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Allen & Overy LLP
1101 New York Avenue, NW
Washington, DC
United States

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  Charles Borden


Washington, D.C.

Charles leads Allen & Overy’s Political Law Practice. He focuses on the intersection of law and political activity, and regularly counsels multinational corporations on the regulatory and compliance obligations, as well as the political and reputational consequences, of political activity relating to campaign finance law; the Lobbying Disclosure Act (LDA); state and local lobbying law; the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA); the SEC’s regulation of municipal advisors; the federal pay-to-play rules for municipal dealers (Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB) Rule G-37), investment advisers (SEC Rule 206(4)-5), and swap dealers (CFTC Rule 23.451); the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act (STOCK Act); laws regulating the solicitation of contracts and investments from public sector entities (“placement agent regimes”); state and local pay-to-play laws; and federal, state, and local laws concerning gifts, entertainment, post-employment restrictions for former public employees, procurement, public financial disclosures, and government ethics. Charles also counsels individuals appointed to senior positions in the Executive Branch of the federal government (including senior White House and State Department officials) – as well as such individuals’ private sector employers – on federal conflict-of-interest, security clearance, and financial disclosure requirements and helps such appointees formulate strategies for resolving legal and political issues connected to their nomination.

Charles has been recognized by Chambers USA 2017 as a leading practitioner in the area of Political Law. According to Chambers, "[h]e is considered to be 'extremely knowledgeable about both domestic and foreign political law,'" and "'[t]he advice he provides is both legally sound but also very practical.'"

He is a Visiting Fellow at the Centre for Analysis of Risk and Regulation (“CARR”) at the London School of Economics. The Centre focuses on cross-border regulatory analysis, including with respect to the regulation of public corruption and political activities. Charles also co-teaches a course entitled “Government Ethics: Scandal and Reform” at Harvard Law School, where he is a Visiting Lecturer in Law.

Charles’s Strategic Counseling practice focuses on matters involving the intersection of law and public policy. Charles frequently assists clients in crafting legislative and regulatory solutions to complex problems, and advises clients on the management of legislative and public policy risk. Charles also routinely participates in election law-related litigation, and has authored numerous appellate and U.S. Supreme Court briefs on redistricting and other political law issues. Charles also regularly advises financial services firms on issues relating to the application of the federal Freedom of Information Act and state Public Records Acts to confidential business information provided to public sector entities and regulatory bodies.  

Charles also has experience with public policy issues relating to aggregate litigation.  He has taken part in significant legislative initiatives at the federal and state level, including the passage of the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005, and he has filed numerous amicus briefs in state and federal courts on aggregate litigation issues. 

Professional qualifications

Admitted: Bar of the District of Columbia, 2004

Admitted: Bar of the State of New York, 2003

Admitted: United States Court of Appeals
Fourth Circuit, 2008
Ninth Circuit, 2009
Eleventh Circuit, 2004

Academic qualifications

M.Sc., distinction, London School of Economics, 2007

J.D., magna cum laude, Harvard University, 2001

M.Sc, Scottish History, US/UK Fulbright Scholar, University of Edinburgh, 1999

B.A.,  History and Political Science, magna cum laude, Yale University, 1997

Published work

"Pay-To-Play Lessons From This Week's SEC Settlements," Law360 (Jan. 17, 2017), with Chris Salter, Bill White, Samuel Brown and Claire Rajan

"Security Clearances and the Regulation of National and Domestic Security Personnel," Risk & Regulation (Winter 2016), with Robert Rizzi

“The Other Election: What Brexit Means for U.S. Companies,” Corporate Counsel (May 25, 2016), with Maeve Hanna and Samuel Brown

“The Wide World of PACs,” Corporate Counsel (May 11, 2016), with Claire Rajan

“Where Is the Line between Politics as Usual and Corruption?,” Corporate Counsel (May 4, 2016), with Claire Rajan

“Election 2016: 'Pay-to-Play' Considerations for Investment Advisers,” Compliance Corner, Investment Adviser Association (May 2016), with Samuel Brown

“Questions and Answers About Super PACs and Corporate Compliance Risks,” Corporate Counsel (Apr. 20, 2016), with Claire Rajan and Jana Steenholdt

“Another Campaign Finance No-No: Foreign Contributions,” Corporate Counsel (Apr. 13, 2016), with Claire Rajan and Kate Wooler

“The Big No-No: Campaign Money Laundering,” Corporate Counsel (Apr. 6, 2016), with Claire Rajan and Kate Wooler

“Key Compliance Issues in Operating a Corporate PAC,” Corporate Counsel (Mar. 30, 2016), with Claire Rajan and Kate Wooler

“The Presidential Candidates on Campaign Finance Reform,” Corporate Counsel (Mar. 23, 2016), with Claire Rajan and Daniel Holman

“Brand Risks: Trump, Miss USA and Jose Andres,” Corporate Counsel (Mar. 16, 2016), with Claire Rajan and Daniel Holman

“What Your Company Can Do—and Should Not Do—During the Election Campaign,” Corporate Counsel (Mar. 9, 2016), with Claire Rajan

“Allen & Overy’s Weekly Election Series,” Corporate Counsel (Mar. 2, 2016), with Claire Rajan

“Brexit: Corporate Communications And UK Election Laws,” Law360 (Feb. 18, 2016), with Samuel Brown and Russell Butland

“$12M SEC Penalty Demonstrates Focus On Pay-To-Play,” Law360 (Jan. 15, 2016), with Bill White and Claire Rajan

“Ethics Regulation of Government Contractors,” Risk & Regulation (Winter 2015), with Robert Rizzi and Daniel Holman

“Pay to Play,” in OTC Derivatives Regulation Under Dodd-Frank: A Guide to Registration, Reporting, Business Conduct, and Clearing (2015), with Lee Michel

“The SEC Pay-to-Play Rule: Lessons Learned from the Exemptive Relief Process,” The Investment Lawyer (May 2015), with Sam Brown and Claire Rajan

“Non-U.S. Issuers Selling Fund Interests In The United States,” The Review of Securities & Commodities Regulation (2012), with Barbara Stettner, Sam Brown and Claire Rajan

"On the Road to Litigation Abuse: The Continuing Export of U.S. Class Action and Antitrust Law," presented at the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform 2006 Legal Reform Summit (Washington, D.C., Oct. 2006), with John H. Beisner

"The Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 and State Law Antitrust Actions," 20 Antitrust 1 (2005), with Ian Simmons 

"Expanding Private Causes of Action: Lessons from the U.S. Litigation Experience," presented at The Trans-Atlantic Challenge: Diverging Approaches to Regulatory and Legal Reform in the United States and Europe (Brussels, Belgium, Sept. 14, 2005), with John H. Beisner 

"The New Meets the Old: The Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 and State Law Indirect Purchaser Antitrust Actions," THE ANTITRUST PRACTICTIONER Vol. 2 (2005),  with Ian Simmons 

"Recent Development," Primary Elections, 38 Harv. J. on Legis. 263 (2001)

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