Firm Profile > Williams & Connolly LLP > Washington DC, United States

Williams & Connolly LLP
United States

General commercial disputes Tier 1

From a single office in Washington DC, Williams & Connolly LLP has established itself as one of the country's leading litigation firms. Its attorneys 'from the most junior to the most senior level, are extremely well prepared, diligent and practical'. Continuing its tradition of developing and promoting partners from within and rarely making lateral hires, the firm promoted several lawyers in 2018, including Steven Cady, Colette Connor and Christopher Mandernach. In the high-profile opioids investigations, a team led by Enu Mainigi has been serving as lead trial and national counsel for Cardinal Health in litigation and government investigations. The highly regarded Robert Van Kirk has defended The Carlyle Group in simultaneous actions in multiple countries concerning the collapse of Carlyle Capital Corporation in 2008; he and the team worked with local counsel to obtain a complete defense verdict for the company after a six-month trial at the Royal Court of Guernsey. Dane Butswinkas co-leads the department with Van Kirk; other key figures include Bryan Wilson, Nicholas Boyle and David RiskinKannon Shanmugam left for Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP in 2019.

Product liability, mass tort and class actions: pharmaceuticals and medical devices - defense Tier 1

Widely recognized for its expertise as coordinating, trial and litigation counsel, Williams & Connolly LLP is at the forefront of pharmaceuticals and medical devices litigation, as evidenced by its acting for Cardinal Health in investigations and litigation relating to the distribution of opioid medications, and its representing Medtronic in personal injuries claims relating to the use of hernia mesh products. Jointly led by Heidi Hubbard and Joseph Petrosinelli, the 'very strong and collaborative' team is defending Stryker in hip implant MDL, and is also acting as trial counsel for Daiichi-Sankyo in a lawsuit claiming that the high blood pressure medicine Benicar caused severe gastrointestinal distress and weight loss. The firm’s client base also includes Pfizer, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Takeda. Other names to note are Stephen Raber and Paul Boehm, who are 'skillful in the courtroom', as well as senior counsel and ‘top-drawer strategist’ Douglas MarvinLiam Montgomery was promoted to partner in January 2018. All named partners are based in Washington DC.

Appellate Tier 2

A ‘litigation powerhouse which is at the very top of the game’, Williams & Connolly LLP’s appellate practice attracts praise for demonstrating ‘excellence at the highest levels of the court system’ and for the fact that it ‘delivers superb results’. Former practice head Kannon Shanmugam departed to become chair of the appellate practice at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP. Prior to his departure, Shanmugam led the team on multiple matters before the US Supreme Court. Among these, he represented the petitioner in Digital Realty Trust, Inc. v Somers, where he secured a 9-0 reversal of the Ninth Circuit’s prior judgment; the case concerned the scope of application of the anti-retaliation whistleblower protections provided under section 922 of Dodd–Frank. In Dahda v United States — a case questioning whether the federal wiretap statute requires the suppression of evidence obtained as a result of a wiretap order that exceeded the court’s territorial jurisdiction — the US Supreme Court voted 8-0 and sided with the team’s client Los Rovell Dahda. In another US Supreme Court highlight, the team represented respondent ION Geophysical Corporation in the case of WesternGeco v ION, concerning the interpretation of the general damages provision under the Patent Act. In E.F. Transit, Inc. v Cook at the Seventh Circuit, Amy Saharia presented arguments for Indiana transportation service company E.F. Transit, which sought regulatory approval to transport liquor; the Court ruled in favor of the client. Focusing on patent appeals, David Berl successfully represented MedImmune at the Federal Circuit, which dismissed patent invalidation claims submitted by AbbVie. As of February 2019, Supreme Court advocate Lisa Blatt joined from Arnold & Porter, and currently serves as chair of the appellate department. In March 2019, Allison Rushing left the firm to become a judge at the Fourth Circuit.

International litigation Tier 2

Washington DC-based litigation boutique Williams & Connolly LLP provides ‘unparalleled service that is worth every penny’. The firm's core strengths include defending US and foreign corporations and individuals, foreign governments and government agencies in litigation in the US and abroad. The practice group is jointly headed by Peter Kahn, who is 'relentlessly creative', and 'creative litigator' Ana Reyes. Other noted practitioners include Bryan Wilson, Robert Van Kirk and ‘gifted business lawyerNicholas Boyle. Corporate clients include Google, Samsung and the Bank of America.

