About Us  |  History

Wiley Rein LLP first opened its doors with 39 attorneys in 1983 as Wiley, Johnson & Rein. From the outset, named partners Richard E. Wiley, former Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, and Bert W. Rein, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs, set the firm’s standard for excellence. The firm’s name has changed a few times since its early years—from Wiley & Rein in 1985, to Wiley Rein & Fielding in 1986 and Wiley Rein in 2007, when partner Fred Fielding left to serve as Counsel to President George W. Bush—but its founding mission has remained constant: to provide innovative, attentive, first-rate advocacy grounded in legal, regulatory, and public policy expertise and experience.

Over the years, the firm greatly expanded, growing its diverse practice to include insurance law, government contracts, international trade, litigation, public policy, intellectual property, environmental safety, consumer products, corporate, election law, franchise, health care, privacy, cybersecurity, and unmanned aircraft systems. By the end of its first decade, the firm had more than 130 lawyers, and by 1995, Wiley Rein was home to more than 200 attorneys and consultants with specialties in more than a dozen practice areas. When the firm turned 20 in 2003, it boasted more than 250 attorneys and had significantly expanded its Communications and International Trade Practices. 

Cementing its reputation as a quintessential Washington, DC firm, as it turned 25, Wiley Rein had further expanded its Government Affairs, Intellectual Property, Privacy, Health Care and Corporate practices, and was recognized by the Legal Times for its pro bono efforts. Having recently celebrated its 30th anniversary, the firm's attorneys practice in almost two dozen areas of law, and has become one of the most influential and respected law firms in the nation’s capital.

In 2014, Wiley Rein built upon its long track record of success and prominence in law and public policy by acquiring McBee Strategic Consulting as a wholly owned subsidiary—creating a Washington, DC legal, advocacy, and communications powerhouse.