Mary Ellen Powers has represented clients in complex civil litigation and high-profile criminal, regulatory, and congressional investigations for more than 35 years. Her practice has included cross-border disputes and investigations in Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. Mary Ellen is Partner-in-Charge of Jones Day in Europe.
Mary Ellen has defended clients against claims under RICO, the Antiterrorism Act, and the Alien Tort Claims Act and in government investigations arising under the FCPA, the USA PATRIOT Act, and under securities, financial, and consumer regulatory statutes. Representations have included: Virginia Governor Robert McDonnell in a corruption investigation, a Saudi construction company in connection with claims arising out of the 9/11 attacks, Mattel in congressional investigations relating to toys manufactured in China, a pedal manufacturer in congressional and NHTSA investigations involving recalled Toyotas, a Macau bank challenging measures imposed by FinCEN under Section 311 of the USA PATRIOT Act, and First American Bankshares in the global fallout from the BCCI scandal. She has also represented clients in toxic tort and environmental litigation, including securing a jury verdict for IBM in a much-publicized trial of claims that workplace exposures caused cancer and successfully defending against novel medical monitoring claims in a case alleging environmental exposure due to vapor intrusion.
Mary Ellen is a director of Attorneys' Liability Assurance Society and a trustee of the Jones Day Foundation. She has served on the D.C. Bar Pro Bono Committee and as a lecturer in trial advocacy at the George Washington University National Law Center.
Former Virginia Governor Robert McDonnell's corruption convictions unanimously vacated by Supreme Court and DOJ later drops case
In a decisive victory for Jones Day client and former Virginia Governor Robert F. McDonnell, the Supreme Court unanimously vacated Governor McDonnell's convictions for public corruption offenses, rejecting the Department of Justice's legal theory and holding that the instructions given to the jury were erroneously overbroad.
Saudi corporations and individuals prevail in Second Circuit in multi-district tort litigation relating to September 11, 2001 attacks
Jones Day successfully represented eight Saudi corporations and individuals in multi-district litigation relating to the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States.
IBM resolves claims related to alleged exposure to toxic emissions
Jones Day client International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) resolved numerous claims brought by hundreds of current and former residents of Endicott, NY alleging personal injuries, diminution in property values, and other damages related to alleged vapor intrusion and historic air emissions in the area from IBM's former manufacturing facility.
Banco Delta Asia challenges Treasury Department's Section 311 designation under USA PATRIOT Act
Jones Day represents Delta Asia Group, the owner of a Macau bank, in a challenge to the U.S. Treasury Department's designation of the bank as a financial institution of primary money laundering concern under Section 311 of the USA PATRIOT Act.
Mattel settles voluntary toy recall litigation
Jones Day represented Mattel, Inc. ("Mattel") in connection with a number of U.S. federal and state and foreign lawsuits and regulatory actions arising out of voluntary recalls of certain Mattel and Fisher-Price toys.
IBM wins defense verdict in San Jose workers' toxic tort litigation case
In the first "toxic tort" case involving the microelectronics industry to go to trial anywhere in the U.S., Jones Day successfully obtained a unanimous defense verdict for International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) in a California jury trial.
First American Bankshares responds to investigations and litigation arising from acquisition of parent company by BCCI
Jones Day represented First American Bankshares and related parties in the myriad criminal, civil, congressional and regulatory investigations and litigation arising out of the illegal acquisition of First American's parent company by the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI).
IBM successfully defeats claims for birth defects allegedly due to paternal chemical exposures in semiconductor manufacturing facilities
Jones Day successfully obtained dismissal on behalf of client International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) of claims seeking recovery for birth defects in offspring of semiconductor manufacturing workers allegedly attributed to paternal chemical exposures.
Northrop defends civil litigation and criminal investigations relating to alleged payments to Korean government officials
In 1986, Jones Day was retained by a special committee of outside directors of Northrop Corporation to conduct an internal investigation of allegations that the company's investment of $6.25 million in a hotel project in Seoul was a disguised bribe to influence South Korean government officials to purchase F-20 fighter jets.
