Pratik A. Shah is co-head of Akin Gump’s Supreme Court and Appellate practice.

Practice & Background

Mr. Shah has argued 14 cases before the United States Supreme Court and has filed over 150 merits or certiorari-stage briefs in that court. He has also briefed and argued numerous cases in other federal and state appellate courts, and provides strategic advice at all stages of constitutional, regulatory and other complex litigation.

Leading publications describe Mr. Shah as “incredibly intelligent” and “one of the brightest and most personable members of the appellate bar” with “a total command of appellate issues” (Chambers USA); as a top appellate advocate who has successfully “practiced before the highest court in the land on some of the most groundbreaking cases of the 21st century” (Washington Business Journal); and as having “a knack for boiling down complex cases to their essence and advocating for his clients in a calm, clear and compelling way” (Legal 500). Under his leadership, Akin Gump was named one of the top three appellate practices in the 2017 “Best of Corporate Counsel” rankings.

Before joining the firm in 2013, Mr. Shah served for over five years as an Assistant to the Solicitor General at the U.S. Department of Justice. He received a number of awards for his advocacy before the Supreme Court during that time, including the Attorney General’s Distinguished Service Award for his role as lead drafter of the successful challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act in United States v. Windsor.

Prior to that, Mr. Shah worked in the appellate practice of another international law firm, taught constitutional law, and clerked for Justice Stephen G. Breyer on the U.S. Supreme Court and Judge William Fletcher on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit.

Mr. Shah received his J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law, and graduated summa cum laude from Princeton University with a B.S.E. in chemical engineering.

Representative Matters

American Indian Law

  • Patchak v. Zinke, No. 16-498 (S. Ct. 2018) (successfully briefed and argued separation-of-powers/sovereign immunity issue for Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians)
  • United States v. Gila Valley Irrigation District (9th Cir. 2017) (successful appeal for tribe’s water rights under federal consent decree)
  • Lyon v. Gila River Indian Community (9th Cir. 2017) (successful vacatur of adverse trial judgment for lack of Article III jurisdiction and dismissal of claim for implied easement over tribe’s reservation)
  • Lower Elwa Klallam Indian Tribe v. Lummi Nation (9th Cir. 2014) (successful reversal of SJ in tribal treaty fishing rights case)
  • United States v. Jicarilla Apache Nation, 131 S. Ct. 2313 (2011) (successfully briefed and argued attorney-client privilege issue in tribal trust context)

Intellectual Property

  • XY v. Trans Ova Genetics (Fed Cir. 2018) (successfully briefed and argued patent/antitrust appeal)
  • Grandeye Ltd. v. Google Inc. (Fed. Cir. 2016) (successfully briefed and argued patent/IPR appeal)
  • Bianco v. Globus Medical (Fed. Cir. 2015) (successfully briefed and argued trade secret case)
  • Limelight Networks v. Akamai Technologies, 134 S. Ct. 2111 (2014) (scope of infringement under 35 U.S.C. 271(b); successful amicus brief on behalf of CTIA-The Wireless Association)
  • Octane Fitness v. Icon Health & Fitness, 134 S. Ct. 1749 (2014) (fee awards under 35 U.S.C. 285 for “exceptional cases”; successful amicus brief on behalf 3M, GE, P&G, and Johnson & Johnson)


  • FiberTower Spectrum Holdings v. FCC, No. 14-1039 (D.C. Cir. 2015) (successful vacatur of FCC order canceling 689 licenses for fixed wireless services)
  • In re: FCC, No. 11-9900 (10th Cir. 2014) (challenging FCC’s Universal Service Fund rulemaking)

Bankruptcy and Tax

  • Hall v. United States, 132 S. Ct. 1882 (2012) (successfully briefed and argued treatment of federal tax liability in Chapter 12 bankruptcy)
  • In re MPM Silicones, LLC (2d Cir. 2017) (successful appeal on “make-whole” provision and debt subordination issues in bankruptcy proceedings)

Class Actions / Civil Fraud

  • Clarke v. Baptist Mem’l Healthcare Corp. (6th Cir. 2016) (obtaining successful dismissal of intervenors’ appeal from denial of class certification in antitrust action)
  • Billings v. Propel Fin. Servs. (5th Cir. 2016) (obtaining successful dismissal of multiple consumer class action suits filed under the Truth in Lending Act)
  • Matrixx Initiatives, Inc. v. Siracusano, 131 S. Ct. 1309 (2011) (successfully briefed and argued Section 10(b) federal securities fraud claims in pharmaceutical context)
  • Bridge v. Phoenix Bond & Indemnity Co., 128 S. Ct. 2131 (2008) (successfully briefed causation standard for civil RICO claim based on mail fraud)


