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Williams & Connolly LLP

Washington, DC

  • 725 Twelfth Street, NW
  • Washington, DC
  • District of Columbia
  • USA
  • 20005

Intellectual Property - District of Columbia

THE FIRM Williams & Connolly enters the rankings this year based on its recognized strengths in IP and, in particular, patent litigation, adding luster to its reputation for leading work in the field of pharmaceutical and medical products regulatory law. Although patent litigation relating to technologies in this field is a forte for the team, it also has considerable resources at its disposal for work regarding consumer electronics and telecommunications.

KEY INDIVIDUALS Bruce Genderson is singled out for his "very impressive" patent litigation practice. He leads the firm's efforts in this domain, and has represented companies operating in the principal areas of patent litigation, namely consumer electronics, pharmaceuticals and medical devices. 

Litigation - District of Columbia

THE FIRM This remarkable litigation powerhouse handles an impressive range of cases, offering expertise in everything from breach of contract actions to the defense of major consumer class actions. The team represents both individuals and institutions in the most complex of cases, as illustrated by its role in the $1 billion litigation between the joint liquidators of Carlyle Capital and several entities affiliated with The Carlyle Group. Other notable clients include Bank of America, Bayer and UBS.

Sources say: "They possess a combination of intellect, work ethic and client focus." 

KEY INDIVIDUALS Brendan Sullivan is a preeminently experienced practitioner who has litigated in federal and state courts throughout the country. He divides his respected practice between complex commercial litigation and white-collar criminal defense, and represents numerous Fortune 500 companies.  

John Villa is highly respected as a leading individual in the litigation arena. He concentrates his practice on corporate, securities and financial litigation, with particular expertise in legal malpractice defense.

The "outstanding" David Kendall can draw on his tremendous amount of experience as a litigator in multiple civil and criminal cases at the trial and appellate level. He is highly regarded by commentators for his widespread expertise and remains a key member of the team.

William McDaniels is an enormous asset to the team as a senior litigator who specializes in civil litigation and white-collar criminal defense work. He offers extensive experience across a broad spectrum of sectors, and is a noted trial lawyer.  

Kevin Downey impresses sources with his experience in commercial and securities litigation, with one peer commenting: "He has a great reputation and deservedly so - he has all the qualities of a very good litigator and counselor." As well as representing government officials, CEOs and corporate executives, Downey also works on behalf of law firms and large corporations.

Dane Butswinkas garners a significant amount of praise for his commercial litigation and arbitration practice. Commentators enthuse: "He has great judgment and a very good manner with juries and clients."

John Vardaman continues to be a force to be reckoned with in complex civil and criminal litigation matters. Sources characterize him as being "outstanding in every respect," with the ability to give "superb judgment and advice." 

David Zinn proves to be a very popular choice for white-collar criminal defense cases and complex civil litigation. Market sources commend his "great approach and good bedside manner," and identify him as a "real rising star" in the white-collar space.

The "extraordinary" Robert Cary has shifted his practice focus in recent years to criminal defense litigation, while maintaining his noted ability to handle civil matters. His recent work includes advising clients on government investigations and issues arising from securities fraud. 

Media & Entertainment - District of Columbia

THE FIRM This firm is renowned in the market for its excellent litigation capabilities and maintains a superb track record on First Amendment and media disputes. Matters covered range from defamation and invasion of privacy to reporters' privilege and copyright.

KEY INDIVIDUALS Kevin Baine receives much praise for his effectiveness in court and is regarded by interviewees as a "person you turn to when there is a lot on the line." He is predominantly plaintiff-focused, representing major organizations in libel and First Amendment cases.

Robert Barnett is noted for his work with clients throughout the publishing world, including a huge assortment of authors from the worlds of fiction and business writing, and is routinely called upon for his strengths in contract and contentious matters.

The superb Thomas Hentoff "knows what he's talking about," comment impressed sources. His practice is primarily focused on First Amendment, media and IP disputes.

David Kendall has extensive litigation experience across a variety of practice areas, but within the media sphere he is particularly recognized for his representation of high-profile clients in First Amendment and copyright trials.

Appellate Law - Nationwide

THE FIRM Williams & Connolly is highly regarded for its general litigation practice, and in recent years its appellate practice has been sharing more and more of the spotlight. The team has extensive experience in appearing before a wide range of appellate courts, and houses an impressive group of Supreme Court advocates.

Sources say: "A prominent litigation shop and now really making an entry in the appellate space." 

KEY INDIVIDUALS Department head Kannon Shanmugam is hailed as an "extraordinary advocate" who possesses "excellent oral skills and also writes beautifully." Although Kannon takes on a varied caseload, he has particular expertise in tackling criminal defense matters and also has notable experience in disputes involving pharmaceutical patents.

Products Liability - Nationwide

THE FIRM This firm is recognized for its strength in both settling and trying cases, with commentators particularly noting its strategic capabilities. It is also sought out for its wealth of experience in handling pharmaceutical matters. It acts as co-lead national counsel for Pfizer on the smoking cessation aid Chantix. In a notable development in this litigation, the multidistrict litigation court recently upheld the adequacy of the Chantix label. Other key clients of the firm include Bayer, Genentech and GE.

Commercial Awareness "The breadth and variety of their experience has enabled them to cultivate a very impressive array of substantive expertise."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Douglas Marvin is lauded as being "great strategically, and someone who has the ability to coordinate well during mass litigation." He leads the firm's defense of Bayer in the YAZ/Yasmin marketing and sales practices and product liability litigation.

Heidi Hubbard draws praise as a "terrific trial lawyer." Particularly experienced in pharmaceuticals work, she is one of the lead lawyers in the firm's representation of Pfizer in the Chantix litigation.

Lane Heard is a "great, dynamic strategist who is great at oral argument." Together with Heidi Hubbard, he led the firm's defense of Wyeth in federal multidistrict and state court litigation regarding the hormone therapy medicines Prempro and Premarin.

Stephen Raber garners praise for his work as a "very experienced courtroom trial lawyer." He has been involved in several high-profile matters of late, including representing clients such as Genentech.

Securities - Nationwide

THE FIRM Williams & Connolly has a reputable securities practice with strength in representing senior executives, directors and officers in civil litigation and SEC regulatory actions. The team also represents accounting firms, legal practices and investment companies. Notable clients in this area include former Fannie Mae CEO Franklin Raines, The Carlyle Group and Greenberg Traurig.

Sources say: "They are very professional. Strategically they know exactly what they are doing and have done it before."

KEY INDIVIDUALS John Villa is a Washington, DC stalwart with considerable experience defending clients in banking, securities and legal malpractice litigation and regulatory proceedings. Sources describe him as “a leading light” of the securities Bar. 

Kevin Downey has expertise in both criminal and civil proceedings in the securities arena. He is "a zealous advocate who is extremely intense in court but his presentation is professorial and incredibly persuasive," note sources.