Philip J. Perry

  • Partner
  • 555 Eleventh Street, NW
  • Suite 1000
  • Washington, D.C. 20004-1304
  • USA
  • T +1.202.637.2200


Phil Perry is a litigation partner with Latham & Watkins. His career has been unique. Mr. Perry has served in private practice as lead trial counsel on high-profile matters of national importance, but has also served as the General Counsel to two federal agencies, and in multiple high-ranking positions in the US Department of Justice. Based on Mr. Perry’s multiple recent litigation victories, the National Law Journal recognized Mr. Perry for his “remarkable successes” in its Litigation Trailblazers Report.

In 2005, Mr. Perry was nominated by the President and confirmed unanimously by the US Senate as General Counsel of the US Department of Homeland Security. In that role, Mr. Perry managed an office of 1,500 lawyers responsible for all components of the department. Prior to his appointment at Homeland, Mr. Perry served as General Counsel of the White House Office of Management and Budget, addressing budgetary, regulatory, and policy issues across the Executive Branch. Mr. Perry also previously served as acting Associate Attorney General for the US Department of Justice (the Department’s third-ranking official), overseeing the Department’s Civil, Civil Rights, Environment and Natural Resources, Tax, and Antitrust Divisions. Earlier in his career, Mr. Perry served as Counsel to the US Senate’s 1997 Special Investigation of Campaign Finance Abuses.

Mr. Perry’s current practice covers multiple subject matter areas. He has significant experience in federal regulation of biotechnology, and has successfully litigated the leading federal cases in that field. Mr. Perry currently represents the State of Florida before the US Supreme Court in a water rights dispute with the State of Georgia. (The Supreme Court recently ruled in Florida’s favor in that matter, and proceedings continue before a Special Master). Mr. Perry has also successfully litigated high profile cases involving the Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the US Departments of Agriculture, Interior, and Justice (including the Drug Enforcement Administration), and frequently handles complex regulatory matters before those agencies. He has successfully sued to invalidate federal regulations and agency actions (including in multiple cases in 2018 and 2019), and has also successfully intervened to defend multiple US agencies in challenges critical to his clients’ businesses.

Mr. Perry also advises on federal and state express and implied preemption issues, and has taken a lead role in multiple successful products liability and other civil litigation matters where such issues were critical. In addition to litigation in federal courts, Mr. Perry has also served as lead counsel in hearings before federal administrative law judges and in federal investigatory matters. Drawing on his prior experience with congressional investigations, Mr. Perry has represented national security clients in multiple congressional hearings and inquiries. Drawing on his experience in Government following 911, Mr. Perry also handles certain matters of homeland and national security.

Mr. Perry’s recent litigation successes include:

