Ellen Oberwetter represents clients in complex civil litigation in courts and arbitrations around the country.  She is a Co-Chair of the firm’s Arbitration practice group and Chair of the firm’s Bankruptcy Litigation practice group.  In recent years, her primary areas of practice have included patent and licensing disputes, legal malpractice matters, and bankruptcy litigation.  Many of her matters over the years have been litigated through arbitration.

Ellen has represented clients in a number of patent and licensing disputes, including Hatch-Waxman litigation, Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act (“BPCIA”) litigation, and licensing disputes concerning collaboration agreement obligations, and royalty and sublicensing payment obligations.  She has significant experience in litigating intellectual property and product valuation issues.
In the professional malpractice area, Ellen has defended law firms against allegations of mishandling litigation and transactional matters, including intellectual property, trust and estate, and bankruptcy matters; claims for securities fraud; allegations of overbilling; and claims for breach of fiduciary duty.  She also defended a major accounting firm in arbitration and court proceedings around the country against claims relating to tax advice.  

Ellen has represented clients in numerous bankruptcy litigation matters, including defending against claims brought by litigation and liquidating trusts, handling adversary proceedings, representing a company in a transnational substantive consolidation dispute, and negotiating Rule 2004 discovery requests.

Born and raised in Dallas, Ellen graduated from the University of Michigan in 1997 and received her J.D., with high honors, from the University of Texas School of Law, where she was a member of the Texas Law Review, Chancellors honor society, and the Order of the Coif.  After graduating from law school, she was a law clerk to Judge Joe Kendall of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, and Judge Thomas Reavley of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.  She joined Williams & Connolly in 2002.

Ellen has been active in the firm’s pro bono work, and serves on the Boards of Directors of the Washington Urban Debate League and the Goose Creek Association.  She is a former Chair of the firm’s Hiring Committee.

Representative Experience

Though all cases vary and none is predictive, Ellen’s experience includes:

  • Represented a biopharmaceutical company in a 2020 arbitration relating to a license dispute in which the client prevailed and obtained a significant damages award
  • Defended a global wealth management firm in a 2019 arbitration of employment discrimination claims, resulting in a decision for the defendant
  • Represented a pharmaceutical company in state court litigation concerning a sublicensing revenue dispute 
  • Represented multiple pharmaceutical companies in Hatch-Waxman and BPCIA patent litigation matters
  • Represented a law firm in state court litigation alleging malpractice with respect to patent prosecution malpractice
  • Represented a law firm in state and federal court proceedings against litigation trust, multiple plaintiff groups, and an investor class action bringing claims for securities fraud and legal malpractice.  Served as lead examiner for depositions of class representative plaintiffs
  • Second-chaired a jury trial in D.C. Superior Court on behalf of a law firm in which the client obtained a complete defense verdict
  • Represented a Big Four accounting firm in numerous arbitrations relating to tax advice




“Washington, D.C. Rising Stars,” The National Law Journal, 2015


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