Emily Kelley is a litigation counsel in the Washington, D.C. office. Her practice focuses on complex civil litigation and securities enforcement and litigation. Ms. Kelley has represented public companies, venture capital firms and individuals in all phases of civil litigation, including in disputes concerning corporate governance, fiduciary duties and fraud. Ms. Kelley has experience in investigations, voluntary disclosures and settlement negotiations before enforcement agencies including the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission. more +

Ms. Kelley earned her J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law, where she served as the William Minor Lile Moot Court Board Second Round Presiding Justice and as a student attorney for the University of Virginia Employment Law Clinic in conjunction with the Legal Aid Justice Center in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Prior to joining RK&O, Ms. Kelley was an associate at Foley & Lardner LLP. She also served as a law clerk intern for the Department of Justice Headquarters Immigration Court.

Ms. Kelley is admitted to practice in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the District of Columbia, the U.S. First Circuit Court of Appeals and the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts.


  • Represented Black Diamond in intercreditor dispute involving a $95 million claim under a syndicated secured loan.
  • Defended hedge fund at trial in action asserting breach of fiduciary duty and fraud claims in connection with stock purchase.
  • Represented technology company at trial in dispute with acquiring company regarding contractual earn-out provision.
  • Obtained summary judgment for defendant in dispute concerning right to purchase commercial condominium.
  • Represented employees of a global financial institution with respect to an FCPA investigation conducted by the SEC into hiring practices in China.
  • Represents clients in all stages of various complex business litigations, including pleadings, fact and expert discovery, motion practice, trial and appeals.
  • Aids clients in responding to anti-money laundering, FCPA, and securities-related inquiries from foreign and domestic government regulators.
  • Represents undocumented and indigent individuals pro bono in immigration matters, including successful claims for asylum and protection under the Violence Against Women Act.

Honors & Awards

  • Named a Rising Star for General Litigation in Washington, D.C. (2017-2019) and Massachusetts (2012-2013) by Super Lawyers Magazine, which recognizes the top 2.5% of lawyers under 40. 
  • Named to the 2016 and 2018 Capital Pro Bono High Honor Roll for her contribution of 100 hours or more to indigent clients and nonprofit organizations in need of legal representation, as well as the 2017 Capital Pro Bono Honor Roll for her contribution of more than 50 hours.


Practice Areas
  • University of Virginia School of Law, J.D., 2010
  • University of Notre Dame, B.A., cum laude, 2007
Bar & Court Admissions
  • District of Columbia
  • Commonwealth of Massachusetts
  • United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts
  • United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit