Michael J. Edney

Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP

Washington DC
United States
T:+1 202 662 0410
Washington DC
United States
T:+1 202 662 0410
Michael J. Edney

Michael J. Edney



Michael J. Edney is chairman of Norton Rose Fulbright's White Collar Criminal Defense Practice Group  and partner in its Washington office. He guides clients through all aspects of government regulation, criminal and regulatory investigations, and civil litigation.

Mr. Edney vigorously defends corporations and individuals facing government agency and congressional inquiries and criminal investigations. Mr. Edney has represented clients before the Department of Justice, the Department of the Treasury and its Office of Foreign Assets Control, the Department of State, the Department of Commerce, the Department of Defense, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Commodities Futures Trading Commission, the National Security Agency, the Food and Drug Administration, congressional committees, and other government entities. In 2014, for example, Mr. Edney successfully negotiated a resolution of what was then the largest non-bank trade sanctions investigation in United States history, along with a resolution of charges under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

When companies encounter allegations of wrongdoing, Mr. Edney has conducted many internal investigations on their behalf, while carefully avoiding disruption of the client's important business operations.  He has worked extensively with the Audit Committees and senior management of public companies to determine how to comprehensively resolve suggestions of misconduct.

Mr. Edney's government regulation practice also precedes agency enforcement actions. He has led efforts to challenge federal, state, and local regulations and other administrative actions in the courts. He is representing the premium cigar industry in judicial challenges to the first federal regulation of that product. He has represented several industry groups against federal, state and local government efforts to restrict their business operations and advertising. He has brought several of the leading First Amendment challenges to government compelled speech on products and advertising.

His civil litigation practice spans beyond anti-regulatory suits, reaching complex commercial disputes. He has defended corporations in securities, environmental, employment, and fair housing class actions. He has represented States at the request of their Governors. He has served as lead counsel for three former Attorneys General of the United States before the Supreme Court. Mr. Edney has persuaded the state's highest court unanimously to overturn a lower court ruling blocking a $1.5 billion redevelopment project in Baltimore, Maryland.

Mr. Edney also counsels clients facing national security related legal issues. He has handled cases and issues involving the pre-publication review, the Classified Information Procedures Act, the Foreign Agent Registration Act, and other matters. 

Mr. Edney's practice draws on previous government service. From 2007 to 2009, he served as deputy legal advisor to the National Security Council at the White House. There, he provided legal advice to White House policymakers regarding national security issues and congressional oversight and assisted in coordinating the legal efforts of the national security departments and agencies of the Executive Branch.

From 2005 to 2007, Mr. Edney served in the United States Department of Justice's Office of Legal Counsel, which advises on the most difficult questions facing the Department of Justice and resolves constitutional and other legal questions of particular importance for the Executive Branch. He worked with departments and agencies throughout the Executive Branch on national security and foreign affairs matters. Mr. Edney represented the United States before federal courts and international tribunals. 

He is admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of the United States, the Virginia Supreme Court, the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, eight federal circuit courts of appeals, and nine federal district courts. 

Immediately after law school, Mr. Edney served as a law clerk to the Honorable Danny J. Boggs of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. Mr. Edney graduated, with high honors, from the University of Chicago Law School in 2001. There, he was Articles Editor of The University of Chicago Law Review, was enrolled in the Order of the Coif, and won the Law School's brief writing award. He received a B.A., magna cum laude, from the University of Notre Dame in 1998.

Professional experience

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JD, with high honors, University of Chicago Law School, 2001
BA, magna cum laude, University of Notre Dame, 1998

While in law school, Mr. Edney was Articles Editor of The University of Chicago Law Review and was enrolled in the Order of the Coif.

  • District of Columbia Bar
  • Virginia State Bar
  • Legal 500 US, recommended lawyer, Dispute Resolution-International Litigation, The Legal 500, 2017
  • US Supreme Court
  • Virginia Supreme Court
  • District of Columbia Court of Appeals
  • US Court of Military Commission Review
  • US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
  • US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
  • US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
  • US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
  • US Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
  • US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
  • US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit