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Derek T. Ho

Partner
  • ph: 202.326.7931
  • fx: 202.326.7999
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Mr. Ho has been widely recognized over nearly two decades for his success representing clients in commercial litigation with often billions of dollars at stake.  As both an experienced trial litigator and a seasoned appellate lawyer, Mr. Ho represents plaintiffs and defendants in all phases of litigation, from the trial court to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Among other awards and recognition, Mr. Ho has been named by Lawdragon multiple times as a Leading Plaintiff Financial Lawyer.  The American Lawyer featured his appellate victory in obtaining reinstatement of a $250 million verdict against a Florida skilled nursing home chain.  Global Competition Review named Mr. Ho a Litigator of the Week for his work in obtaining a rare preliminary injunction in a federal antitrust case.  And, citing his extensive antitrust litigation experience, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois appointed Mr. Ho MDL Co-Lead Counsel in In re Dealer Mgmt. Sys. MDL, MDL No. 2817 (N.D. Ill.)  

Mr. Ho maintains an active pro bono practice focused on civil rights litigation.  He also serves on the Board of Trustees of The Roxbury Latin School and on the Board of Directors of the Lawyers’ Committee on Civil Rights Under Law.

Noteworthy Representations

While maintaining a broad commercial litigation practice, Mr. Ho has particular expertise and experience in antitrust litigation, class actions and MDL proceedings, and False Claims Act litigation.  Mr. Ho also has extensive experience representing litigation finance firms and litigants that receive litigation funding.

Antitrust
  • Represent large national restaurant chain in antitrust matters arising from bid rigging and other anticompetitive conduct among suppliers of broiler chickens. 
  • Serve as MDL co-lead counsel and interim class counsel in a major antitrust MDL against the two leading providers of dealer management systems, CDK Global, LLC and The Reynolds & Reynolds Company.  See In re Dealer Management Systems Antitrust Litigation, MDL No. 2817 (N.D. Ill.) 
  • Represent Viamedia Corporation in an antitrust suit alleging unlawful tying and exclusive dealing in the local cable advertising representation market. See Viamedia Inc. v. Comcast Corp., No. 16-cv-05486 (N.D. Ill.)
  • At the Supreme Court, helped secure victories for his clients in three seminal antitrust cases, Ohio v. American Express Co., 138 S. Ct. 2274 (2018), American Express Co. v. Italian Colors Restaurant, 133 S. Ct. 2304 (2013), and Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544 (2007). 
  • Successfully represented defendants in criminal antitrust investigations by the Department of Justice, helping to obtain rare non-prosecution agreements in two recent cases.
Class Action / MDL
  • Successfully represented clients in three of the Supreme Court’s most significant recent class action decisions.  See Amgen Inc. et al. v. Connecticut Retirement Plans and Trust Funds, 133 S. Ct. 1184 (2013); American Express Co. v. Italian Colors Restaurant, 133 S. Ct. 2304 (2013); Tyson Foods v. Bouaphakeo, 136 S. Ct. 1036 (2016).
  • Served as lead appellate counsel hired by Plaintiffs’ Steering Committees to represent thousands of plaintiffs in several large MDLs.  
  • Represented numerous clients at the district court level, both supporting and opposing class certification.
False Claims Act
  • Obtained reinstatement of more than $250 million judgment in FCA litigation involving fraudulent upcoding at Florida skilled nursing facilities.  See https://www.law.com/litigationdaily/2020/06/29/daily-dicta-when-the-jury-gets-the-law-right-and-the-judge-gets-it-wrong/
  • Successfully represented the relators in Universal Health Servs. v. United States ex rel. Escobar, 136 S. Ct. 1989 (2016), which affirmed the “implied false certification” theory of liability under the False Claims Act.  The Supreme Court’s decision vindicated Mr. Ho’s prior victory on behalf of the relator in New York v. Amgen Inc., 652 F.3d 103 (1st Cir. 2011).
  • Represented relator in case alleging that Amgen, Inc. violated federal and state False Claims Acts by causing the submission of fraudulent claims to Medicare and Medicaid for “overfill” amounts in vials of its flagship anemia drug.  Case settled just prior to trial, resulting in criminal fines and civil damages of more than $700 million. 
  • Represented Bank of New York Mellon in lawsuits alleging that BNYM overcharged custody customers for foreign-exchange services.  Successfully obtained dismissal of FCA claims alleging billions of dollars in damages. 
Litigation Funding
  • In a string of victories, Mr. Ho helped establish the principle that communications between a litigant and a litigation funder are protected by the attorney-client privilege and/or work-product doctrine.  See In re Dealer Mgmt. Sys. Antitrust Litig., MDL No. 2817, Dkt. 1113 (N.D. Ill. Aug. 17, 2020); Viamedia, Inc. v. Comcast Corp., No. 16-C-5486, 2017 WL 2834535 (N.D. Ill. 2017); In re International Oil Trading Co., 548 B.R. 825 (Bankr. S.D. Fla. 2016); Charge Injection Techs., Inc. v. E.I. DuPont De Nemours & Co., No. 07C-12-134-JRJ, 2015 WL 1540520 (Del. Super. Ct. Mar. 31, 2015); Devon IT, Inc. v. IBM Corp., No. CIV.A. 10-2899, 2012 WL 4748160 (E.D. Pa. Sept. 27, 2012). 
  • Mr. Ho has also successfully defended against allegations that litigation funding violates state-law champerty and maintenance doctrines.  See Charge Injection Techs., Inc. v. E.I. DuPont De Nemours & Co., No. 07C-12-134-JRJ, 2016 WL 937400 (Del. Super. Ct. Mar. 9, 2016).
  • Mr. Ho successfully defeated defendants’ argument that a relator who obtained litigation funding lacked Article III and statutory standing.  See U.S. ex rel. Ruckh v. Salus Rehabilitation, No. 18-10500 (11th Cir. 2020).
Appellate

