Administrative Litigation

Ropes & Gray stands up for its clients when they need to stand up to their regulators. From challenging U.S. federal and state regulations to defending against government lawsuits, we help clients successfully navigate complex – and often costly – administrative litigation.


In today’s rapidly changing regulatory environment, businesses, organizations and individuals need experienced counsel to anticipate changes and react quickly and effectively to new rules and rulings. From filing for immediate injunctive relief to developing the framework for a full-scale defense or challenge in U.S. federal district or appellate court, Ropes & Gray provides a full range of legal services for handling regulatory agency litigation.

Rapid Response

When it comes to rapidly and successfully challenging the decisions of federal agencies, location matters. That’s why our administrative litigation team has a strong presence both in Washington, D.C., where the regulators are, and across the United States, where our clients are. This highly-skilled group of attorneys has a deep understanding of the specific regulations at issue, as well as extensive experience in the courtroom.

Integrated Resources

By tapping into the resources and experience of Ropes & Gray’s diverse practice groups, we help clients identify potential issues and work in real time to resolve them. Our cross-practice teams counsel and support a broad range of businesses and industries, from life sciences and medical devices to financial services and consumer products, among others.

Ropes & Gray’s attorneys have experience handling matters involving a range of U.S. government agencies, including:

  • Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau
  • Board of Immigration Appeals
  • Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services 
  • Commodity Futures Trading Commission 
  • Department of Commerce
  • Department of Education 
  • Department of Health and Human Services 
  • Department of Justice 
  • Department of the Treasury 
  • Federal Maritime Commission 
  • Federal Trade Commission 
  • Food and Drug Administration 
  • International Trade Commission 
  • Office of Foreign Assets Control 
  • Office of Medicare Hearings and Appeals
  • Patent and Trademark Office
  • Provider Reimbursement Review Board
  • Securities and Exchange Commission 
  • U.S. Customs and Border Protection 
  • Veterans Affairs


Our work involving judicial review of federal laws, rules, and regulations includes:

  • Wollschlaeger v. Governor, State of Florida – Represented three national medical organizations and six physicians in a successful First Amendment challenge to Florida law that prevented doctors from speaking freely with patients about gun safety. (U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, 2011; currently on appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.) 
  • United States v. Caronia – Represented the Medical Information Working Group in its participation, as amicus, in a successful challenge to the FDA's prohibition against “off-label promotion.”  (U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, 2011)
  • Project Vote/Voting For America, Inc. v. Long – Represented Project Vote/Voting for America in its successful claim that the National Voter Registration Act required the release of voter registration application records that had been withheld by a Virginia General Registrar. (U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, 2010)
  • Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence v. Salazar et al. – Represented Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence in its successful challenge, under the National Environmental Protection Act, to a U.S. Department of the Interior regulation allowing firearms in national parks. (U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, 2009)
  • Physicians for Human Rights v. Department of Defense – Represented Physicians for Human Rights in litigation to compel the U.S. Department of Defense to release information about a mass gravesite in Afghanistan, pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act. (U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, 2009)