Fellow

Heather Nyong’o
Heather
Nyong’o
Partner
WilmerHale
San Francisco

Biography

Heather Nyong’o is an experienced litigator and first chair trial lawyer. Multinational corporations and executives trust her when they face complex investigations and litigation. She advises throughout the United States and abroad. Ms. Nyong’o brings her experience and insight to government investigations including those that result in criminal or civil litigation. She fully serves her clients across every phase of an investigation and litigation, including through trial. Her service finds the right outcome, pivoting between resolution and trial. 

Ms. Nyong’o leads WilmerHale’s California Cartel Enforcement Practice, part of the firm’s globally recognized Antitrust and Competition Group. Her more than 17 years in the white collar and antitrust space includes a tenure in the Antitrust Division of the US Department of Justice (DOJ). She has led noted complex cases and also represents individuals and corporations in non-public grand jury investigations. Ms. Nyong’o frequently achieves favorable results for her clients. These results include non-prosecution agreements and closed investigations.

Ms. Nyong’o is widely known for her trial work: Diversity Journal included her in its 2017 “Women Worth Watching” list; Daily Journal featured her as one of the Top Women Lawyers in 2014 and 2016; and in 2014 GCR USA named her Litigator of the Week for her defense work. Chambers USAChambers Global and The Legal 500 United States consistently rank Ms. Nyong’o as a highly regarded lawyer. Chambers USA describes Ms. Nyong’o as a “criminal antitrust expert” and “very talented trial lawyer” who is “absolutely brilliant” and knows “how the Antitrust Division thinks.” 

Ms. Nyong’o won the Attorney General’s Award during her time at the DOJ. This is the DOJ’s second highest honor. While there, she handled the most significant investigations and criminal prosecutions that the agency had brought in recent years. After her trial attorney success at the DOJ, Ms. Nyong’o joined WilmerHale in 2014. She began her career at a major San Francisco Bay Area law firm, where she practiced intellectual property and complex civil litigation. 

Professional Activities

Known as a leader in her field of law, notable thought leadership organizations often ask Ms. Nyong’o to lead antitrust and trial panels at their sponsored events. Examples are: the American Bar Association (ABA), GCR Live, Practicing Law Institute, Golden State Institute and the National Institute on White Collar Crime. Ms. Nyong’o is a Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America – Trial Lawyer Honorary Society. She is a member of the ABA’s International Task Force. She advises the California Lawyer’s Antitrust, Unfair Competition, and Privacy Executive Committee. The California State Bar and Westlaw’s Journal of Competition appointed Ms. Nyong’o as its editor-in-chief for two years.

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