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  • J.D., University of Virginia School of Law, 1981, Order of the Coif; Executive Editor of the Virginia Law Review
  • B.A., Yale College, 1974, cum laude

Bar and Court Admissions

  • District of Columbia
  • Maryland
  • New York
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, for the Third, Fourth, & Fifth Circuit
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Columbia
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, District of Columbia
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York
  • U.S. Tax Court

Other Professional Affiliations

Member, American Bar Association, Section of Litigation

Member, American Bankruptcy Institute

Overseas Member, Commercial Bar Association, London

Government Experience

Law Clerk, Honorable Harrison L. Winter, Chief Judge, United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, 1981-1982

Trevor W. Swett III

Member, Washington, D.C.
(202) 862-5081 | v-card | PDF

Trevor (Ted) Swett is a Member in Caplin & Drysdale's Washington, D.C., office. He was elected to membership in 1989, having joined the firm as an associate in 1985. Mr. Swett has been recognized as a "Leading Lawyer" by Chambers USA, The Legal 500, and Benchmark Litigation for his work in Bankruptcy/Restructuring.


Mr. Swett's practice emphasizes creditors’ rights and bankruptcy litigation related to corporate reorganizations and civil cases involving allegations of fraud or other financial misconduct. He has focused on asset recovery litigation presenting issues of fraudulent conveyance, successor liability, and piercing the corporate veil. He also has substantial experience representing financial institutions in commercial litigation and taxpayers in litigation against the Internal Revenue Service.


In the bankruptcy and civil litigation arenas, 

  • Mr. Swett has served as lead litigation counsel for statutory committees of asbestos claimants in several major bankruptcy proceedings, including Garlock Sealing Technologies, LLC; Motors Liquidation Corporation (f/k/a General Motors Corporation); G-I Holdings Corporation (f/k/a GAF Corporation); and Raytech Corporation. 
  • He has represented leading financial institutions in the bankruptcy of a large mortgage loan originator, a controversy between banks arising out of the sale of a “bespoke” collateralized debt obligation, and a suit for fraud and misrepresentation against auditors and insiders of a defaulting corporate borrower.
  • He has represented a local governmental entity in a bankruptcy dispute concerning tax claims and related statutory liens.
  • He has represented financial professionals in federal enforcement proceedings.

As a tax litigator,

  • Mr. Swett has tried Tax Court cases concerning the allocation of purchase price for a professional sports team and a spouse's claim for relief from her husband's tax liabilities.
  • He has litigated a "whipsaw" dispute in which two major corporations vied against one another and the IRS for a large tax benefit.
  • He has also conducted tax refund litigation in federal District Court.

Awards & Rankings

  • Chambers USA, 2013-Present
  • The Legal 500, Leading Lawyer, 2010-2013; Recommended, 2010-2015
  • Benchmark Litigation, Local Litigation Star, 2010-Present, Recommended, Washington, D.C., 2010-Present
  • Super Lawyers, Washington D.C., 2014-Present
  • Martindale-Hubbell® AV® Preeminent™

Recent News

Click here for a full list of media coverage.

Recent Speaking Engagements

Mr. Swett has made speeches and presentations on a variety of litigation issues, including challenges to LBOs as fraudulent conveyances, hedge fund redemptions, piercing the corporate veil, limited shareholder liability, corporate governance and conflict of interest, liability in tort for aiding and abetting, and legal and ethical constraints on cross-examination.

  • Speaker, Distressed M&A: Opportunities in the Region, IBA Corporate and M&A Law Committee and the IBA Latin American Regional Forum, March 16, 2017
  • Speaker, Beyond the Usual Suspects: New Issues in Fund Litigation, 2013 Mutual Funds and Investment Management Conference of the Investment Company Institute, March 18, 2013
  • Speaker, Locking the Gates - The Powers and Liabilities of Hedge Fund Managers Facing Redemption Demands in a Distressed Market, Caplin & Drysdale and Marcum & Kliegman LLP, Riding Out the Storm: Hedge Funds and the Financial Crisis, February 12, 2009

Click here for a full list of speaking engagements.

Recent Publications

Click here for a full list of publications.