David Bowker

Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP

$ $$$

Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest 1875
Washington 20006 DC US

David W. Bowker chairs the firm’s International Litigation group and has a wealth of commercial litigation and arbitration experience, representing US and foreign companies, multi-nationals, foreign states and nonprofit organizations before international arbitration tribunals, state and federal trial courts, courts of appeal and the US Supreme Court.

He is an active member of the International Arbitration, Business Trial, and Government and Regulatory Litigation Groups. Mr. Bowker recently argued and won a landmark First Amendment case in the US Supreme Court on behalf of dozens of public health organizations fighting HIV/AIDS overseas.

In other ongoing matters, he represents a Fortune 100 company in an unlawful expropriation case against Cuba; a US public company in US litigation against Venezuela and PDVSA for an unlawful expropriation; a US public company in international commercial arbitration and parallel foreign litigation against a foreign distributor in a licensing and distribution dispute; privately held foreign companies in multiple US litigations against judgment creditors seeking to attach frozen assets in the United States; and a foreign agency in US litigation against Iraq.

Mr. Bowker is an adjunct professor at the Georgetown University Law School, where he teaches Advanced International Commercial Arbitration. Before joining the firm, Mr. Bowker was an attorney-adviser in the Office of the Legal Adviser at the US Department of State and a graduate intern on the National Security Council staff.

He recently completed a three-year term on the Executive Council of the American Society of International Law, currently sits on the Board of Governors of the Washington Foreign Law Society, and is also a member of the American Law Institute.

Before joining the firm, Mr. Bowker worked as an attorney-adviser in the Office of the Legal Adviser at the US Department of State, where he advised the Legal Adviser and other senior officials regarding the law of war in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, defended the Department in administrative tribunals and US courts, and advised the Director General of the Foreign Service on ethics, privacy, medical issues and personnel-related matters.

Mr. Bowker also served as a graduate intern on the staff of the National Security Council, where he focused on counter-terrorism, peacekeeping operations and counter-international organized crime.

Mr. Bowker is an adjunct professor at the Georgetown University Law Center, where he teaches “Advanced International Commercial Arbitration.” He previously taught “The Law of War and the War on Terrorism” at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, and has guest lectured in matters of international law at the Georgetown School of Foreign Service.

Experience :

  • The ongoing representation of a US oil and gas drilling company in US and Venezuelan litigations against the Republic of Venezuela and the Venezuelan national oil company for takings in violation of international law and breaches of contract under the expropriation and commercial activities exceptions of the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act.
  • The ongoing representation of a US apparel company in an international commercial arbitration seated in the United States and a German litigation against a German distribution company for breaches of licensing and distribution contracts under US law and related counterclaims under German law.
  • The successful representation of a leading European telecommunications company in a massive multi-forum dispute involving numerous international litigations and arbitrations, including the largest ICC arbitration in history, over the break-up of a major joint venture.
  • The ongoing representation of foreign individuals and companies in multiple US federal court litigations against judgment creditors of foreign terrorist organizations seeking to attach assets located in the United States.
  • The successful representation of German companies and an association of German industry in multiple US litigations involving World War II-era claims brought in violation of international treaties and an executive agreement among the United States, the Federal Republic of Germany, and other sovereigns.
  • The ongoing representation of a US public company against the Republic of Cuba for takings in violation of international law.


  • JD, University of California, Berkeley School of Law, 1998
  • MALD, Tufts University, Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, 1998
  • BA, University of California, Los Angeles, 1993

ADMISSIONS : District of Columbia, New York, California

CLERKSHIPS : The Hon. Joseph T. Sneed, US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, 1998 – 1999

GOVERNMENT EXPERIENCE : Department of State, Attorney-Adviser for Political-Military Affairs, Office of the Legal Adviser.


Rate : $$$$

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Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest 1875
Washington 20006 DC US
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