Securities litigation - defense Tier 2

Williams & Connolly LLP in Washington DC is a specialist litigation firm that 'works at the top level and many of its partners are involved in securities litigation'. Last year, it handled matters across the US, including cases in California, Texas, Minnesota and New York. One standout matter saw the firm successfully represent Digital Realty in a Supreme Court appeal against a decision by the Ninth Circuit relating to a whistleblower's allegations of securities law violations. Robert Van Kirk, who co-leads the securities litigation and enforcement practice with Steven Farina, successfully defended The Carlyle Group and its founder Bill Conway in a  $2bn action following a six-month trial in the Royal Court of Guernsey. R. Hackney Wiegmann also played a key role in that case. Farina and Joseph Petrosinelli succeeded in narrowing the plaintiffs’ class at the class-certification stage in a case for Medtronic plc, which had seen a motion to dismiss reversed in a putative class action. Up-and-coming partner John Williams is also recommended. Kannon Shanmugam, who led the Digital Realty matter, joined Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP in Washington DC in January 2019.

Corporate investigations and white-collar criminal defense Tier 3

The Washington DC-based group at Williams & Connolly LLP is best known for handling stellar individual representations, but it is also engaged by high-profile corporates. In a highlight, Dane Butswinkas represented former Jefferies & Co. employee Jesse Litvak, who was convicted on 15 counts of serious fraud and other offences; the pair successful appealed the conviction and in a subsequent retrial the charges were dismissed. In another standout matter, veteran trial lawyer Brendan Sullivan defended Wilmington Trust Corporation against an indictment in the District of Delaware alleging that it engaged in fraudulent loan reporting practices during the financial crisis; the case was dismissed on the first day of trial. Chaired by David Zinn and Joseph Petrosinelli, the group also includes Kevin DowneyTobin Romero and Lance WadeKannon Shanmugam left the firm for Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP in January 2019.

Government contracts Tier 3

Williams & Connolly LLP represents government contractors in a variety of matters, including bid protests, FCA claims and complex criminal and regulatory matters. The team has a track record acting for clients operating in the healthcare sector, such as pharmaceuticals manufacturers, hospitals and pharmacy benefit managers, but it also represents several contractors in the IT industry. In the aerospace and defense sector, co-chair Edward Reddington and Christopher Manning defended Patriarch Partners, MD Helicopters and Lynn Tilton as lead trial and lead appellate counsel in a False Claims Act case in district court; most recently the team filed a motion to dismiss the complaint. Reddington also acts for IT solutions and professional services contractor CSRA in two matters: in the first, Reddington prevented CSRA from being excluded from a federal procurement due to an alleged organizational conflict of interest; in the other, Reddington successfully defended CSRA in a bid protest challenging the award of a contract by the Department of Education. Other co-chair Kevin Hodges, in addition to having experience in bid protests, is also adept at handling cases relating to non-disclosure and non-compete agreements. Steven Cady, Colette Connor, Christopher Mandernach, Liam Montgomery and Katherine Trefz were promoted to partner in January 2018.

Cartel Tier 4

The antitrust team at Williams & Connolly LLP fields experts such as Jonathan PittJohn Schmidtlein and Benjamin Greenblum from its single office in Washington DC and acts for a diverse client base in criminal and civil litigation. The group has previously overseen sensitive disputes in the ocean shipping, financial services and automotive sectors, among others, and has worked with the likes of Celgene, Google, CoStar and CVS. In recent developments, Colette ConnorSteven CadyLiam MontgomeryChristopher Mandernach and Katherine Trefz were promoted to the partnership.

Civil litigation/class actions: defense Tier 4

From Washington DC, Williams & Connolly LLP represents large corporate and individual clients and has a strong track record taking cases to trial. Dane Butswinkas recently acted for Celgene in two separate antitrust cases brought by generic competitor Mylan and a class of indirect purchasers alleging Celgene unlawfully delayed the development of generic drugs. John Schmidtlein and Jonathan Pitt jointly lead the group, while Benjamin Greenblum specializes in the intersection of antitrust and food and drug law. Other key clients include Amazon, Google, CVS and Samsung. The team was recently bolstered by five partner promotions.

Copyright Tier 4

Williams & Connolly LLP has an enviable client roster which includes Warner Bros, Walt Disney and Discovery Communications. Thomas Hentoff leads the practice and advised the Recording Industry Association of America on an online piracy lawsuit taken against the now-defunct streaming website Megaupload. Nicholas Boyle is also a key figure and acted for CoStar in a dispute against Xceligent, which had used photographs and data owned by the client.