  • Los Angeles County Flood Control District v. NRDC, 133 S. Ct. 710 (2013) (successfully briefed and argued Clean Water Act case)
  • Decker v. Northwest Environmental Defense Center, 133 S. Ct. 1326 (2013) (successfully briefed Clean Water Act)
  • Coeur Alaska, Inc. v. Southeast Alaska Conservation Council, 129 S. Ct. 2458 (2009) (successfully briefed Clean Water Act case)
  • Burlington Northern & Santa Fe Railway Co. v. United States, 129 S. Ct. 1870 (2009) (CERCLA)

Constitutional Law and Civil Rights

  • United States v. Windsor, 133 S. Ct. 2675 (2013) (successfully briefed equal protection challenge to Defense of Marriage Act)
  • Hollingsworth v. Perry, 133 S. Ct. 2652 (2013) (equal protection challenge to California’s restriction on same-sex marriage; amicus brief on behalf of United States)
  • Minneci v. Pollard, 132 S. Ct. 617 (2012) (successfully briefed and argued scope of Bivens action)
  • Tolentino v. New York, 131 S. Ct. 1387 (2011) (successfully briefed and argued Fourth Amendment challenge)
  • Perdue v. Kenny A., 130 S. Ct. 1662 (2010) (successfully briefed and argued attorney’s fees under civil-rights statute)
  • Alamo Recycling v. Anheuser Busch (Cal. App. 2015) (successfully briefed and argued dormant commerce clause defense to tort action)


  • Moncrieffe v. Holder, 133 S. Ct. 1678 (2013) (“aggravated felony” under INA; briefed and argued)
  • Holder v. Martinez Gutierrez, 132 S. Ct. 2011 (2012) (parental imputation of status/residency for purposes of 8 U.S.C. 1229b; successfully briefed certiorari-stage and merits)

Community Involvement

Mr. Shah has been involved with various community, civic and professional organizations, including:

  • ABA Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary, Practitioners’ Reading Group
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, Advisory Committee on Procedures
  • Supreme Court Historical Society, Trustee
  • South Asian Bar Association of North America, National Advisory Council
  • U.S. Chamber Litigation Center, Constitutional Law & Federal Courts Advisory Committee
  • Edward Coke Appellate Inn of Court, Barrister
  • Georgetown Supreme Court Institute, Moot Court Program
  • Street Law, Supreme Court Summer Institute
  • Citizen Schools, Legal Apprenticeship Program

Awards and Accolades

Mr. Shah has received numerous recognitions for his professional and public service, including:

  • National Law Journal “Appellate Hot List”
  • Ranked in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business: National Appellate Law
  • Recognized in The Legal 500: “Supreme Court Appellate” as a Leading Lawyer, and in “Antitrust: Civil litigation/class action: Defense”
  • National Law Journal and Legal Times “40 under 40” listing
  • Washington Business Journal “Legal Champions” Award
  • Featured in Washingtonian “Top Lawyers” list
  • Washington DC “Super Lawyers” list
  • Stark Ritchie Pro Bono Partner Award
  • Attorney General’s Distinguished Service Award
  • South Asian Bar Association of North America “Cornerstone” Award
  • Internal Revenue Service, National Chief Counsel Award for Supreme Court advocacy
  • Department of Justice, Environment & Natural Resources Division’s Special Commendation
  • Green Bag’s Exemplary Legal Writing Award for Supreme Court briefing
  • Boston Bar Association President’s Award for pro bono representation of Guantanamo detainees

Speaking Engagements

Mr. Shah is an active speaker on matters related to the Supreme Court and appellate advocacy, including:

