John L. Ray

John L. Ray

Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP

Recognized since 2005

Washington, District of Columbia

Practice Areas

Corporate Law

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John Ray, whose government experience spans nearly three decades, advises private-sector clients on regulatory and public policy matters in the federal and municipal government arenas. His practice focuses on zoning and land use, healthcare, banking and real estate.

John’s record of government service includes roles at the local and federal levels. For 18 years he was an at-large member of the District of Columbia City Council—as acting chairman and chairman pro tempore of the council; chairman of the Consumer and Regulatory Affairs Committee; and member of the Judiciary, Economic Development, and Housing and Human Services Committees. There, he addressed issues including consumer protection; business, insurance and healthcare licensing and regulation; housing regulation; public utilities; and banking.

While on the council, John drafted and steered legislation establishing the Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking as a cabinet-level agency. He also authored some of the District’s most progressive and wide-ranging reform legislation, including a major overhaul of its system for licensing and regulating healthcare professionals and HMOs; significant revisions to laws governing corporations and partnerships; and revisions to laws affecting government regulation of corporations, rental housing and the insurance industry.

At the federal level, John served as law clerk to Judge Spottswood W. Robinson, III of the United Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, as counsel to the Senate Antitrust and Monopolies Subcommittee and as an attorney-advisor with the Office of Legal Counsel of the DOJ.

In addition to John’s government service, he has been an active member of the Democratic Party, including serving as chairman of the District of Columbia delegation to the 1980 Democratic National Convention and as a member of the Democratic National Committee’s Mid-Atlantic Finance Committee.

Contact & Links


  • 1050 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Suite 600
    Washington, DC 20036

Bar Admissions

  • District of Columbia, District of Columbia Bar


  • Alliance for Responsible Cuba Policy - Member, Board of Directors
  • DC Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy - Member, Board of Directors
  • District of Columbia Chamber of Commerce - Member
  • District of Columbia Chamber of Commerce - Member
  • Federal City Council - Member
  • Greater Washington Board of Trade - Member
  • United State Air Force - Served five and one-half years
  • University of the District of Columbia Foundation, Inc. - Member, Board of Directors

Recognized in The Best Lawyers® in America 2023 for work in:

  • Corporate Law


  • Inducted Into Washington, D.C. Hall of Fame Society, April 2016

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