Significant recent appellate victories include:

  • Successfully defended judgment upholding Arizona consumer protection and competition statute against constitutional challenge.  See CDK Global, LLC v. Brnovich, No. 20-16469 (9th Cir. 2021).
  • Obtained reinstatement of more than $250 million judgment in FCA litigation involving fraudulent upcoding at Florida skilled nursing facilities.  See U.S. ex rel. Ruckh v. Salus Rehabilitation, No. 18-10500 (11th Cir. 2020). 
  • Obtained affirmance of district court judgment denying class certification and otherwise dismissing plaintiffs’ claims against inmate telecommunications carrier.  See Stuart v. Global Tel*Link Corp., No. 18-2640 (8th Cir. 2020). 

Co-author of numerous U.S. Supreme Court merits briefs: 

  • Ohio v. American Express Co., 138 S. Ct. 2274 (2018)
  • Janus v. AFSCME, 138 S. Ct. 2448 (2018)
  • Universal Health Services v. United States ex rel. Escobar, 136 S. Ct. 1989 (2016)
  • Friedrichs v. California Teachers Ass’n, 136 S. Ct. 1083 (2016)
  • Tyson Foods, Inc. v. Bouaphakeo, 136 S. Ct. 1036 (2016)
  • American Express Co. v. Italian Colors, 133 S. Ct. 2304 (2013)
  • Amgen, Inc. v. Connecticut Retirement Plans, 133 S. Ct. 1184 (2013)
  • CSX Transp., Inc. v. McBride, 131 S. Ct. 2630 (2011)
  • Bruesewitz v. Wyeth, 131 S. Ct. 1068 (2011)
  • Mississippi v. City of Memphis, 130 S. Ct. 1317 (2010)
  • 14 Penn Plaza LLC v. Pyett, 556 U.S. 247 (2009)
  • Safeco Ins. Co. of Am. v. Burr, 551 U.S. 47 (2007)
Pro Bono Cases
  • Represented former Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen and other preeminent economists supporting Harvard University’s admissions policies against constitutional challenge.  See Students For Fair Admissions, Inc. v. Harvard, No. 14-cv-14176-ADB (D. Mass.)
  • Represented administrative law professors supporting the United States in United States v. Texas, 136 S. Ct. 2271, defending the Obama Administrations “DAPA Memo” from challenge under the APA.   
  • Represented U.S. historians supporting the United States and other respondents in Shelby County v. Holder, 133 S. Ct. 2612, defending the constitutionality of § 5 of the Voting Rights Act. 
  • Represented political science professors supporting challengers to Michigan’s Proposition 2, which bans state universities from considering race in admissions.  See Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action v. Regents of Univ. of Michigan, 134 S. Ct. 1623. 
  • Represented distinguished UT alumni defending the University of Texas’s admissions program against Equal Protection challenge in Fisher v. University of Texas, S. Ct. 2411.
  • Represented industrial-organizational psychologists supporting the City of New Haven in Ricci v. DeStefano. Amicus brief was cited repeatedly by the dissent. See 129 S. Ct. 2658, 2689 (2010) (op. of Ginsburg, J.).

