Fred Fielding ‘61
Fred F. Fielding is a partner in Morgan Lewis’s Litigation Practice. Mr. Fielding is an internationally known litigator, mediator, counselor, and strategic adviser who focuses his practice on corporate services, government affairs, complex crisis management issues, internal investigations, and white collar litigation, and provides general counseling to corporate and individual clients on a broad array of legal and policy issues. A litigator by training and experience, he has also served as an arbitrator in international and domestic disputes.
Mr. Fielding has spent his distinguished legal career in both the public and private sectors. Prior to joining Morgan Lewis, he served as White House Counsel to President George W. Bush from February 2007 to January 2009. Mr. Fielding also served as White House Counsel to President Ronald Reagan from 1981 to 1986, and served in the Nixon White House as Deputy Counsel from 1972 to 1974 and as Associate Counsel from 1970 to 1972.
Mr. Fielding’s long record of leadership in public service includes being a member of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (commonly referred to as the 9/11 Commission), clearance counsel for the 2000 Bush-Cheney Presidential Transition, a member of the Secretary of Transportation’s Task Force on Aviation Disasters (1997–1998), a member of the Tribunal on the U.S.–U.K. Air Treaty Dispute (1989–1994), and a member of the President’s Commission on Federal Ethics Law Reform (1989).
Mr. Fielding brings a unique background and experience to the representation of his clients. In his years of professional activity, and as Deputy Counsel to President Nixon and then Counsel to Presidents Reagan and Bush, he gained a reputation as a skilled negotiator and handler of complex and sensitive issues, who brings to bear not only his broad legal experience but also his ability to understand and resolve the political, public relations, and practical dimensions of significant problems.
In the private sector, Mr. Fielding has represented many senior public and administration officials, as well as large domestic and international business and corporate entities, foreign governments, and associations in a variety of situations that required not only the resolution of a legal issue, but the long-term, global resolution of larger issues. Many of these have included matters of public sensitivity and visibility. He also has extensively counseled chief executives and boards of directors on complex domestic and international problems and in long-ranging public policy planning. Examples of Mr. Fielding’s representations include counseling clients on a wide range of international regulatory enforcement matters including U.S. and foreign anti-corruption, anti-money laundering, export controls, tax, and technical exchange (such as CFIUS clearance) issues; negotiating a mutual legal assistance treaty on behalf of a foreign government; serving as settlement counsel to resolve billions of dollars in professional liability claims; and counseling clients on a broad array of other significant matters in a wide range of industries.
Mr. Fielding previously served at Morgan Lewis as a partner from 1974 to 1981 and as an associate from 1964 to 1970. He also served as a senior partner in and a leader of the government affairs, business and finance, and litigation practices of a national law firm prior to his appointment to the Bush White House.
Mr. Fielding received his J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1964, where he served on the editorial board of the Virginia Law Review. He received his A.B., cum laude, in political science from Gettysburg College in 1961. He has also been awarded honorary doctorates from Detroit College of Law and Pepperdine University School of Law.
Mr. Fielding has received numerous awards and accolades during his career. When Mr. Fielding was appointed White House Counsel in 2007, TIME magazine described him as “the ultimate Washington lawyer-insider . . . he’s the guy who helps you defend your position, stick to your principles, but tries to work out a reasonable compromise . . . he is highly regarded by everyone.” The New York Times noted that he “has an independence of judgment and independence of stature.” Washingtonian magazine, in picking the top lawyers to whom other lawyers and judges would turn if they were in trouble, named Mr. Fielding and characterized him as “very shrewd, smart and discreet . . . an attorney with a reputation for keeping people from getting into trouble in the first place.” His numerous honors include selection as a “Legend in the Law” by the Washington Lawyer magazine, as a “Legal Visionary” by the Legal Times, as the District of Columbia Bar Association’s “Lawyer of the Year 2004,” and as one of the “Best Lawyers in America” for business litigation by Corporate Counsel magazine. His additional activities include board memberships in numerous charitable and public corporations, as well as bar association activities.
Mr. Fielding is admitted to practice in the District of Columbia and before the U.S. Supreme Court; the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the First, Third, Fourth, Seventh, and Ninth Circuits; the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Federal and District of Columbia Circuits; the U.S. District Courts for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and for the District of Columbia; the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania; the U.S. Court of Military Appeals; and the U.S. Court of Claims.