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Zuckerman Spaeder LLP


About Zuckerman Spaeder LLP

Prestigious DC-based litigation boutique Zuckerman Spaeder’s location in the capital is good for business, namely its primary practice areas of white collar defense, government investigations, complex commercial disputes, and healthcare litigation. With additional locations in New York, Baltimore and Tampa, the firm’s attorneys are known for navigating high-stakes, high-profile litigation and coming to the aid of high-profile individuals in hot water.

A Litigation Boutique to be Reckoned With

Zuckerman Spaeder was founded in1975 in Washington, DC, by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Herbert Better, Roger C. Spaeder, and Roger E. Zuckerman. The litigation boutique’s tradition of engaging talented lawyers continues today. The firm does not have a summer associate program, and instead seeks top proven talent—generally selecting attorneys with a judicial clerkship under their belt. Beyond its client work, the firm also runs the blog InsightZS— dedicated to thoughtful discourse on emerging litigation and investigations issues of the day.

Who You Gonna Call?

More so than the Ghostbusters, Zuckerman Spaeder is the reprieve of the desperate—in fact, the firm has been described as “a haven for clients in trouble.” Zuckerman Spaeder has built up a reputation rescuing officials embroiled in headline-grabbing scandals thanks to its expertise in heavily regulated areas—securities, food and drug, health care, tax, government ethics, and antitrust, to name a few. The big names crowding its client list include former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn, New York City comptroller John Liu, Enron Corp., Fannie Mae, Refco Inc., and Stanford Financial Group. 

The firm has also made a name for itself working on plaintiffs-side and class action lawsuits. Clients range from individuals and business to states, groups, and large classes. Recent notable work includes a victory against the country’s largest mental health claims administrator on behalf of thousands of plaintiffs who were denied coverage; representation of PETA in multiple federal lawsuits against roadside zoos; and high-profile litigation on behalf of NFL players regarding head injuries, which led to heightened safety requirements in the League. 

Pro Bono In and Out of the Capital

Zuckerman Spaeder may be on speed-dial of some of the biggest companies and finance groups in the world, but it makes time for other, more public service-oriented priorities as well. The firm’s DC office is a signatory to the Pro Bono Institute’s Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge, while the New York office has signed onto the New York City Bar Association’s Pro Bono Statement of Principles. The firm’s roster of pro bono beneficiaries includes the National Health Law Project,  Legal Aid Society of DC, Families Against Mandatory Minimums, Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, and immigrants seeking asylum, among others. The firm contributes its high-quality pro bono work to its deep bench of attorneys with public service experience—including former public defenders and prosecutors, public interest litigators, and judicial law clerks.

News & Awards


November 2020

Zuckerman Spaeder was recognized with several awards at The American Lawyer awards, including as a finalist for Boutique of the Year. Firm partner Aitan Goelman was a finalist for Litigator of the Year, and partner Adam Abelson earned a win as Young Lawyer of the Year.

May 2020

The National Law Journal named Zuckerman Spaeder a “D.C. Litigation Department of the Year.”

November 2020

After the firm delivered a landmark win for mental health patients in 2019, a judge orders UnitedHealth to reprocess more than 50,000 claims and to reform the claims handling process.

August 2020

33 Zuckerman Spaeder attorneys were recognized in the 2021 edition of The Best Lawyers in America—three partners were named “Lawyer of the Year,” and two associates were recognized as “Ones to Watch.”

Zuckerman Spaeder LLP

1800 M Street, NW
Suite 1000
Washington, DC
Phone: (202) 778-1800

Firm Stats

Chairman: Dwight P. Bostwick
Total No. Attorneys (2021):
50 - 100

Employment Contact

Kalie Walrath
Manager, Communications and Attorney Recruiting
(202) 778-1800

No. of U.S. Offices: 4

No. of International Offices: 0

Major Office Locations

Washington, DC (HQ)
Baltimore, MD
New York, NY
Tampa, FL

Major Departments

Business Litigation
Plaintiffs and Class Actions
Employment Law and Litigation
Food and Drug
Health Care
Legal Profession & Ethics
Regulatory & Compliance
Securities and Commodities Litigation
Tax Controversy
White Collar Defense