About Bancroft PLLC

Editor's note: In September 2016  Kirkland & Ellis announced that had hired all Bancroftt PLLC attorneys, effectively shuttering Bancroft PLLC as of October 1, 2016.

Named after the DuPont Circle townhouse that it first called home, Washington, D.C.-based Bancroft PLLC is a litigation firm focusing on Supreme Court and appellate litigation and strategic counseling. The firm was founded by former Assistant Attorney General Viet D. Dinh in 2003, and today its 17 attorneys include nine U.S. Supreme Court clerkships, 17 U.S. Court of Appeals clerkships, and five Presidential appointments. Five of the firm's seven partners have argued successfully before the U.S. Supreme Court. Together, the firms lawyers have handled 120 Supreme Court arguments, along with hundreds more Supreme Court briefs.

Small But Mighty

Bancroft PLLC has been regarded as "not the next big firm, but the next great firm." It has been ranked as a top litigation firm and boasts a roster of "super lawyers." Since its start, Bancroft has quickly earned a reputation for high-profile cases, including many in front of the Supreme Court.

Several of the Supreme Court cases had been argued by partner Paul Clement, who joined the firm while in the midst of defending the Defense of Marriage Act after it was dropped by his previous firm. At Bancroft, he celebrated his 75th notes-free oral arguments in front of the Supreme Court, an achievement reached in only 13 years. Clement now boasts 83 total arguments before the Supreme Court, including the three days of argument in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act case, and has been called a "wunderkind." One of the firm's appellate lawyers, Erin Murphy, has also gained high recognition after winning her first argument in front of the Supreme Court in 2013 and arguing two more cases in 2016. Murphy accepted the McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission case merely a month before she was to argue it and noted that her experience as serving second chair to Paul Clement at one point was "hugely helpful."

Bancroft has also been praised for its work representing the NFL and other sports leagues throughout the past couple of years. When the NFL Player lockout occurred in 2011, the firm assisted in representing League during the months-long dispute. And when the Deflategate conspiracy came to light, Clement defended the NFL Commissioner's four-game suspension of player Tom Brady, which was upheld on April 25, 2016.

Bancroft's high-esteemed lawyers are not just encouraged by the firm's founder Viet Dinh to take on high-stake cases, but also clerkships if they should choose to do so. Dinh notes that he and others regard their clerkships as "the best year of our professional lives," and the firm has hired a number of its lawyers back following Supreme Court clerkships.

"Not a Megafirm"

While Bancroft's lawyers are known for having some of the most media-followed cases in Washington, the ones who get to see the action close-up are those who share the Bancroft office. Before the firm's recent move near the Capitol, the power duo Dinh and Clement shared a glass wall that gave off the appearance of an "exhibit at a museum or perhaps a zoo." Even in their new space, the firm maintains a close-knit environment that is focused on results over bureaucracy.

- Show Less + Show Full Description

Bancroft PLLC

500 New Jersey Avenue, NW, 7th Floor
Washington, DC 20001
Phone: (202) 234-0090


  • Employer Type: Private
  • Managing Director: Viet D. Dinh
  • Total No. Attorneys 2015: 18

  • Major Departments & Practices
    Supreme Court, Appellate, and Complex Litigation
    Risk Management and Compliance
    Corporate Governance and Strategy

Major Office Locations

  • Washington, DC