Christopher J. Wright
TEL: (202) 730-1325
FAX: (202) 730-1301
Print Friendly Page

Chris Wright, the head of the appellate group at Harris, Wiltshire & Grannis LLP, is both an appellate lawyer and a communications lawyer. Prior to joining the firm in 2001, Mr. Wright served as General Counsel of the Federal Communications Commission, in the Office of the Solicitor General of the United States, and as a law clerk to Chief Justice Warren Burger of the United States Supreme Court. He is one of very few lawyers who has argued more than twenty cases in both the Supreme Court and the D.C. Circuit, and he has argued in numerous other federal circuit courts as well.

As a generalist appellate lawyer, Mr. Wright has argued cases in diverse areas of law, ranging from administrative law to tort law. He, along with HWG’s appellate team, is experienced both in taking the lead on appeals previously handled by other firms at earlier stages and in helping other counsel prepare briefs and conduct appellate arguments. The firm has filed amicus briefs on a variety of topics in the Supreme Court and the federal circuits. Mr. Wright and HWG’s appellate group pride themselves on their ability to take complex issues and present them in a way that is comprehensible and persuasive to generalist judges.

Mr. Wright is a former President of the Edward Coke Appellate Inn of Court, the nation’s preeminent association of appellate lawyers, and is currently recognized as an outstanding appellate lawyer by Chambers USA. Mr. Wright is a former member of the Board of Governors of the D.C. Circuit Historical Society and the D.C. Circuit’s Rules Committee. He co-teaches the D.C. Bar’s annual course on Judicial Review of Agency Decisions.

Notable representations include:

  • Representing a foreign government in Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act cases in the D.C. Circuit.
  • Filing amicus briefs in the Supreme Court defending the Affordable Care Act cases and the same-sex marriage case.
  • Assisting a small plaintiffs’ firm in the Supreme Court and the Second Circuit in an ERISA class action.

As a communications lawyer, Mr. Wright counsels clients and represents them in proceedings at the FCC. He has worked on a wide variety of communications matters on behalf of communications companies of every type. When he served as General Counsel of the FCC, Mr. Wright assisted the Chairman and Commissioners in drafting the Commission's orders on all aspects of communications law. He also established the FCC's Transaction Team and supervised its oversight of issues relating to mergers.

Mr. Wright is President of the Federal Communications Bar Association, the nation’s preeminent association of communications lawyers, and is currently recognized as an outstanding communication lawyer by Chambers USA and many other publications. Mr. Wright has testified before congressional committees, both as FCC counsel and in private practice, and served as an expert witness on communications law issues.

Notable representations include:

  • Representing communications companies in FCC rulemakings and enforcement proceedings.
  • Counseling companies that receive compensation from funds administered by the FCC.
  •  Representing telecommunications carriers supporting and opposing mergers.

As an appellate lawyer in communications cases, Mr. Wright has handled cases involving all areas of communications law. He is uniquely qualified to handle appeals in communications cases since he is (a) the only person selected by his peers to lead both the Edward Coke Appellate Inn of Court and the Federal Communications Bar Association, and (b) one of very few lawyers recognized as both an outstanding appellate lawyer and an outstanding communications lawyer by publications such as Chambers USA.

Notable representations include:

  • Bringing appellate cases on behalf of companies challenging rules or sanctions adopted by the FCC.
  • Representing coalitions of companies that intervene to defend favorable decisions of the FCC in the appellate courts.
  • Filing amicus briefs on behalf of communications companies in appellate courts.

Best Lawyers Award Badge


Stanford Law School, J.D., 1980, Order of the Coif
University of California, Berkeley, M.A., 1975
Harvard College, A.B., 1974, Phi Beta Kappa
Chief Justice Warren E. Burger, U.S. Supreme Court, 1981-82

Hon. Joseph T. Sneed, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, 1980-81