  • Litigating Indian Law Issues in Federal and State Appellate Courts,”  2018 D.C. Indian Law Conference, Federal Bar Association (Nov. 2, 2018)
  • Supreme Court Panel, National Association of Former United States Attorneys (NAFUSA) Annual Conference (October 25, 2018)
  • Supreme Court Review, Federal Bar Association (July 18, 2018)
  • Supreme Court Review, South Asian Bar Association (North America) Annual Conference (June 30, 2018)
  • Arguing Cases Before the U.S. Supreme Court, SABA-DC (June 11, 2018)
  • Supreme Court Indian Law Case Update, WSBA 30th Annual Indian Law Section Seminar (May 17, 2018)
  • Japanese American Incarceration to the Muslim Travel Ban, Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (Feb. 13, 2018)
  • Supreme Court Merits Briefing, National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG), Supreme Court Advocacy Seminar (Jan. 18, 2018)
  • National Insecurity: The Plenary Power Doctrine from FDR to Trump, NAPABA Convention (Nov. 3, 2017)
  • SCOTUS 101 Podcast, Episode #205: Interview (Oct. 19, 2017)
  • Webinar:  Indian Country, the Supreme Court, and the Long Conference, Tribal Supreme Court Project (Sept. 25, 2017)
  • Supreme Court Preview, The Heritage Foundation (Sept. 19, 2017)
  • On the Docket:  Previewing the 2017 Supreme Court Term, ABA (Sept. 18, 2017)
  • Supreme Court Review, Federal Bar Association (July 18, 2017)
  • Supreme Court Review, South Asian Bar Association (North America) Annual Conference (July 14, 2017)
  • Supreme Court Preview, George Mason University Law School (Oct. 3, 2016)
  • On the Docket: A Look at the 2016 Supreme Court Term, ABA/The Wilson Center/American University (Sept. 28, 2016)
  • SCOTUS Preview, Office of the Speaker/U.S. House of Representatives (Sept. 26, 2016)
  • Supreme Court Term Review, Federal Bar Association (July 12, 2016)
  • SCOTUS: An Insider’s Perspective, SABA Delaware (June 14, 2016)
  • Supreme Court Review, South Asian Bar Association (North America) Annual Conference (May 13, 2016)
  • Supreme Court Review/Preview, ABA Administrative Law Conference (Oct. 29, 2015)
  • John Roberts and Statutory Interpretation, Symposium, Cardozo Law Review and Floersheimer Center for Constitutional Democracy (Oct. 15, 2015)
  • Seeking and Defending Certiorari, VBA Appellate Summit (Sept. 30, 2015)
  • Supreme Court Term Review, Federal Bar Association (July 16, 2015)
  • Supreme Court Summer Institute for Teachers, Street Law Program, Georgetown Law School (June 20, 2015)
  • If Affordable Care Act Fails: Impact of King v. Burwell, Akin Gump In-House Series (June 15, 2015)
  • Supreme Court Review, South Asian Bar Association (NA) Annual Conference (June 12, 2015)
  • Supreme Court Review and Preview, Annual D.C. Judicial Training Conference (Dec. 4, 2014)
  • State and Local Legal Center (SLLC) Supreme Court Preview Webinar (Oct. 16, 2014)
  • Supreme Court Preview, C-SPAN Washington Journal (Oct. 6, 2014)
  • Supreme Court Pre-Term Press Briefing, U.S. Chamber of Commerce (Oct. 3, 2014)
  • Supreme Court Preview, George Mason University Law School (Sept. 30, 2014)
  • Conversation on the Supreme Court, ABA Preview Webinar (Sept. 15, 2014)
  • Supreme Court Review and Preview, DC Bar CLE Program (Sept. 11, 2014)
  • Supreme Court Term Review, Federal Bar Association (July 22, 2014)
  • Recent Important Appellate Cases, DRI Appellate Advocacy Seminar (July 17, 2014)
  • Supreme Court Summer Institute for Teachers, Street Law Program, Georgetown Law School (June 26, 2014)
  • Mock Supreme Court Argument, South Asian Bar Association of North America (June 21, 2014)
  • Supreme Court Patent Decisions, In-House Counsel CLE Series, New York (June 12, 2104)
  • Evening with Pratik Shah & Peter Karanjia, South Asian Bar Association of D.C. (Apr. 22, 2014)
  • Supreme Court Advocacy: Arguing Before the Highest Court, Harvard Law School (Apr. 14, 2014)
  • Supreme Court Review, ABA Conference on Equal Employment Opportunity Law (Mar. 28, 2014)
  • Supreme Court Practice Seminar, State and Local Legal Center (Mar. 4, 2014)
  • Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby: Mock Argument, Supreme Court Institute, Georgetown (Feb. 26, 2014)
  • Mid-Term Preview, Supreme Court Institute, Georgetown Law (Jan. 29, 2014)
  • Supreme Court Advocacy Seminar, National Association of Attorneys General (Dec. 5, 2013)
  • Supreme Court Preview, Annual Institute, Institute for Corporate Counsel (Dec. 3, 2013)
  • Cases to Watch, ABA Annual Review of the Field of National Security Law (Oct. 31, 2013)
  • Supreme Court Preview, C-SPAN Washington Journal (Oct. 7, 2013)
  • Supreme Court Preview, George Mason University Law School (Oct. 1, 2013).