Alfa Capital Markets successfully defends against RICO claim related to plaintiff’s failed investment in Russian telecommunications company
Jones Day succeeded in obtaining the voluntary dismissal of RICO claims brought against Alfa Capital Markets (U.S.A.), Inc. in connection with the plaintiff's failed effort to acquire a stake in a Russian telecommunications company.
IBM wins partial summary judgment in case alleging that workplace chemical exposures caused birth defects in offspring of semiconductor manufacturing worker
On behalf of client International Business Machines Corporation (IBM), Jones Day obtained partial summary judgment dismissing the bulk of plaintiff's claims in a case of first impression alleging that a worker's exposure to chemicals during pregnancy caused birth defects in her child.
First American wins affirmance by Ninth Circuit of dismissal of RICO complaint
The Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed the dismissal of this RICO class action brought against Jones Day client First American Corporation and numerous other defendants on behalf of BCCI depositors.
Data safety monitoring committee represented in U.S. investigations of drug trial
Jones Day represented members of a data safety monitoring committee for a controversial drug trial in connection with investigations by the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission, Congress, the Department of Justice, and numerous state attorneys general.
Semiconductor company defends against litigation alleging hazardous chemical exposure at its facilities
Jones Day represented a semiconductor company in cases in which the plaintiffs alleged that they were exposed to hazardous chemicals at their workplace, which caused adverse effects in their children.
IBM obtains dismissal in case alleging unauthorized access of law firm's e-mail server
Jones Day successfully defended International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) against claims brought by a lobbying firm for purported violations of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, the Stored Communications Act, and the Electronic Communication Privacy Act.
Thomson Consumer Electronics obtains dismissal of fraud case brought by purchaser of Taiwan manufacturing facility
On behalf of Thomson Consumer Electronics, Jones Day obtained dismissal of fraud claims brought by the Taiwanese purchaser of a manufacturing facility in Taiwan.
Successful Stories of Balanced Leadership: Transforming Challenges into Opportunities in the Workplace
France Takes Next Step in Anticorruption Enforcement: First "French DPAs" and What Companies Should Know
French Anti-Corruption Agency Publishes Information Expected from Companies During Agency Inspections
A New Era in French Anticorruption Enforcement: What Companies Should Know About the Newly Enacted Sapin II Law
- April 2018Anti-Corruption Regulation Survey of 41 Countries 2017–2018
- April 2018France Takes Next Step in Anticorruption Enforcement: First "French DPAs" and What Companies Should Know
- April 2018French Anti-Corruption Agency Publishes Information Expected from Companies During Agency Inspections
- January 2017A New Era in French Anticorruption Enforcement: What Companies Should Know About the Newly Enacted Sapin II Law
- May 2016The Sapin II Bill: A Potential Game-Changer in French Corruption Enforcement
- November 22, 2013Female Powerbrokers Q&A: Jones Day's Mary Ellen Powers, Law360
- June 2010Jones Day Breaks The Glass Ceiling, Metropolitan Corporate Counsel, Vol. 18, No. 6
- June 2010Washington's Most Influential Women Lawyers, The National Law Journal, June 28, 2010
- March 12, 2014Rainbow Lecture, Introductory Remarks, House of Commons
- June 26, 2007Implications of US Criminal and Civil Enforcement Laws on the Conduct of non-US Headquartered Companies
- May 21, 2007Developments in the Law on Attorney-Client Privilege and Work Product Protection
- May 11, 2006Regulation and Litigation: Considerations in Doing Business in the US
- University of Virginia (J.D. 1980; Editorial Board, Law Review); Oberlin College (A.B. 1977)
- District of Columbia, United States Supreme Court, and U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit
Law360 "Female Powerbrokers" (2013)
InsideCounsel Transformative Leadership Award (2010)
National Law Journal, "Washington's Most Influential Women Lawyers" (2010)
Legal 500 (2015): recommended for litigation — toxic tort
Best Lawyers in America (2017): commercial and environmental litigation, regulatory enforcement