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, 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 Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers. In August 2017, Elliot was appointed by Speaker Paul Ryan to the Board of Advisors of the Election Assistance Commission. 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 Congressional Institute's Members of Congress and Chief of Staff retreats. 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 advised and counseled on 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 and House oversight committees.
Law, Politics & Entertainment
Elliot is also well versed in the intersection of law, politics and entertainment. He has provided counsel and helped produce charity events featuring Robert Duvall, Maya Angelou, Jeff Bridges, George Lazenby, Trace Adkins, 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, and Big & Rich. He is outside counsel to VetsAid, a veteran's charity founded by Joe Walsh, who was joined by Gary Clark Jr., Keith Urban, and Zac Brown Band at its 2017 kick off event. 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 serves as 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 and Emory University School of Law. He serves as General Counsel & Senior Advisor to the Jack Kemp Foundation, and on the boards of the International Churchill Society, the Vaclav Havel Library Foundation and the Republican National Lawyers Association (RNLA), where he is currently serving a two year term as RNLA President. 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 as a 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 (www.amiprettybook.com), and their two children. In his spare time, he coaches Fifth Grade Boys' CYO Basketball.