Matthew T. Sanderson leads the Firm’s Political Law Group and is a member in the Exempt Organizations Group.


Mr. Sanderson helps corporations, political committees, lobbying firms, law firms, candidates, and advocacy groups comply with the complex federal, state, and local laws that govern political activity, including campaign finance, "pay-to-play," government ethics, and lobbying disclosure regulations. Mr. Sanderson also advises clients on the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) and defends parties before the Department of Justice and Congress that face FARA-related inquiries.


Mr. Sanderson has served as counsel to Senator John McCain, Senator Mitt Romney, Governor Jon Huntsman Jr., and many other candidates for national office. He was a legal consultant for Netflix’s hit series House of Cards and received the Peabody Award, alongside Stephen Colbert’s The Colbert Report team, for efforts related to the “Colbert Super PAC.” Mr. Sanderson was also a founder of PlayoffPAC, which was nominated for Sports Illustrated's Sportsman of the Year award for its work in bringing down college football's prior post-season system, the Bowl Championship Series.

Mr. Sanderson is the co-editor of Thomson Reuters’ legal treatise on political law, a member of the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Election Law, a co-chair of the American Bar Association’s Task Force on the Foreign Agents Registration Act, and an Adjunct Faculty Member at the University of Virginia School of Law, where he teaches an advanced course on campaign finance regulation. He serves as editor of, a comprehensive online resource of information about the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). Mr. Sanderson is frequently quoted on political matters in national media outlets, such as The New York TimesThe Wall Street JournalThe Washington Post, and The Associated Press. He is also a Trustee for the American Council of Young Political Leaders, a nonprofit that connects rising political leaders in the U.S. and around the world.

Mr. Sanderson is a graduate of the University of Utah and Vanderbilt University Law School, where he was a Chancellor's Scholar. He has four children with his wife, Emily.

Admissions & Education

Bar & Court Admissions
  • District of Columbia
  • District of Columbia Court of Appeals

J.D., Vanderbilt Law School, 2008

B.A., The University of Utah, 2005, cum laude


Recognitions & Noteworthy

Honors & Recognitions
  • Chambers USA, 2014-Present
  • American Bar Association International Law Section, Outstanding Project Award, FARA: Issues and Recommendations for Reform, 2021
  • Super Lawyers, Rising Star, Washington, D.C., 2013-2020
  • Alumni Association, The University of Utah Par Excellence Award, 2016
  • The Washingtonian, Top Lawyer, 2015, 2017
  • The Washington Post, Among the Top Attorneys in D.C., 2014

Professional Activities & Affiliations

Other Professional Affiliations

Member, American Bar Association, Standing Committee on Election Law 

Member, American Bar Association, Task Force on the Foreign Agents Registration Act

Newsroom & Publications

Speaking Engagements
Publications & Alerts
Blog Posts
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