Christopher J. Wright - Harris, Wiltshire & Grannis LLP

Christopher J. Wright

Listed in Best Lawyers since 2008

Chris Wright, the head of the appellate group at Harris, Wiltshire & Grannis LLP since 2001, is both an appellate lawyer and a communications lawyer. Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Wright served as General Counsel of the Federal Communications Commission, in the Office of the Solicitor General of the United States, and as a law clerk to Chief Justice Warren Burger of the United States Supreme Court. Mr. Wright is one of very few lawyers who has argued more than twenty cases in both the Supreme Court and the D.C. Circuit, and he has argued in many of the other federal circuit as well.

As a generalist appellate lawyer, Mr. Wright has argued cases in diverse areas of law from administrative law to tort law. The firm is experienced both in taking the lead on appeals handled at earlier stages by other firms and in helping other counsel prepare briefs and conduct appellate arguments. The firm has filed amicus briefs on a variety of topics in the Supreme Court and the federal circuits. As a generalist appellate lawyer, Mr. Wright and HWG’s appellate group work with their clients to make complex issues comprehensible to generalist judges

Mr. Wright is a former President of the Edward Coke Appellate Inn of Court, the nation’s preeminent association of appellate lawyers, and is currently recognized as an outstanding appellate lawyer by Chambers USA and Super Lawyers. Mr. Wright is a member of the Board of Governors of the D.C. Circuit Historical Society and a former member of the D.C. Circuit’s Rules Committee. He co-teaches the D.C. Bar’s annual course on Judicial Review of Agency Decisions.

Representations include:

·         Representing a foreign government in Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act cases in the D.C. Circuit.

·         Filing amicus briefs in the Supreme Court defending the Minimum Coverage and Medicaid provisions of the Affordable Care Act.

·         Assisting a small plaintiffs’ firm in the Supreme Court and the Second Circuit in an ERISA class action.

As a communications lawyer, Mr. Wright counsels clients and represents them in proceedings at the FCC. Mr. Wright has worked on a wide variety of communications matters on behalf of communications companies of every type. As General Counsel of the FCC, Mr. Wright assisted the Chairman and Commissioners in drafting the Commission's orders on all aspects of communications law. He established the FCC's Transaction Team and supervised its oversight of issues relating to mergers.

Mr. Wright is President-Elect of the Federal Communications Bar Association, the nation’s preeminent association of communications lawyers, and is currently recognized as an outstanding communication lawyer by Chambers USA, Super Lawyers, and many other publications. Mr. Wright has testified before congressional committees, both as FCC counsel and in private practice, and served as an expert witness on communications law issues.

Representations include:

·         Representing communications companies in FCC rulemakings and enforcement proceedings.

·         Counseling companies that receive compensation from funds administered by the FCC.

·         Representing telecommunications carriers supporting and opposing mergers.

As an appellate lawyer in communications cases, Mr. Wright has handled cases involving all areas of communications law. Mr. Wright is uniquely qualified to handle appeals in communications cases since he is (a) the only person selected by his peers to lead the Edward Coke Appellate Inn of Court and the Federal Communications Bar Association, and (b) the only person currently recognized as both an outstanding appellate lawyer and an outstanding communications lawyer by Chambers USA and Super Lawyers. 

            Representations include:

·         Bringing appellate cases on behalf of companies challenging rules or sanctions adopted by the FCC.

·         Representing coalitions of companies that intervene to defend favorable decisions of the FCC in the appellate courts.

·         Filing amicus briefs on behalf of communications companies in appellate courts.

Harvard UniversityAB 1974University of California BerkeleyMA 1975Stanford UniversityJ.D. 1980
Federal Communications Bar AssociationEdward Coke Appellate Inn of Court

Client Comments

"It is evident that Chris Wright is respected in both his appellate work and advocating positions at the FCC. I have been in numerous meetings at the FCC where Chris has been asked how the FCC should proceed in a matter, and I always see a lot of notes being taken when he answers. "

"We use Chris primarily for appellate litigation, and he is great at it. He is smart, focused, and easy to work with. He is a great writer and strategic thinker. His litigation experience is broad and deep, including substantial time in high-level government positions. He is highly recommended. "

Office Location

1919 M Street, NW, Eighth Floor
Washington, DC 20036-3537
United States

Practice Areas

Appellate Practice
Communications Law

Other Information

Gender: Male