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Carter G. Phillips

Carter G. Phillips

Sidley Austin LLP

Washington, DC, USA

CARTER G. PHILLIPS is the Co-Chairman of the Executive Committee of Sidley Austin LLP, and is a member of the firm's Management Committee. Mr. Phillips was the managing partner of the firm's Washington, D.C. office from 1995 to 2012. He served as a law clerk to both Judge Robert Sprecher on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and Chief Justice Warren E. Burger on the United States Supreme Court. Mr. Phillips served as Assistant to the Solicitor General and argued 9 cases on behalf of the federal government in the United States Supreme Court. Since joining Sidley, Mr. Phillips has argued 67 cases in the Supreme Court; his 76 arguments before that Court are the most of any lawyer currently in private practice.  Mr. Phillips argued 10 cases in the last two Terms of the Supreme Court. Mr. Phillips also has argued more than 90 cases in the federal courts of appeals including 22 cases in the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals, and more than a dozen in other appellate courts. 

His practice has been featured in articles in the American Lawyer, Business Week, Legal Times, The National Law Journal, USA Today and Legal Business (a publication in England). Mr. Phillips was selected by the American Lawyer as a member of the 45 Under 45 in 1995 and as one of the 100 Best Lawyers in America by The National Law Journal. In 2006 he was named one of the "Top 100 Most Influential Lawyers in America" as chosen by The National Law Journal. The NLJ also named him a runner-up for its 2006 "Lawyer of the Year," saying that in 2006 he "became the 'go-to' attorney for corporations seeking Supreme Court relief, further elevating his stature within the small, but highly skilled, Supreme Court bar." In September, 2007 he received the Lewis F. Powell Award for Business Advocacy given by the National Chamber Litigation Center, the public policy law firm of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. In July 2008, Mr. Phillips was named one of the "90 Greatest Washington Lawyers of the Last 30 Years" by the Legal Times. Chambers USA's Leading Lawyers for Business has listed him in the top band of litigators in Washington, D.C. In 2010, he has been named one of "The Decade's Most Influential Lawyers" by The National Law Journal.  In June 2011, Mr. Phillips received the Honorary Degree, Doctor of Public Service, from The Ohio State University in recognition of his distinguished career as one of the nation's preeminent appellate advocates and his contributions to American public policy and the legal profession. More recently, Mr. Philips was also named one of the 2012 Lawyers of the Year in the area of Litigation - Regulatory Enforcement by Best Lawyers.


  • Northwestern University School of Law (J.D., 1977, magna cum laude, Order of the Coif)
  • Northwestern University (M.A., 1975)
  • The Ohio State University (B.A., 1973, summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa)


  • United States Supreme Court, Warren E. Burger, 1978 - 1979
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 7th Circuit, Robert Sprecher, 1977 - 1978

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