Elizabeth M. Locke, P.C.

Partner

Libby is one of the country’s most sought-after libel lawyers.  She is a trusted counselor and fierce advocate for Fortune 100 companies and high-profile individuals facing existential reputational attacks from the national media and other influential publishers, achieving remarkable results for her clients both in and outside the courtroom.  Court watchers have called her “as good as they get,” “aggressive and not afraid to litigate,” and someone who has the media savvy to handle high profile matters in the public eye.

After co-founding Clare Locke LLP in 2014, Libby rapidly rose to national prominence for a highly-publicized multi-million dollar trial victory against Rolling Stone magazine about a fabricated gang rape at a University of Virginia fraternity.  In 2019, she was lead trial counsel and won a $26 million federal jury verdict on behalf of a successful North Carolina businessman who was defamed by a public company during a proxy fight.  A commentator opined that “she was excellent in trial and she eviscerated the other side,” and the federal judge concluded that her vigorous cross examination “exposed [Defendant’s] CEO as a non-credible witness.”  A skilled appellate advocate and former federal circuit clerk, in 2019 Libby achieved a rare win against The New York Times on behalf of former Gov. Sarah Palin in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit arising out of a false and defamatory editorial.  She is actively litigating matters against a variety of mainstream news outlets, including CNN and The New York Times.

Libby’s success in the courtroom gets her results in the newsroom.  She regularly advises clients and their PR counsel in dealing with the national media in crisis situations, and some of her biggest wins are the false stories the public will never hear about.  She has killed flawed articles, storylines, and broadcast segments in outlets including in The New York TimesThe Washington Post, Vanity Fair, The National Enquirer, and on Bloomberg, CBS and The Dr. Oz Show.  Libby has also vindicated her clients’ reputations by obtaining myriad retractions of false publications.  Examples include securing a $3.375 million settlement and video apology from the Southern Poverty Law Center, a complete retraction of a Bloomberg podcast, a multi-article correction from The Chicago Tribune, and the removal of a paperback edition book from publication by Simon & Schuster.

Recognized as an expert in libel law and the First Amendment, Libby has been ranked as a Band 1 global defamation / reputation management provider in Chambers & Partners HNW directory every year since its inception in 2016, and a Band 1 First Amendment Litigator in Chambers & Partners USA in 2020.  She has numerous national awards and accolades from the National Law Journal, including being named as one of D.C.’s 40 Under 40 in 2019.  She is regularly asked to speak on issues involving the First Amendment, media, and reputation, including publishing multiple op-eds in The Wall Street Journal and appearing as a guest on Fox News, CNN, and ABC’s 20/20.  Libby has also served as an adjunct professor at Georgetown University Law Center and George Washington University Law School.

Libby graduated from NYU’s College of Arts and Science with a degree in Politics and Economics, and she received her J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center.  After law school, she clerked on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, and then began her career in private practice at Kirkland & Ellis.  Perhaps the accomplishment of which she is most proud, Libby is a mom of five.  She lives in Alexandria, Virginia with her husband and law partner, Tom Clare, their children, and the world’s most spoiled Labrador Retriever, Gipper.

  • Commonwealth of Virginia
  • District of Columbia
  • United States Supreme Court
  • United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
  • United States District Court for the District of Columbia
  • United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
  • United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia
  • Virginia Supreme Court
  • Adjunct Professor, Georgetown University Law Center, Law In A New Media World
  • Adjunct Professor, George Washington University, Legal Research and Writing
  • Adjunct Professor, George Washington University, Introduction to Advocacy
  • Guest Lecturer, Georgetown University Law Center, Free Press Seminar
  • Guest Lecturer, Georgetown University Law Center, Trial Practice
  • Guest Lecturer, Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law, Trial Practice
  • Panelist, The Future of Libel Law, Federalist Society National Lawyer’s Convention
  • Lecturer, CLE Program, Managing a Hostile Press
  • Panelist, Georgetown University Law Center, Reckless Disregard for the Private Citizen
  • Featured Speaker, IFRA North America’s 2012 Fall Meeting

EDUCATION

Georgetown University Law Center, J.D., cum laude, 2005

  • Georgetown Journal of Law & Public Policy, Executive Editor
  • Barristers’ Counsel, Moot Court team

New York University, B.A. cum laude
Politics and Economics, 2001

  • Albert S. Borgman Memorial Prize for best senior honors thesis in social sciences
  • Rita Cooley Scholar for outstanding academic scholarship in political science
  • Founders Day Award for overall outstanding academic excellence

PRIOR EXPERIENCE

Partner, Kirkland & Ellis LLP, 2011-2014

Associate, Kirkland & Ellis LLP, 2006-2011

Law Clerk to the Honorable Rhesa H. Barksdale, United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, 2005-2006