Geoffrey J. Derrick’s practice focuses on complex labor and employment litigation, with an emphasis on the defense of class and collective actions.  

Practice & Background

Mr. Derrick offers the unique perspective of a former state and federal public defender, as well as a former state and federal law clerk. 

He authored numerous appellate and post-conviction briefs on behalf of indigent criminal defendants at the Center for Appellate Litigation in New York City and the Federal Defenders of San Diego, Inc.  In one case, he authored and presented oral argument on a habeas corpus motion that exonerated a client who had served 17 years in prison for two murders he did not commit.  In another, he represented a federal death row inmate in constitutional challenges to the death penalty.

Immediately before joining Akin Gump, Mr. Derrick served as a law clerk to the Honorable Paul L. Friedman of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia (2015-2017) and to the Honorable Catharine F. Easterly of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals (2014-2015).

Mr. Derrick received his J.D., magna cum laude, in 2012 from Boston University School of Law, where he was an Edward F. Hennessey Distinguished Scholar and director of the law school’s Appellate Advocacy Program.  He received his B.S. in Communication Studies and Legal Studies in 2007 from Northwestern University, where he was a policy debater.

Representative Matters

Mr. Derrick’s recent labor and employment engagements include:

  • Coordinating government contractor’s response to a Department of Labor inquiry regarding compliance with the Service Contract Act.
  • Defending management consulting firm against allegations of disability discrimination under state and federal law.
  • Advising public transportation and logistics company on whether Title VII obligates it to translate employee tests.
  • Assisting energy company in clawing back cash and equity compensation from executive for violating a non-compete clause.

Mr. Derrick’s recent complex commercial litigation engagements include:

  • Representing investors in federal preliminary injunction proceedings on matters related to a proxy contest for director seats under Delaware law.

Community Involvement

Mr. Derrick maintains an active pro bono practice in which he litigates civil rights cases related to the criminal justice system and represents criminal defendants.  Together with the Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project, Mr. Derrick currently represents a Maryland exoneree seeking compensation for the 13 years he spent in prison for a murder he did not commit. 

  • Member, American Bar Association’s Section of Labor & Employment Law
  • Member, The Associates’ Committee
  • Member, Northwestern University Alumni Admissions Council
Licensed to practice in New York only and under the supervision of the partners of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP. Application for admission to the District of Columbia Bar pending.