  • Athenex Inc. v. Azar, 2019 WL 3501811 (D.D.C. 2019) (Argued and won case involving FDA drug compounding policies).
  • Nat’l Family Farm Coalition v. U.S. EPA, 747 F. App’x 646 (Mem) (9th Cir. 2019) (Win on mootness grounds).
  • Eagle Pharmaceuticals v. Azar, 16-CV-790 (D.D.C. Jun. 8, 2018) (Argued and won case requiring FDA to grant seven years of marketing exclusivity for a particular chemotherapy drug). See here.
  • National Association of Wheat Growers et al v. Zeise, 2:17-cv-02401 (E.D. Cal. 2018) (Injunction granted against California’s Proposition 65 warning requirement on First Amendment grounds; first such injunction granted in the 32 year history of Proposition 65). See here.
  • Florida v. Georgia, No. 142, Original (U.S. Sup. 2018) (Supreme Court ruling in Florida’s favor, instructing Special Master to make factual findings, “balance the equities” and quantify the amount of water to which Florida is entitled).
  • Par Sterile Products, LLC et al. v. Hargan, 1:17-cv-02221 (D.D.C. Apr. 4, 2018) (Challenge to FDA’s policy/guidance regarding pharmacy compounding practices causes FDA to comply with the law and issue a favorable finding for client).
  • Atay v. County of Maui, 842 F.3d 688 (9th Cir. 2016) (Affirming lower court victory invalidating county ban on biotechnology crops as preempted by federal and state law).    
  • Robert Ito Farm, Inc. v. County of Maui, --- F. Supp. 3d ---, No. CIV. 14-00511, 2015 WL 4041480 (D. Haw. 2015) (Invalidating county ban on biotechnology crops as preempted by federal and state law).
  • Alika Atay et al. v. County of Maui et al.1:14-cv-00582-SOM-BMK (D. Haw. 2015).
  • Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, Ltd. v. Sebelius, No. 1:14-cv-00786 (D.D.C. May 15, 2014) (Defeating challenge to pending FDA generic drug application).
  • Monsanto Co. v. Geertson Seed Farms, 130 S. Ct. 2743 (2010) (Supreme Court victory on injunction law and power of federal courts in APA litigation).
  • Entergy Corp. v. Riverkeeper, Inc., 129 S. Ct. 1498 (2009) (Supreme Court victory on Clean Water Act issue).
  • Center for Food Safety v. Vilsack, __ F.3d __, 2013 WL 2128324 (9th Cir. May 17, 2013) (Defeating challenge to biotechnology crop approval).
  • Walgreen Co. v. DEA, No. 12-1397 (D.C. Cir. filed Oct. 10, 2012) (Challenging DEA enforcement action and regulatory interpretation).
  • Center for Food Safety v. Vilsack, 636 F.3d 1166 (9th Cir. 2011).
  • Sottera, Inc. v. FDA, 627 F.3d 891 (D.C. Cir. 2010).   
  • Center for Food Safety v. Vilsack, 844 F. Supp. 2d 1006 (N.D. Cal. 2012).
  • Center for Food Safety v. Vilsack, No. 10-4038, 2011 US Dist. LEXIS 31688 (N.D. Cal. Mar. 17, 2011).
  • Sottera, Inc. v. FDA, 680 F. Supp. 2d 62 (D.D.C. 2010) (Defeating FDA action regarding e-cigarettes).
  • Wyeth Pharmaceuticals v. FDA, No. 1:09-cv-01810-FJS, slip op. (D.D.C. Sept. 24, 2009) (Dispute regarding generic drugs).

Mr. Perry was recognized as a leading litigator in the Euromoney Institutional Investor Benchmark: Litigation 2008 guide, and as a 2013 and 2014 BTI Client Service All-Star.

Thought Leadership

  • Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States – Key Questions Answered On CFIUS -  August 28, 2019
  • Federal Judge Enjoins California’s Proposition 65 Cancer Warning for Glyphosate As “Misleading” -  March 01, 2018
  • CFIUS Annual Report for 2010 Offers Insights into National Security Review of Foreign Investment into the United States -  December 12, 2011
  • The US Postal Service’s Crackdown on Discounted Mail -  February 24, 2009
  • The Latest on 'No-Match' Letters -  February 1, 2008
  • “Midnight Regulations” and the US Presidential Transition -  January 15, 2009
  • US Treasury Department Issues Final CFIUS Regulations -  December 4, 2008
  • US Treasury Department Issues Draft Rules to Implement Changes to CFIUS Review Process -  May 8, 2008
  • SmartCapital Newsletter - US Edition, Issue 6 -  May 2008
  • Driven by Homeland Security Concerns, US Customs Proposes to Increase Reporting Obligations for Commercial Importers and Carriers -  January 30, 2008
  • United States Citizenship and Immigration Services Releases Revised Form I-9 Updating the List of Acceptable Employment Eligibility Verification Documents -  December 3, 2007
  • Department of Homeland Security Releases Final List of Chemicals Covered by New Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards -  November 6, 2007
  • Department of Homeland Security Announces New Safe-Harbor Procedures for Employers Who Receive a “No-Match” Letter -  August 15, 2007
  • Congress Passes Legislation to Strengthen Review of Foreign Investments in the United States -  July 11, 2007
  • Department of Homeland Security Announces New Regulations for Securing High-Risk Chemical Facilities -  April 9, 2007
Bar Qualification
  • California
  • District of Columbia
  • Wyoming
  • JD, Cornell Law School, 1990
  • BA, Colorado College, 1986
  • Aerospace, Defense & Government Services
  • Product Liability, Mass Torts & Consumer Class Actions
  • Litigation & Trial Practice
  • Complex Commercial Litigation
  • Supreme Court & Appellate
  • Environmental Litigation
  • Government Contracts
  • White Collar Defense & Investigations