Steven R. Ross co-leads the firm’s congressional investigations practice and is a senior member of the firm's litigation group.
Practice & Background
Mr. Ross has extensive public- and private-sector experience representing corporations, institutions and individuals in all manner of high-profile and politically-sensitive government investigations—including congressional, criminal and regulatory proceedings—and in related civil litigation. His areas of concentration include congressional investigations, internal investigations, governmental ethics, federal election law, white-collar criminal defense and constitutional issues.
Prior to entering private practice, Mr. Ross served from 1983 to 1993 as the General Counsel of the U.S. House of Representatives, advising and representing its members, leadership, committees and employees from both political parties. He also counseled the leadership and relevant committees on numerous congressional investigations.
In private practice, in addition to guiding clients through complex congressional inquiries and related litigation, Mr. Ross has represented clients in investigations conducted by various federal executive branch departments, commissions and agencies, including the U.S. Departments of Justice, Health and Human Services, Interior, and Education, as well as the Federal Election Commission and the Food and Drug Administration.
In addition, Mr. Ross has represented numerous public officials in connection with their confirmation to senior governmental positions. Among these are members of the Cabinet in multiple administrations; numerous ambassadors; and appointees to various federal agencies, including the Federal Reserve Board.
Mr. Ross has extensive litigation experience, ranging from trials before U.S. district courts to arguments before the Supreme Court and numerous federal courts of appeals. He was actively involved in the defense of the constitutionality of numerous federal statutes, including the Independent Counsel Act, the Competition in Contracting Act and the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Deficit Reduction Act. Over the course of his career, Mr. Ross has litigated seminal cases regarding the scope of Congress’s oversight and investigations power, both on behalf of the Congress and as counsel to private parties implicated by such inquiries. He has also taught constitutional law as an adjunct professor at George Mason University Law School and served as a guest lecturer on the topic of congressional investigations at a number of law schools, including NYU, Fordham and the Georgetown University Law Center.
Mr. Ross received his B.A. in government in 1973 from Franklin & Marshall College and his J.D. in 1976 from the National Law Center at George Washington University. He is a member of the District of Columbia Bar.
At Akin Gump, Mr. Ross has maintained a leading practice in the highly specialized field of congressional investigations. He has represented a wide array of individuals and corporations in connection with congressional investigations, including:
- a number of clients in investigations related to the financial crisis of 2008, including representations of a former CEO of a leading insurance company, a credit rating agency and a top hedge fund
- a major automotive company with respect to investigations concerning allegations of non-compliance with environmental regulations
- several pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturing companies in investigations relating to pricing, safety and regulatory compliance.
- multiple leading defense contractors in a number of investigations into Iraq-related contracts and conduct
- a major global financial institution with respect to investigations into the institution’s commodities trading business
- several leading hedge funds and fund managers in a number of investigations of derivative trading and other fund practices
- an online publisher in an investigation of its publishing practices and in related First Amendment litigation
- one of the nation’s largest health insurance carriers in numerous inquiries regarding coverage and cost issues
- a major banking/mortgage institution in an investigation related to its mortgage and lending practices
- a senior executive of a major global financial institution with respect to allegations of failure to enforce anti-money laundering requirements
- a prominent major league baseball team in connection with investigations into stadium financing and the use of steroids in sports
- a trailer manufacturer in an investigation related to the Gulf Coast hurricane relief effort
- the outside directors of a major health care company with respect to congressional and criminal investigations of false corporate earnings statements
- a leading data company in connection with multiple congressional investigations regarding identity theft and data security
- a major health care company in connection with a congressional committee investigation concerning alleged price manipulation
- various corporations’ officers and directors in connection with congressional investigations concerning corporate governance and stock trading issues
- a variety of non-profit corporations with respect to congressional and other governmental investigations concerning their organizational activities
- a major bank and a major family of mutual funds in connection with congressional investigations concerning the regulatory approval of their merger
- a significant telecommunications company in relation to a congressional investigation concerning allegations of improper interactions with the FCC
- an Indian tribe in connection with congressional and criminal investigations regarding improper activities by the tribe’s outside lobbying and public affairs representatives
- a leading American corporate CEO with respect to congressional investigations concerning the transfer of satellite technology to China
- a major energy company in connection with a congressional investigation concerning Persian Gulf oil fields
- a significant power company with respect to the operation of a nuclear power facility
- a major industry association regarding allegations of improper lobbying practices
- a magazine sales company with respect to its sales practices
- a leading nonprofit institution regarding its support of public advocacy activities
- a health care nonprofit regarding compliance with federal regulations
- a well-known international media owner in connection with a public official’s book contract
- officials from all branches of government, including members of Congress, executive branch officials and the judiciary; these representations include the chief judge of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia and the defense at trial of the chief justice of New Hampshire in that state’s first
Awards & Accolades
- Best Lawyers in America (2013-2019)
- Recognized by The Legal 500 United States 2018 as a leader in the category of Dispute Resolution – Securities Litigation – Defense.
- Recognized as one of The National Law Journal’s 2018 White Collar Trailblazers