Marc E. Elias - Perkins Coie LLP

Marc E. Elias

Listed in Best Lawyers since 2008
Phone: 202-434-1609

Marc Elias is the chair of the Perkins Coie Political Law practice. His practice focuses on representing public officials, candidates, parties, corporations, tax-exempt organizations and Political Action Committees (PACs) in connection with campaign finance, governmental ethics, lobbying disclosure, and white-collar criminal defense matters.  His clients include numerous Fortune 500 corporations, national non-profit organizations, lobbying firms, Am Law 100 law firms, prominent individuals, candidates and campaigns. 

Marc is a nationally recognized authority in the Federal Election Campaign Act, the Lobbying Disclosure Act, the Ethics in Government Act, the Foreign Agents Registration Act, congressional and executive branch ethics and gift rules, and federal and state pay-to-play laws and rules.  He also advises and litigates claims under the Voting Rights Act, Help America Vote Act and National Voter Registration Act.

Marc’s clients include the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the Democratic Governors Associations and numerous U.S. senators and representatives and their campaigns. Marc also serves as general counsel to the National Democratic Redistricting Trust and has been involved in redistricting litigation in a number of states, including Texas, Florida, New York, Ohio, Virginia, Nevada and Minnesota.  

Marc served as lead counsel for Senator Al Franken in the 2008 Minnesota Senate election recount and contest – the largest recount and contest in American history.  He successfully argued the case before the Minnesota State Supreme Court that resulted in a unanimous decision affirming that Franken had received the highest number of votes legally cast in the 2008 general election for U.S. Senator.

In 2010 he successfully represented Governor Mark Dayton in the Minnesota Governor's recount, including a successful argument in the state Supreme Court.  Marc represented Senator Maria Cantwell in connection with her 2000 recount, Senator Harry Reid in connection with his 1998 recount, and served as a consultant to the Senate Rules Committee during its consideration of the 1996 Louisiana Senate election contest.  In 2010 he successfully represented Senator Robert Menendez in the New Jersey Supreme Court case invalidating the application of state recall statutes to U.S. Senators.

In 2004 Marc served as general counsel to the Kerry-Edwards presidential campaign. He served in that same capacity for Chris Dodd for President during the 2008 primary campaign. 

Marc has represented numerous clients in public corruption and campaign finance matters before the Department of Justice, U.S. Attorney’s Offices, and Offices of Independent Counsel. He has also represented clients before committees of both the House and Senate, as well as before federal agencies.

Named by Politico Magazine as one of the “50 Politicos to Watch” he is frequently quoted in political law matters by the national media and has spoken and written extensively about both politics and political law.

Marc teaches both law and political science. This spring he is teaching Advanced Election Law at William & Mary Law School.  In the past, he has taught Modern Campaigns and Elections at Hamilton College and Post Election Litigation at William & Mary Law School. Marc is a member of the American Bar Association's Standing Committee on Election Law as well as an adviser to two American Law Institute projects: Principles of Government Ethics and Principles of Election Law: Resolution of Election Disputes. He also co-chairs 
the bipartisan Committee to Modernize Voter Registration.

Hamilton CollegeBA Duke UniversityMA Duke University School of LawJ.D.

Case History

Other Court Admissions
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia

Client Comments

"There is no one smarter or more dedicated than Marc Elias. He not only knows the law, he cares about his clients. He is professional, dedicated, hardworking, and as smart as they come. Even though his area of expertise is campaign law, I would use him for any serious legal matter that may arise. If he does not know that area of the law, he will figure it out."

Office Location

700 Thirteenth Street, NW, Suite 600
Washington, DC 20005-3960
United States

Practice Areas

Criminal Defense: White-Collar (Corporate Compliance, Corporate Governance, Federal, Government Investigations, Political)
Government Relations Practice