Financial services litigation Tier 4

Effectively leveraging its trial-ready credentials, Washington DC-based litigation powerhouse Williams & Connolly LLP frequently achieves favorable results for financial services entities (including banks, funds and money service providers) in high-profile enforcement actions and private litigation. Dane Butswinkas recently helped Barclays secure a significantly lower financial penalty when it decided to fight an MBS-related FIRREA case brought by the DOJ. In another recent case which highlights the firm's 'dogged determination and willingness to fight', John Villa secured a favorable outcome for TCF National Bank in a CFPB enforcement lawsuit relating to its overdraft fee policies. Ryan Scarborough was also central to the firm's work for TCF National Bank, and along with Villa, has also built up a significant reputation for representing directors and officers in Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) in the context of failed financial institutions. Formerly at the CFPB, counsel Rachel Rodman has an excellent reputation for handling consumer finance-related cases. As well as the firm's ability to handle cases at first instance, it is also able to represent clients at an appellate level by virtue of a flourishing Supreme Court practice that includes several highly regarded practitioners.

Media and entertainment: litigation Tier 4

Williams & Connolly LLP's media and entertainment practice, co-headed by Thomas Hentoff and Kevin Baine, stands out for its capabilities in defamation and first amendment litigation. In recent highlights Baine led a team which successfully defended HBO and comedian John Oliver in a defamation suit brought by Murray Energy; Hentoff represented Warner Brothers Entertainment in a copyright infringement dispute, which confirmed that a foreign broadcaster that uploads copyright content to its website and makes it available in the US is in violation of the Copyright Act. The team is also acting for Bloomberg in litigation brought by Avery Stone alleging an article published about him and the failure of his Hong Kong business was defamatory. Other key names to note include Deneen Howell and Carl Metz for employment and antitrust matters respectively. All lawyers are based in Washington DC.

Healthcare: service providers Tier 5

Unsurprisingly, given its sterling reputation for litigation, appellate work and regulatory matters, Williams & Connolly LLP is a go-to firm when healthcare clients become embroiled in high-stakes government investigations and litigation. The practice is chaired jointly by Enu Mainigi, Jennifer Wicht and Holly Conley, each of whom has considerable experience acting on behalf of clients in the healthcare industry. Mainigi leads the firm's work for Cardinal Health, where it serves as lead and national counsel in investigations and litigation relating to the client's distribution of opioid medications. Wicht is the key partner acting for Accredo in qui tam litigation relating to alleged kickbacks and violations of the Civil Monetary Penalties statute. Conley's clients include pharmaceutical manufacturers, pharmacy benefit managers, and pharmacies. Other notable clients of the firm are CVS Health, Omnicare and Doctors Hospital at Renaissance.

Patents: litigation (full coverage) Tier 6

Williams & Connolly LLP in Washington DC predominantly acts for clients from the pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, electronics and software, and medical and mechanical device sectors. The litigation specialists count a formidable list of major players as its clients, including Eli Lilly for which the group acted in multiple patent litigation cases, a particularly notable example of which involved a win against Dr. Reddy's regarding infringement of a patent covering a method of administering a chemotherapy drug. Genentech, Samsung Electronics and Helsinn Healthcare also feature on the client list. Adam Perlman and Thomas Selby direct the practice, and David Berl is also noted.

Williams & Connolly is widely recognized as one of the nation’s premier litigation firms. Its lawyers routinely handle significant and complex civil, criminal, and administrative cases across the United States and around the globe.  Williams & Connolly maintains a strong tradition of hiring the best and brightest and training and promoting its lawyers from within, producing a closely knit community of attorneys who work collaboratively to achieve successful outcomes for their clients.

Williams & Connolly was founded in 1967 by legendary trial lawyer Edward Bennett Williams.  The firm represents corporations (large and small), governments, and individuals in a wide range of litigation, investigation, and arbitration matters.  Its robust intellectual property practice, for example, successfully represents clients in patent litigation matters worth billions of dollars.  In the healthcare and consumer industries, the firm serves as national coordinating, trial, and/or resolution counsel for major pharmaceutical, medical device, pharmacy, technology, and consumer products companies in mass torts, multi-district litigation, and class actions.  It litigates cross-border commercial and other disputes in wide-ranging international litigation and arbitration.  The firm has handled many of the most complex corporate, financial, and securities disputes stemming from the global financial crisis.  It represents companies and individuals in government investigations and prosecutions of all types, including allegations of fraud, corruption, and FCPA violations. And firm lawyers regularly appear before the Supreme Court and state and federal courts of appeals.

Williams & Connolly’s corporate clients include major global companies from virtually every sector, including Pfizer, Samsung, Sprint, Intel, Bank of America, Google, The Carlyle Group, Medtronic, AstraZeneca, Genentech, Eli Lilly, News Corp/21st Century Fox, and HSBC.  In addition, the firm has represented numerous law and accounting firms in professional liability and other matters, one reason why The Washington Post has recognized Williams & Connolly as the firm that other professional firms “turn to when they’re in trouble.”

