Robert B. Barnett

Partner at Williams & Connolly LLP

Robert B. Barnett

Robert B. Barnett

Partner at Williams & Connolly LLP


Robert B. Barnett has a diverse practice representing national and international corporations and individuals on a wide variety of matters.

Bob represents major corporations in litigation matters, corporate work, contracts, crisis management, transactions, government relations, and media relations. During his thirty years of practice, he has represented clients before almost every executive department and administrative agency in Washington. His clients have included JM Family Enterprises, Toyota, Deutsche Bank, Discovery Communications, Comcast, MacAndrews & Forbes, Revlon, the NBA, Southeast Toyota, Promontory Financial Group, McDonald's Corporation, General Electric, and Toll Brothers, among others.

Bob is one of the premier authors' representatives in the world. His clients have included Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, James Patterson, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Michelle Obama, Laura Bush, Bob Woodward, Sarah Palin, Dick Cheney, Alan Greenspan, Katharine Graham, Ben Bernanke, Paul Ryan, Tim Russert, Barbra Streisand, Jack Welch, Khaled Hosseini, Bill Walton, Mitch McConnell, Jake Tapper, Phil Knight, Mary Higgins Clark, several former U.S. Secretaries of State and Secretaries of the Treasury, numerous U.S. Senators and House members, Tony Blair of the United Kingdom, Queen Noor of Jordan, The Prince of Wales, Benazir Bhutto of Pakistan, and many others, including journalists, novelists, business leaders, sports stars, politicians, and others.

He is also one of the leading representatives of television news correspondents and producers. His clients include Brian Williams, Lesley Stahl, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Steve Doocy, Brit Hume, Rita Braver, Chris Jansing, Neil Cavuto, Cynthia McFadden, Dana Perino, Peter Alexander, Pierre Thomas, Jim Acosta, Nancy Cordes, Major Garrett, Jeff Zeleny, Jesse Watters, Juan Williams, Byron Pitts, anchors in many major television markets, and producers on virtually every major broadcast on network and cable television.

Bob also represents former government officials in conjunction with their transitions to the private sector. His clients have included Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, John Boehner, Janet Yellen, Madeleine Albright, Alan Greenspan, Ray Kelly, Karl Rove, Ben Bernanke, James Baker, Larry Summers, Donna Shalala, and many former Senators and Congressmen.

The Financial Times Weekend Magazine profile, “The Go-Between,” highlights Bob’s representation over the years of distinguished government officials, authors, television news correspondents, sports figures, and entertainers.

He also represents many corporate and trade association executives and corporations in conjunction with executive compensation agreements. He has represented senior officers of AT&T, The Carlyle Group, Fannie Mae, Bank of America, McDonald's Corporation, the Recording Industry Association of America, Warner Brothers, the Motion Picture Association of America, Smithsonian Institution, and Deutsche Bank. He also represents many university presidents, deans, and professors.

Bob was ranked Number One on Washingtonian magazine's list of "Washington's Best Lawyers" and as one of "The 100 Most Influential Lawyers in America" by The National Law Journal. He was also named one of the one hundred most powerful people in the entertainment industry by Entertainment Weekly Magazine.

Bob has worked on ten national presidential campaigns, focusing on debate preparation. In addition to playing a major role on the debate preparation teams in 1976, 1980, 1984, 1988, 1992, 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012, he played the role of George Bush in practice debates with Geraldine Ferraro in 1984, with Michael Dukakis in 1988, and practice debated Bill Clinton more than twenty times during the 1992 campaign. In 2000, he played the role of Dick Cheney in practices with Joe Lieberman. In 2004, he played the role of Dick Cheney in practices with John Edwards. In 2000 and 2006, he assisted Hillary Rodham Clinton with her Senate debate preparations and helped prepare her for 23 presidential primary debates in 2008. He assisted Barack Obama with debate negotiation and preparation in 2008 and 2012. He assisted Secretary Clinton with her 2016 debates, including playing the role of Bernie Sanders in practice primary debates and Mike Pence in practices for the vice-presidential debate with Tim Kaine.

Bob joined Williams & Connolly in 1975 and has been a partner since 1978. He was a presidentially-appointed member of the Board of Trustees of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts from 1994 to 2004 and currently serves as Senior Counsel.

RelSci Relationships


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08/26/1946 - Waukegan, IL, United States



Number of Awards


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President at John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

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General Counsel at John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

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Partner at Williams & Connolly LLP

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Executive Director at Williams & Connolly LLP

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Managing Partner at Williams & Connolly LLP

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Partner at Williams & Connolly LLP

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Partner at Williams & Connolly LLP

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Partner at Williams & Connolly LLP

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Partner at Williams & Connolly LLP

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Partner at Williams & Connolly LLP

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Robert B. Barnett
Partner at Williams & Connolly LLP
Family Members
National Correspondent, CBS Sunday Morning at CBS News, Inc.

