Merril Hirsh


Washington, D.C.
Business Phone: 202.662.2032
Business Fax: 202.654.5819


Merril Hirsh is a litigator, arbitrator and special master. To see more information on his work as an arbitrator and special master, click here.

He has represented plaintiffs and defendants in antitrust, intellectual property, securities, corporate, discrimination, class action, and other cases in courts and arbitrations across the country, and advised clients on antitrust, intellectual property and other issues. His experience includes significant False Claims Act cases, a successful challenge to the SEC’s “broker-dealer rule,” and an $85 million class action settlement involving telecommunications rates. He also maintains an insurance practice, in which he represents the interests of directors and officers liability insurers in scores of matters, including complex securities, takeover and intellectual property cases, and coverage litigation; the interests of general liability carriers in asbestos litigation; and the interests of a managed care errors and omissions insurer in connection with underlying RICO litigation against health insurers.

Prior to joining the firm, Merril was a Trial Attorney in the Civil Division of the United States Department of Justice. There, he represented federal agencies and employees in courts across the country, primarily in cases challenging the validity of agency action and regulations and the constitutionality of Acts of Congress. Among other experience, Merril was the lead counsel representing the United States Department of Education in the eight-month school desegregation trial in Kansas City, Missouri, the lead counsel representing the Veterans Administration in a two-month trial challenging the constitutionality of an Act of Congress, and one of the primary counsel responsible for negotiating an innovative Title VII class action employment settlement that reorganized the personnel practices at a major military base.

Representative Matters

  • Represented the Air Line Pilots Association in the arbitration involving one of the largest financial claims in its history.
  • Represented UPREIT contributor in arbitration seeking to enforce tax protection agreement entered into by one of the largest REITs in the world.
  • Successfully represented insurer in first case ever to rule on whether entity coverage for securities claims applies to claims arising from the insured’s securitization of mortgages
  • Successfully represented client in administrative law challenge concerning EPA regulation in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
  • Successfully represented client in NEPA challenge in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia
  • Obtained jury verdict in favor of insurer based on failure to obtain consent to a settlement
  • Represented the Financial Planning Association in its successful challenge to the SEC’s “broker-dealer” rule in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
  • Successfully represented the USA Track & Field Association in an antitrust challenge to its standards for competition.
  • Represented relators in novel False Claims Act case that obtained $76.25 million in recoveries based upon allegations of price fixing for carbon fiber.
  • Lead counsel for the many-year primary insurer in a 15-year coverage dispute involving scores of thousands of asbestos claims.
  • Obtained an $87.5 million settlement, serving as plaintiffs’ co-lead counsel on behalf of a group of telecommunication companies in litigation involving telephone rates.
  • Was part of a team that secured a jury verdict finding over 26,000 violations of the Federal False Claims Act relating to the purchase of oil off Federal Government and Native American leases.
  • Represented the primary director's and officers’ liability insurer in connection with what was at the time the nation’s largest health care bankruptcy.
  • Represented inventor of the accordion-folded car shade against damages under the Lanham Act.
  • Helped to craft the class action mechanisms used to settle $2 billion of asbestos liabilities.
  • Represented a DSL service provider in an antitrust action against a competing incumbent local exchange carrier for unlawfully maintaining monopoly power in various telecommunications markets.
  • Represented a DSL service provider in a service disruption case in trial court and United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.


