Elliot S. Berke serves as Managing Partner of Berke Farah LLP. Prior to founding Berke Farah LLP, Elliot served as a partner and as practice group co-chair at McGuireWoods LLP. He has been named by Chambers USA as a “Nationwide Best Lawyer” and by Washingtonian as one of “Washington’s Best Lawyers.” His diverse client base consists of federal and state elected and appointed officials, campaign committees, political parties, PACs, corporations, small businesses, trade associations, lobbying firms, public relations firms, nonprofits and individuals.
He represents clients before congressional ethics and oversight committees, the FEC, the DOJ, Inspectors General, and other and federal and state departments and agencies. He has represented presidential appointees on their confirmation over three Administrations. He has represented the top four leadership positions in the U.S. House of Representatives – Speaker, Majority Leader, Majority Whip, and Conference Chair – as either in-house or outside counsel, and currently serves as outside counsel for Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy and Conference Chair Liz Cheney. He currently serves as a Special Assistant Attorney General for the State of Georgia (and served as a Special Assistant Attorney General for the State of Oregon 2014-2016). He has run election day war rooms for presidential and gubernatorial candidates. He is a frequent speaker on political law, and regularly conducts the ethics training for the Members of Congress and Chief of Staff retreats sponsored by the Congressional Institute, where he serves as its outside counsel. He serves as General Counsel & Senior Advisor to the Jack Kemp Foundation. His commentary has appeared in media outlets including Fox’s Special Report w/Bret Baier and Tucker Carlson Tonight, NBC Nightly News, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, USAToday, Politico and the Washington Post.
Prior to entering private practice full time, Elliot served as the General Counsel of Barbour, Griffith & Rogers, a Fortune rated top government relations firm. As the firm’s chief legal advisor, he oversaw compliance with federal and state laws, workplace legal issues, and worked with outside counsels on litigation in federal court.
From 2004 through 2006, he served as in-house counsel and ethics advisor to the two most senior members of House leadership. As counsel to the Office of the Speaker and general counsel to the Office of the House Majority Leader, he was responsible for overseeing ethics and compliance for the speaker, the leader, and their staffs. In the three years he worked in House leadership, he implemented procedures to ensure compliance with House Rules and standards of conduct, consulted with campaign and PAC officials, conducted internal reviews, and worked closely with outside counsel. Elliot also served as a staff representative on the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group (BLAG), which represents the leadership on matters including speech or debate immunity and separation of powers. His tenure coincided with a notably active period of federal investigation into issues related to members and congressional staff, and his counsel was consistently sought out by the House General Counsel on how to best protect the interests of the House. He provided guidance on the constitutionality of numerous pieces of legislation over the course of three Congresses, and offered advice on the issuance of committee subpoenas. He also served as the principal policy advisor on homeland security, judiciary, tort reform and campaign finance issues, including on the Class Action Fairness Act and the reauthorizations of the PATRIOT Act and the Voting Rights Act.
Elliot’s ethics and compliance experience on Capitol Hill was preceded by similar experience within the executive branch. As special counsel to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), he oversaw complex and sensitive legal issues for the department. He also advised the Office of the Secretary on questions of ethics, including scheduling issues and FOIA requests. Prior to his service at HUD, he served as a senior associate independent counsel on the Whitewater and Lewinsky federal criminal investigations and worked on multiple grand jury investigations and plea agreements. Elliot began his legal career as an investigative counsel for Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations and the House Committee on Government Reform and Oversight.
Law, Politics & Entertainment
Elliot is also well versed in the intersection of law, politics and entertainment. He has been described as “DC’s liaison to rock ‘n roll” — providing counsel and helping to produce charity events featuring Kid Rock, Journey, Lynyrd Skynyrd, LA super group Royal Machines, The Who’s Roger Daltrey, ZZ Top’s Billy F Gibbons, The Alarm’s Mike Peters, Trace Adkins, Big & Rich, Vanilla Fudge, Buck Dharma, Joan Baez, as well as actors and authors Robert Duvall, Maya Angelou, Jeff Bridges, and George Lazenby. He is outside counsel to VetsAid, a veteran’s charity founded by Joe Walsh, which to date has raised over $1 million for veterans’ causes. He is also a partner in Across the Aisle Entertainment, LLC (www.ata-entertainment.com) and has consulted on feature and documentary film projects, and was Executive Producer of the award winning documentary feature The Man in the Camo Jacket (www.maninthecamojacket.com) and its soundtrack. A perpetual student of history, he played an instrumental role in the dedication of a bust of Winston Churchill in the U.S. Capitol in 2013, and served on the executive committee for A Celebration of Freedom: 25 Years of Democracy – A Salute to Vaclav Havel, a three day series of events in 2014 that included the dedication of a bust of Havel in the U.S. Capitol chaired by Presidents George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush.
Elliot is a cum laude graduate of Wake Forest University, where he was a member of the Pi Sigma Alpha and Phi Alpha Theta Honor Societies, and Emory University School of Law, where he served as Executive Articles Editor of the Emory International Law Review. He is currently on the Boards of Directors of the following organizations:
- Love Hope Strength Foundation
- Republican National Lawyers Association (RNLA) (where he just completed a two year term as RNLA President)
- Vaclav Havel Library Foundation
- The Wurd, Inc.
He serves as an advisor to the Music Division of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. He also serves on the Board of Advisors of the following organizations:
- Election Assistance Commission (appointed by Speaker Paul Ryan in 2017 and reappointed by House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy in 2019)
- Folk Americana Roots Music Hall of Fame
- International Churchill Society
From July 2012 through July 2014, he served as the President of the Wake Forest University Alumni Association and remains active in alumni affairs including as a second term member of the College Board of Visitors and as the DC Regional Chair for the current capital campaign. He lives in Arlington, Virginia, with his wife, children’s book author Lindsey Jensen Berke, and their two children. In his spare time, he coaches Sixth Grade Boys’ CYO Basketball and plays rhythm guitar in the band the DePlorables.