 Williams & Connolly is known for its ability to take cases to trial, as well as the deep bench of lawyers at the firm who have tried civil and criminal matters in courts across the country and internationally. Its distinctive approach to litigation has earned the firm top marks from leading publications and ranking services, such as Chambers, Legal 500, The National Law Journal, The American Lawyer, and Benchmark Litigation, both for overall litigation prowess as well as for many practice- or industry-specific types of litigation.  Williams & Connolly also is known as an excellent and collaborative training ground for young litigators, providing clients with the highest-quality representation at every level of seniority and with a cohesive team always working to advance their interests.  In 2018, Vault ranked Williams & Connolly as the “Most Selective Law Firm” in the country.

Williams & Connolly hires the top graduates from the best law schools, and fosters a culture that complements its focus on excellence – persistence, immersion in its clients’ businesses and industries, and a commitment to delivering the very best value to its clients.

Department Name Email Telephone
Accountant liability Steven Farina
Accountant liability Joseph Terry
Antitrust John Schmidtlein
Antitrust Jonathan Pitt
Bankruptcy litigation Ellen Oberwetter
Class action Edward Barnidge
Commercial litigation Dane Butswinkas
Commercial litigation Robert Van Kirk
Employment litigation and counseling Deneen Howell
Employment litigation and counseling Elaine Horn
Environmental Robert Shaughnessy
ERISA and plan benefits Margaret Keeley
ERISA and plan benefits Vidya Mirmira
False claims act/qui tam Enu Mainigi
False claims act/qui tam Jennifer Wicht
Financial services and banking Dane Butswinkas
Financial services and banking John Villa
First amendment and media Kevin Baine
First amendment and media Thomas Hentoff
Food, beverage and pet David Forkner
Government contracts Kevin Hodges
Health care Enu Mainigi
Health care Holly Conley
Insurance disputes William Ashworth
International Disputes John Buckley
International Disputes Jonathan Landy
International Disputes Peter Kahn
International Disputes Ana Reyes
Lawyer liability Robert Cary
Patent litigation Adam Perlman
Patent litigation Thomas Selby
Products liability Heidi Hubbard
Products liability Joseph Petrosinelli
Real estate William Burke
Real estate Kenneth Smurzynski
Securities enforcement and litigation Steven Farina
Securities enforcement and litigation Robert Van Kirk
Supreme court and appellate litigation Lisa Blatt
Trademark and copyright Thomas Hentoff
Trademark and copyright Robert Shaughnessy
Transactions and business counseling Deneen Howell
Transactions and business counseling Michael O'Connor
Unfair competition, trade secrets and restrictive covenants Nicholas Boyle
Unfair competition, trade secrets and restrictive covenants Daniel Shanahan
White-collar criminal and government investigations/FCPA Joseph Petrosinelli
White-collar criminal and government investigations/FCPA David Zinn
Government contracts Edward Reddington
Insurance disputes Kenneth Brown
Lawyer liability Margaret Keeley
Photo Name Position Profile
 Kevin Baine  photo Kevin Baine
 Paul Boehm  photo Paul Boehm
 Dane Butswinkas  photo Dane Butswinkas
 Robert Cary  photo Robert Cary
 Kevin Downey  photo Kevin Downey
 Steven Farina  photo Steven Farina
 Emmet Flood  photo Emmet Flood
 Ashley Hardin  photo Ashley Hardin
 Kevin Hodges  photo Kevin Hodges
 Heidi Hubbard  photo Heidi Hubbard
 Peter Kahn  photo Peter Kahn
 David Kendall  photo David Kendall
 Enu Mainigi  photo Enu Mainigi
 Douglas Marvin  photo Douglas Marvin
 Joseph Petrosinelli  photo Joseph Petrosinelli
 Joe Petrosinelli  photo Joe Petrosinelli
 Jonathan Pitt  photo Jonathan Pitt
 Edward Reddington  photo Edward Reddington
 Ana Reyes  photo Ana Reyes
 Tobin Romero  photo Tobin Romero
 Ryan Scarborough  photo Ryan Scarborough
 John Schmidtlein  photo John Schmidtlein
 Kannon Shanmugam  photo Kannon Shanmugam
 Brendan Sullivan  photo Brendan Sullivan
 Robert Van Kirk  photo Robert Van Kirk
 John Villa  photo John Villa
 Lance Wade  photo Lance Wade
 Neelum Wadhwani  photo Neelum Wadhwani
 Hackney Wiegmann  photo Hackney Wiegmann
 David Zinn  photo David Zinn
Number of Lawyers : 302
Managing Partner : R. Hackney Wiegmann