Part of ViacomCBS, Inc., CBS News, Inc. is an American company located in New York, NY. The firm operates news and information platform.

Law Degree
Class of 1971

University of Chicago Law School is the graduate school of law at the University of Chicago. It was founded in 1902 by a coalition of donors led by John D. Rockefeller, and is consistently one of the highest-rated law schools in the United States. The U.S. News & World Report ranks it fourth among U.S. law schools, and it is noted particularly for its influence on the economic analysis of law.

Bachelor's Degree
Class of 1968

The University of Wisconsin–Madison has long been recognized as one of America's great universities. A public, land-grant institution, UW–Madison offers a complete spectrum of liberal arts studies, professional programs and student activities. Spanning 936 acres along the southern shore of Lake Mendota, the campus is located in the city of Madison.

Comment Editor

The University of Chicago Law Review first appeared in 1933, thirty-one years after the Law School offered its first classes. Joseph Beale, the first Dean of the Law School, and William Rainey Harper, the first President of the University, had wanted to establish a law review sooner. The reasons for the delay, according to a letter of Professor James Parker Hall, included the small size of the faculty, the work accompanying the organization and early operations of the school, and, most importantly, the cost of publication. By the time 1 U Chi L Rev appeared in 1933, law reviews had already earned an influential place in American jurisprudence. The Supreme Court first cited a law review article in 1917. See Adams v Tanner, 224 US 590, 606, 613 (1917) (Brandeis dissenting), citing The American Labor Legislation Review. Student members of Volume One included Edward Levi, Stanley Kaplan, and Abraham Ribicoff. Authors of articles appearing in Volume One included William O. Douglas, Charles E. Clark, Charles O. Robory, Robert Hutchins, Joseph Beale, and E.W. Hinton. Over the next eight years, the Law Review grew in stature. Contributing authors included Bigelow, Pound, Wigmore, Kalven, and Williston. Student members included Bernard Meltzer, Harry Kalven, Albert Ehrenzweig, and Wally Blum, about whom it is said that, as Editor-in-Chief, he edited the Law Review at Jimmy's, beer in hand. Volume Ten marked the entry of the United States into World War II. A staff of just two students produced the first issue; with the fourth issue, the faculty assumed editorship. Volumes Ten through Thirteen, without much student work, averaged under 500 pages. After the war, the Law Review returned to the students. Since then the Law Review has continued to serve as a forum for the expression of ideas of leading professors, judges, and practitioners, as well as students, and as a training ground for University of Chicago Law School students. Prominent former members include Judge Abner Mikva and Provost Geoffrey Stone (both Editors-in-Chief); Judges Frank Easterbrook, Douglas Ginsburg, Danny Boggs, David Tatel, Michael McConnell, and Robert Bork; Senator Amy Klobuchar; and Professors Marvin Chirelstein, Daniel Fischel, Lawrence Friedman, Mary Ann Glendon, Randal Picker, Dale Carpenter, Ward Farnsworth, and M. Todd Henderson. The list of authors published includes Supreme Court Justices Brennan, Clark, Douglas, Frankfurter, Scalia, and Stevens; Judges Bazelon, Breitel, Frank, Friendly, Posner, Wald, Weinstein, Williams, Winter, and Wright; Justice Roger Traynor of the California Supreme Court; and Professors Ackerman, Calabresi, Dworkin, Hart, Llewellyn, Rawls, Wigmore, Williston, and Brainerd Currie, to mention only a few names from the list of illustrious scholars. The Law Review has even published an Article by J. Edgar Hoover.

Career History
1975 - Current

Williams & Connolly LLP provides legal services, focusing on litigation areas such as corporate, tax, and employment law. The company's practice areas includes administrative law, antitrust, appellate, arbitration, business transactions and tax, criminal defense, employment and labor laws, federal programs, and national defense. The company was founded in 1967, and is headquartered in Washington, DC.

Non-Profit Donations & Grants

Learn how non-profit organizations benefit from RelSci
$5,000 - $10K

Smithsonian Institution which was founded in 1846 is the world's largest museum and research complex, consisting of 19 museums and galleries, the National Zoological Park, and nine research facilities.

Political Donations

Senator from Minnesota


Representative at Office of the Representative from New Jersey's 5th District, Josh Gottheimer


Former Senator from New York


Secretary, Chief Legal Officer & Senior Vice President at Uber Technologies, Inc.

Awards & Honors
Washingtonian Magazine - Top Lawyers, Entertainment
Washingtonian Magazine - Top Lawyers, Entertainment
National Law Journal - 100 Most Influential Lawyers in America
Other Affiliations

Robert B. Barnett is affiliated with Williams & Connolly LLP

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