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Deborah A. Ellingboe, Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP
Deborah A. Ellingboe, Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP

The POWER 30: Deborah A. Ellingboe

Deborah Ellingboe started with then Faegre & Benson in 1997 and is now head of the litigation practice group at Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP, having gone through two mergers with the firm.

She was clerking for then U.S. District Court Judge James Rosenbaum, who gave her good advice about two lawyers, Jerry Snider, now deceased, and Charles Webber, now a judge in the First Judicial District.

“It’s a fabulous job,” Ellingboe said of her post at Faegre Drinker. “We joke about having more than 200 lawyers in the group. [At that size] it’s an Am Law firm.” Ellingboe also was part of the Leadership Council for the firm’s Women’s Forum for Achievement, from 2015 to 2020.

Within the litigation group, as with the other groups in the firm, there is a lot of variety of talent, Ellingboe said. “Getting to know a new crop of talented lawyers has been a lot of fun,” she said.

“We have a real trial lawyer culture in the firm and the group. We really respect one another and trust each other’s opinions. It’s really fun to see,” she said. Over the years Ellingboe has done a lot of white collar and internal investigations, ERISA, and “a fair amount of trial work that doesn’t neatly fit with other specializations,” she said.

Ellingboe has been involved with a couple of clients’ internal investigations, involving the SEC and the FTC. One of the investigations involved an employee fraudulently reporting the income to his section, requiring a restatement. Another involved brokers who were unwittingly allowing one customer to do some fraudulent transactions.

For the future, the antitrust team is anticipating an increase in enforcement by the Department of Justice, Ellingboe said. The white-collar crime team anticipates some increase, but it hasn’t yet happened, she added.

The health care team, which represents providers, is considering life after Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, Ellingboe said. “We’ve got a group of lawyers who are trying to get their arms around Dobbs and a number of corporations who have enacted policies,” she said.