Speaking Engagements and Publications

Speaking Engagements

Panelist, LF Dealmakers’ Forum, “Ask the Experts,” (Sept. 29, 2021), https://lf.dealmakersforums.com/agenda/

Panelist, Federal Bar Association 2021 Qui Tam Conference, “Defense Strategies” (February 19, 2021), https://www.fedbar.org/event/quitam21/

Panelist, Global Class Actions Symposium 2020, “Settlements of Global Disputes” (June 25, 2020), https://iclg.com/glgevents/global-class-actions-symposium-2020

Panelist, Third International Conference on International Mass Dispute Resolution, University of Haifa, “Establishing the Existence of a Class by Surveys and Statistics” (March 2019), https://lawers.club/

Presenter, Fifth Circuit Bar Association Appellate Advocacy Seminar, “The Attorney’s Perspective on Briefs and Oral Argument:  Substantive Tips on Brief Writing and Oral Argument” (Oct. 2, 2017), https://www.baffc.org/about/events/2017-appellate-advocacy-seminar/

Panelist, Perrin Class Action Conference, “Supreme Court Update,” (May 31, 2017), https://www.perrinconferences.com/pdf/Perrin_Class_Action_Litigation_Brochure_2017_Final14.pdf

Panelist, American Conference Institute Class Action Conference, “The Use of Representative or Statistical Evidence to Substantiate Class Claims Post-Tyson Foods v. Bouaphakeo” (Apr. 3, 2017), https://www.americanconference.com/defending-managing-class-actions/agenda/use-representative-statistical-evidence-substantiate-class-claims-post-tyson-foods-v-bouaphakeo-examining-fallout-critical-nuances-consider-developing-liti/

Panelist, Perrin Class Action Conference, “Supreme Court Update,” (May 17, 2016), https://www.perrinconferences.com/pdf/Perrin_Class_Action_Litigation_Brochure_2016_Final05.pdf

Panelist, Bridgeport CLE Conference, “Consumer Class Action Litigation” (January 8, 2016), http://bridgeportce.com/bridgeportce/live-programs/consumer-class-action-litigation-conference.html 

Co-Chair, LSI Conference on “Class Actions and Alternatives for Resolving Aggregate Claims” (June 17-18, 2013), http://www.lawseminars.com/webpdfs/13CLASSMA.pdf

Panelist, CLE International Conference, “Class Actions:  The U.S. Supreme Court Speaks” (Oct. 3-4, 2013)

Invited Guest Speaker, Georgetown University Law Center (2014, 2015), Harvard Law School (2014)

Panelist, Strafford CLE webinar on “Defeating Rule 23(b)(3)'s Predominance Requirement Using Defenses and Counterclaims” (Aug. 25, 2015), https://www.straffordpub.com/products/defeating-rule-23-b-3-s-predominance-requirement-using-defenses-and-counterclaims-2015-08-25 

Publications

Co-author:  Penalizing Tax Petitions:  Why the Erroneous Refund Penalty in Section 6676 Violates Taxpayers’ First Amendment Rights, The Tax Lawyer, Vol. 68, No. 3 (Spring 2015)

Note, Restructuring the Modern Treaty Power, 114 Harv. L. Rev. 2478 (2001)

Recent Case, Made in the USA Foundation v. United States, 113 Harv. L. Rev. 1234 (2000)

Education

Harvard Law School, J.D., magna cum laude, 2001

  • Treasurer, Harvard Law Review, 2000-2001
  • Finalist, Ames Moot Court competition

Yale University, M.A., 1998

Harvard College, B.A., magna cum laude, 1996 

  • Phi Beta Kappa

Clerkship

Law Clerk, Justice David H. Souter, U.S. Supreme Court, 2002-2003

Law Clerk, Judge Michael Boudin, U.S. Court of Appeals, First Circuit, 2001-2002


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