Rakesh Kilaru

Rakesh is a partner in the Washington, D.C. office of Wilkinson Walsh + Eskovitz. His practice focuses on all aspects of litigation and crisis management. Before joining WW+E, Rakesh was a Special Assistant to the President and Associate Counsel in the Office of White House Counsel, where he provided legal advice and strategic counseling to the Obama Administration on its domestic policy agenda, focusing on healthcare, education, labor and employment, housing, and the Supreme Court. He also helped to develop and implement the government’s litigation strategy in cases arising under the Affordable Care Act and the Fair Labor Standards Act. Before entering the government, Rakesh was an associate in the appellate and white collar practice groups at O’Melveny & Myers, LLP, where he also maintained a robust pro bono practice in federal circuit courts and immigration courts.

Rakesh is also an active member of the D.C. legal community. He is a member of the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of DC’s (APABA-DC) Board of Directors, an editor of The Green Bag, and a member of the Edward Bennett Williams Inn of Court. In addition, Rakesh previously served as a director of the ABABA-DC Education Fund, a not-for-profit arm of APABA-DC that provides fellowships and other educational opportunities to law students in the D.C. area.

Notable Matters

  • Represented Georgia Pacific LLC in Kleen Products LLC et al. v. International Paper Co. et al., helping obtain full summary judgment in an antitrust class action lawsuit involving over $10 billion in claimed damages.
  • Co-authored Supreme Court merits brief in constitutional challenge to the authority of bankruptcy judges to adjudicate common-law claims.
  • Represented Ford Motor Company from trial through appeal in Westgate Ford Truck Sales v. Ford Motor Company, helping obtain and then defend a complete defense verdict in a multi-billion dollar class action lawsuit.
  • Represented Johnson and Johnson in Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. v. Arkansas, helping obtain reversal of a $1.2 billion jury verdict involving Risperdal.
  • Counseled the CEO of one of the largest private companies in the United States in a high-profile fraud investigation.
  • Represented a criminal defendant in the Fourth Circuit in a challenge to his unlawful and excessive sentence.


  • Undergraduate: Columbia University, Phi Beta Kappa, summa cum laude
  • Law: Stanford Law School; Member, Stanford Supreme Court Litigation Clinic; Notes Editor, Stanford Law Review; Best Brief and Best Overall Team, 2010 Kirkwood Moot Court Competition; Best Oral Advocate, 2010 National Trial Competition (awarded by the American College of Trial Lawyers)


  • The Honorable Elena Kagan, Supreme Court of the United States (October Term 2011)
  • The Honorable J. Harvie Wilkinson III, United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit (2010 – 2011)


  • Comment, The New Rule 12(b)(6): Twombly, Iqbal, and the Paradox of Pleading, 62 Stanford Law Review 905 (2010)