Known for his defense work in high profile class action cases, Ward Coe has more than four decades of experience representing corporations in complex commercial litigation. In addition to his versatile litigation practice involving antitrust, ERISA, land use litigation, estate litigation, and intellectual property matters, Ward has considerable experience leading major internal investigations.
Ward began his legal career at Anderson, Coe & King in 1973 and served as an assistant attorney general in Maryland from 1974 to 1977. He served as the managing partner of Whiteford Taylor & Preston from 1994 to 2000, and as the chair of its litigation practice from 2002 to 2006. He served as a captain in the U. S. Marine Corps from 1967-70.
Ward served as counsel to the special legislative committee investigating personnel practices of a former governor of the State of Maryland. He has conducted numerous internal investigations of publicly and privately held companies involving potential financial fraud, restatements and personnel matters.
In 1985 and 1986, Ward served as deputy investigator with Wilbur D. Preston, Jr., who was appointed by the Governor to investigate the savings and loan crisis. After an extensive investigation, Ward was the primary author and editor of a 457-page report to the Governor and General Assembly which formed a basis for numerous successful criminal prosecutions and civil lawsuits that resulted in substantial recoveries for the State.
As chair of the Maryland Court of Appeals Standing Committee on Pro Bono Legal Service from 2002-2012, Ward was instrumental in expanding pro bono legal services throughout the region. He is the recipient of numerous honors and awards for his pro bono efforts, including the American Bar Association’s Pro Bono Publico Award.
Ward is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and an active member of the American Bar Association. He is ranked in Chambers USA 2020 in Litigation: General Commercial. For more than ten years, he has consistently appeared in the annual publication, The Best Lawyers of America, and was named “Lawyer of the Year” for 2019 in Banking and Finance Litigation by that publication. He has been recognized by Maryland Super Lawyers since 2007.
Civic and Charitable Service
Maryland Access to Justice Commission, Chairman (2015 – present)
Area(s) of Practice
- Land Use and Government Affairs
- Religious Freedom/First Amendment Litigation
- Maryland State Courts
- United States Supreme Court
- United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
- United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
- United States District Court for the District of Maryland
- University of Maryland School of Law, JD, 1973
- Princeton University, BA, 1967
Bar and Professional Memberships
- American Bar Association, Antitrust and Intellectual Property Sections
- American College of Trial Lawyers, Fellow; State Committee
- Fourth Circuit Judicial Conference, Permanent Member
- Maryland Bar Foundation, Fellow
- Maryland State Bar Association