, Intel, Twitter, AT&T, Zillow, REI, Intellectual Ventures, UPS, Barack Obama, Expedia, Safeco, T-Mobile, Dale Chihuly, Quora and Nintendo.

Perkins Coie is counsel of record for the Democratic National Committee, Democratic Leadership Council, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Other political clients include nearly all Democratic members of the United States Congress. It has also represented several presidential campaigns, including those of John Kerry,[2] Barack Obama,[3] and Hillary Clinton.[2] The group's Political Law practice was for many years headed by Robert Bauer and is now chaired by Marc Elias.[4]

Notable cases[edit]

The firm represented Christine Gregoire in the prolonged litigation surrounding her 2004 Washington gubernatorial election.

A team of Perkins lawyers headed by Elias successfully represented Al Franken in his recount and legal battle over the 2008 Senatorial election in Minnesota.[5]

In 2006, Perkins Coie, led by partner Harry Schneider, represented Salim Ahmed Hamdan, the alleged driver and bodyguard of Osama Bin Laden. The case made its way to the U.S. Supreme Court in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, in which the Court ruled that the Bush Administration's use of military commissions to try terrorism suspects was unconstitutional.[6]

Perkins Coie worked in the Doe v. Reed case concerning petition signatures in state ballot initiative campaigns, which was argued successfully before the U.S. Supreme Court on April 28, 2010.[7]

In 2010, Elias sought advisory opinions from the Federal Election Commission declaring that certain Google[8] and Facebook[9] advertisements were covered by the "small items" and "impracticable" exemptions of the law that otherwise requires a political advertisement to include a disclaimer revealing who paid for it.[9][10] The commission granted Google's request in a divided vote, and deadlocked on Facebook's request.[10] According to The New York Times, "Facebook nonetheless proceeded as if it was exempt from the disclaimer requirement".[10] In October 2017, Perkins Coie lobbied to defeat a bill called the "Honest Ads Act", which would require internet companies to disclose who paid for political ads.[10][11]

Perkins Coie was hired in 2015 as counsel for the presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton.[2] As part of its representation of the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee, Elias retained the intelligence firm Fusion GPS for opposition research services. Those services began in April 2016 and concluded before the 2016 U.S. presidential election in early November. A notable product of that research was the dossier describing alleged attempts by Russia to promote the presidential campaign of Donald Trump.[12] During the campaign, the Clinton campaign and the DNC paid Perkins Coie $5.6 million and $3.6 million respectively.[12] On October 24, 2017, Perkins Coie released Fusion GPS from its client confidentiality obligation.[12]

Perkins Coie has been retained to conduct the independent investigation into potential sexual abuse by Dr. Richard Strauss during the course of his employment with The Ohio State University wrestling program.[13] The firm conducted 600 interviews with 520 subjects over the course of a year, an investigation paid for by OSU expected to cost over $6.2 million by its completion. Of 177 students who personally confirmed abuse by the doctor, and 38 more who confirmed abuse but could not remember which staff person was the perpetrator, according to the university's investigation, 48 were from the wrestling program.[14] Because the report did not specifically mention involvement in the failure to address the abuse or the lack of same, on the part of Republican Congressman Jim Jordan who coached in the programs for eight years while Strauss was there, he claimed he therefore had been exonerated by the investigation.[14]

Notable alumni[edit]

Living alumni of the firm include the 16th Lieutenant Governor of Washington Cyrus Habib, former Attorney General of Washington State Rob McKenna, 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Judges Margaret McKeown, Ronald M. Gould, and Eric D. Miller, and Oregon State Representative Chris Garrett.

In 2009, President Obama appointed Robert Bauer, the chair of the firm's Political Law practice, to become his White House Counsel. Bauer returned to private practice with Perkins Coie in 2011. In 2015, Hillary Clinton named Marc Elias as general counsel to her campaign.[4]


  1. ^ "The Am Law 100 - Thirteen Firms Gross Over $1 Billion - The American Lawyer".
  2. ^ a b c Haberman, Maggie (March 4, 2015). "Clinton Hires Campaign Lawyer Ahead of Likely Run". The New York Times. Retrieved April 3, 2015.
  3. ^ Ambinder, Marc (November 12, 2009). "White House Counsel: Craig Out, Bauer In". The Atlantic. Retrieved 26 October 2017.
  4. ^ a b "The power players behind Hillary Clinton's campaign".
  5. ^ "Overtime: The 2008 U.S. Senate Race, Chapter 3: How Franken's attorneys outmaneuvered Coleman's team to secure the Senate seat. – Twin Cities".
  7. ^ "Doe #1, et al. v. Reed, et al. - Perkins Coie".
  8. ^ "Letter from Marc Elias to the Federal Elections Commission on behalf of Google (August 5, 2010)" (PDF). Retrieved 23 October 2017.
  9. ^ a b "Letter from Marc Elias to the Federal Election Commission on behalf of Facebook (April 26, 2011)" (PDF). Retrieved 23 October 2017.
  10. ^ a b c d Vogel, Kenneth P.; Kang, Cecilia (20 October 2017). "Senators Demand Online Ad Disclosures as Tech Lobby Mobilizes". The New York Times. p. A1. Retrieved 21 October 2017.
  11. ^ S. 1989, 115th Cong. (2017).
  12. ^ a b c Entous, Adam; Barrett, Devlin; Helderman, Rosalind S. (25 October 2017). "Clinton campaign, DNC paid for research that led to Russia dossier". The Washington Post. p. A1. Retrieved 25 October 2017.
  13. ^ "Ohio State University Probe Into Allegations Against Physician, Dr. Richard Strauss - Perkins Coie". Perkins Coie.
  14. ^ a b Ohio State team doctor sexually abused 177 students over decades, report finds, Washington Post, May 17, 2019. Retrieved May 17, 2019.

External links[edit]