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Mary Ellen Powers

Partner-in-Charge Europe


(T) +1.202.879.3870
(F) +1.202.626.1700


  • University of Virginia (J.D. 1980; Editorial Board, Law Review); Oberlin College (A.B. 1977)

Bar Admissions

  • District of Columbia, United States Supreme Court, and U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit

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.

Honors & Distinctions

  • 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
Mary Ellen Powers