Presentations and Speaking Engagements

  • Special Masters, Program for the William B. Bryant American Inn of Court, Moderator (October 18, 2016).
  • Strategies for In-House Counsel to Reduce Litigation Costs: Insourcing, Bill Review, Managing Outside Counsel and More”, Strafford (October 12, 2016).
  • “Is There a Better Way? Strategic Use of Special Masters To Improve Judicial Efficiency and Reduce Litigation Cost (Planned Program for American Bar Association Annual Meeting, San Francisco, August 2016).
  • “The FTC v. Cephalon case: What does it mean for future brand-generic patent settlements?” ABA Section of Antitrust Law (June 23, 2008).
  • “A Dickensian View of Pharmaceutical Antitrust: Bleak House or Great Expectations?” Generic Drug Summit, Institute for International Research (June 19, 2008).
  • “Overturning the SEC ‘Broker Dealer Rule’ – What to Expect Going Forward,” 2008 fi360 National Conference (May 8, 2008).
  • “Should We Allow Brand Companies to Pay Generics to End Patent Challenges: James J. Kirkpatrick Meet Shana Alexander,” Law Seminars International, Seminar on Pharmaceutical Antitrust (April 24, 2008).
  • “February In-House Counsel Antitrust Update,” ABA Section of Antitrust Law (March 3, 2008).
  • “The SEC’s Regulation of Fee-Based Brokerage Accounts: A Case Study in Administrative Law,” ABA Administrative Law Conference (October 25-26, 2007).
  • “A General Practitioner’s Guide: What to do if Your Client has an Antitrust or Intellectual Property Issue,” Ross, Dixon & Bell, LLP (April 24, 2007).
  • “Paying Off Generics to Prevent Competition with Brand Name Drugs: Should it be Prohibited?” Testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee (January 17, 2007).
  • Law Seminars International, Seminar on International Cartels (September 8, 2006).
  • “In-House Counsel Antitrust Update,” ABA Antitrust Section, Corporate Counseling Committee (June 28, 2006).
  • “Antitrust: The Business Case,” Ross, Dixon & Bell, LLP (June 20, 2006).
  • ABA Antitrust Health Care Conference (May 12, 2006).
  • Telecommunications Program, ABA Antitrust Spring Meeting (April 1, 2005).

Professional and Community Involvement

  • Appointed by the District of Columbia Board of Professional Responsibility to a three-year term as a Hearing Committee Member (2016-2019)
  • Executive Committee, American Bar Association Judicial Division, Lawyers Conference (2017)
  • Bar Delegate, DC Judicial Conference (2017)
  • Member, American Bar Association Judicial Division, Joint Committee on Mediation and ADR
  • Member, American Bar Association, Dispute Resolution, Litigation, Antitrust and Administrative Law Sections
  • Member, American Bar Association Advisory Committee (2006-present)
  • Member, American Bar Association, Antitrust Section and Litigation Section
  • Member, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators

Rankings and Recognition

  • Master, William B. Bryant Inn of Court, Washington D.C.
  • Received the Civil Justice Award from the Academy of Court Appointed Masters (2017)
  • Selected for inclusion in Washington DC Super Lawyers (2012-2015)
  • Named to Superlawyers’ Blue Ribbon Panel for evaluating DC lawyers (2013-2014)
  • RDB and Its Co-Counsel Obtain Settlements Totaling $76.25 Million in False Claims Action (May 28, 2008)
  • Merril Hirsh Wins Compliance Reporter Lawyer of the Year Award, RDB Attorneys Recognized for Success in FPA Case (March 19, 2008)
  • Merril Hirsh Quoted in Registered Rep Article on SEC’s RAND Report (February 1, 2008)
  • Twelve RDB Attorneys Named Finalists in Lawdragon 500 Leading Lawyers in America (September 14, 2007)
  • Merril Hirsh Honored at Financial Planning Association’s National Conference (September 10, 2007)
  • Hirsh Quoted in Registered Rep Article on Annulment of SEC Broker-Dealer Rule (April 4, 2007)
  • DC Circuit Strikes Down SEC Broker-Dealer Rule (March 30, 2007)
  • Merril Hirsh Testifies Before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Paying Off Generics to Prevent Competition with Brand Name Drugs (January 17, 2007)
  • 2007 Lawyer of the Year, Compliance Reporter ARC Award
  • 2007 “Lawdragon 3000” Leading Lawyer
  • Merril Hirsh Quoted in Corporate Board Member Magazine Article (July 11, 2006)
  • InvestmentNews Article Discusses Financial Planning Association Case (June 5, 2006) 
  • RDB Files Reply Brief on Behalf of The Financial Planning Association in its Challenge to the Broker-Dealer Rule (May 25, 2006)
  • Briefing in Lawsuit Challenging the SEC’s Broker-Dealer Rule Nears an End (May 11, 2006)
  • FPA Files New Lawsuit Against SEC (April 28, 2005)

Professional Experience

  • Partner, Troutman Sanders LLP, 2009-present
  • Partner, Ross, Dixon & Bell, LLP, 1994 – 2008
  • Associate, Ross, Dixon & Bell, LLP, 1989 – 1994
  • Trial Attorney, U.S. Department of Justice Civil Division, 1982 – 1989



  • Harvard University, J.D., magna cum laude, 1982
  • Oberlin College, B.A., High Honors in Government, 1979
    Phi Beta Kappa

Bar Admissions

  • 1982 District of Columbia

Court Admissions

  • Supreme Court of the United States
  • U.S. Court of International Trade
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado