Michael F. Williams, P.C. - Partner

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Michael F. Williams, P.C.

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Washington, D.C.
Phone: +1 202-879-5123
Fax: +1 202-879-5200
Overview News

Professional Profile

Mike Williams is an experienced trial lawyer and appellate advocate in the Washington, D.C. office of Kirkland & Ellis LLP. He has extensive experience leading the representation of complex, high-stakes litigation extending across many cases, jurisdictions, regulatory agencies and practice areas. Mike’s recent experience in this regard includes:

  • Lead national counsel and lead trial counsel to BASF in its nationwide Engelhard Talc Litigation, involving hundreds of individual cases across 17 jurisdictions. See, e.g., Unterleitner v. BASF Catalysts, No. 2016-cv-00181 (Alameda Cty. Calif. Super. Ct.); Uribes v. BASF Catalysts, No. 112-cv-220636 (Santa Clara Cty. Calif. Super. Ct.); Depree v. BASF Catalysts, No. RG12659674 (Alameda Cty. Calif. Super. Ct.).

  • Lead counsel and lead hearing counsel to the Government of Puerto Rico in its financial-crisis litigation. See, e.g. Brigade Leverage Capital Structures Fund, Ltd., et al., v. García-Padilla, et al., No. 16-cv-1610-FAB (D.P.R.); Peaje Investments LLC v. García-Padilla, et al., No. 16-cv-2365-FAB (D.P.R.); Lex Claims LLC, et al., v. García-Padilla, et al., No. 16-cv-2374-FAB (D.P.R.); Jacana Holdings I LLC, et al., v. Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, et al., No. 16-cv-4702 (S.D.N.Y.).

  • Lead counsel and lead hearing counsel to death-row petitioner Ivan Teleguz in his actual-innocence hearings, federal habeas corpus appeals and other proceedings relating to Teleguz’s capital sentence. See, e.g., Teleguz v. Pearson, No. 10-cv-00254-JPJ (W.D. Va.); Teleguz v. Zook, No. 11-9 (4th Cir.); Teleguz v. Zook, No. 15-1451 (S.Ct.); Commonwealth of Virginia v. Teleguz, No. CR30946 (Rockingham Cty. Va. Cir. Ct.).

Since joining Kirkland after a clerkship on the Supreme Court of the United States, Mike has handled cases on a broad array of matters, including administrative law, antitrust, banking, constitutional law, copyrights, civil rights, corporate governance, environmental law, finance, media regulation, mergers and acquisitions, products liability, securities regulation and telecommunications law. Mike also has significant experience handling international arbitrations and government investigations. In September 2015, The National Law Journal recognized Mike as one of its 40 “Rising Stars” among young Washington lawyers.

In addition to his trial work, Mike maintains an active appellate practice. He regularly serves as counsel of record to petitioners seeking certiorari before the Supreme Court of the United States and participates regularly in appeals before federal and state courts. Mike’s appellate work includes a specific focus on legal problems concerning the territories of the United States and their relations with the federal government, including serving as counsel of record to the American Samoa Government and the Government of Guam in federal appellate proceedings.

Mike is a leader in providing pro bono representation to those in need. His recent pro bono work includes serving as lead counsel in federal habeas corpus proceedings on behalf of death-row prisoners in Florida and Virginia, lead counsel in litigation challenging the over-regulation of traditional African hair braiders in New Jersey, and numerous other cases involving civil rights, criminal sentencing and immigration. Mike is one of the Pro Bono Coordinators in Kirkland’s Washington office and serves on the Firmwide Pro Bono Management Committee. Mike also serves on the 12-person Standing Committee on Access to Pro Bono Legal Services for the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

Mike is also strongly committed to legal education. He is an adjunct professor of trial advocacy at Georgetown University Law Center. He is an instructor for the D.C. Bar’s Continuing Legal Education courses in Taking and Defending Depositions, Advanced Strategies in Taking and Defending Depositions, and Opening Statements and Closing Arguments. With Judge John Facciola and Debra Katz, he has developed and teaches a DC Bar Continuing Legal Education course on Addressing Annoying and Sometimes Abusive Discovery Tactics. Mike regularly provides lectures and presentations to students and community organizations about legal matters.

Before joining Kirkland, Mike served as a law clerk to Justice Anthony M. Kennedy on the Supreme Court of the United States (2002-2003) and Chief Judge Douglas H. Ginsburg on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (2001-2002). 

Mike received his Juris Doctor, summa cum laude and first in class, from Georgetown University Law Center, where he was a John M. Olin Fellow in Law & Economics and Senior Book Review & Special Projects Editor of The Georgetown Law Journal. He received his Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service from the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. At the School of Foreign Service, Michael was a Peter F. Krogh Scholar, received an Advanced Certificate in Asian Studies, and was inducted into Phi Theta Alpha, the National Honors Society in History, Pi Sigma Alpha, the National Political Science Honors Society, and Omicron Delta Epsilon, the International Honors Society in Economics.

While attending Georgetown, Mike served on the staff of former Congressman Jack Kemp at Empower America and also worked as Guest Relations Manager at the Watergate Hotel. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Georgetown Scholarship Program and the Board of the Directors of the Hoya Hoops Club. In 2010, Mike became the youngest inductee to the Asbury Park High School Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame in Asbury Park, New Jersey.

Representative Matters

Antitrust and Competition Law

  • Dahl, et. al. v. Bain Capital Partners, et al., No. 07-12388-EFH (D. Mass.). Counsel to Bain Capital in the defense of claims alleging collusion, bid-rigging, and other violations of antitrust law arising from multi-billion-dollar leveraged buyout transactions by leading private equity firms.

  • Bailey, et. al. v. BASF Metals Ltd., et al., No. 15-cv-01712 (S.D.N.Y.). Counsel to a leading multi-national corporation in defense of claims alleging collusion in the market for precious metals platinum and palladium.

Appellate Litigation

  • Tuaua v. United States, No. 13-5272 (D.C. Cir.). Lead counsel and counsel of record to the American Samoa Government and the Congresswoman from American Samoa in landmark litigation through the Supreme Court concerning the citizenship status of the people of American Samoa.

  • Territory of Guam v. Paeste, No. 15-990 (S.Ct.). Counsel of record in the Supreme Court to the Government of Guam in seeking a stay and writ of certiorari from a Ninth Circuit injunction entered under § 1983 requiring Guam to pay income-tax refunds within six months of becoming due.

  • Daman v. Brooks, No. 11-898 (S.Ct.). Counsel of record in the Supreme Court to civil-rights plaintiff Malaika Brooks in excessive-force litigation arising from Seattle police using a taser against her when she was seven months pregnant over a contested speeding citation. The petition was recognized as “Brief of the Week” by The National Law Journal on May 15, 2012.

Commercial Litigation

  • Ineos Technologies v. BASF Corp., No. 16-CV-01145 (S.D. Tex.). Lead trial counsel to BASF Corporation in successfully defeating an attempt to enjoin BASF’s sale of its polyphenols business to W.R. Grace.

  • Breed Technologies v. Honeywell, No. 99-2478 (Polk Cty. Fla. Cir. Ct.). Trial counsel for Honeywell in a civil fraud case in Polk County, Florida. After a seven week jury trial seeking hundreds of millions of dollars in damages, the jury returned a complete defense verdict. This case was named to The National Law Journal’s 2006 “Defense Hot List” and was featured in the article “Big Suits” in the June 2006 edition of The American Lawyer.

  • Deutsche Lufthansa AG v. Boeing, No. 06-CV-7667-LBS (S.D.N.Y.). Counsel for Boeing in successfully defeating efforts by Lufthansa to enjoin Boeing’s termination of Lufthansa’s in-flight Internet service and dismissal of claims against Boeing.

  • BizProLink v. AOL-Time Warner, Inc., No. 04-206-A (E.D. Va.). Counsel for AOL and Time Warner in securing dismissal for discovery sanctions against fraud and breach of contract claims asserted by an online content provider.

Copyright Law

  • Fairey v. Associated Press, 09-1123-AKH (S.D.N.Y.). Counsel to the Associated Press in defense of declaratory judgment claims by artist Shepherd Fairey concerning unlicensed use of a photograph to create the Obama “Hope” Poster.

Environmental Law

  • Allen v. Boeing, No. C14-596-RSM (W.D. Wash.). Lead counsel for Boeing in defense of claims of property damage arising from alleged groundwater contamination, including federal appeals concerning removal jurisdiction.

  • Brottem v. Crescent Resources, No. 05-CA-1637-11-K (Seminole Cty. Fla. Cir. Ct.). Counsel for Siemens Technology in consolidated cases raising claims of personal injury arising from alleged groundwater contamination.

Government Investigations

  • CompuCredit Corporation. Counsel to credit-card issuer CompuCredit in connection with investigations by the Federal Trade Commission, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and state attorneys general concerning financial products developed by CompuCredit, along with related civil litigation.

  • Verizon E911 Investigations. Counsel to Verizon in connection with investigations and related litigation concerning Verizon’s compliance with E911 fee collection obligations, along with related civil litigation.

  • Aon Corp. Investigations. Counsel to Aon in connection with investigations by the New York Attorney General, the United States Department of Justice, and the Securities and Exchange Commission into alleged Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations in the insurance brokerage industry.

Labor & Employment Law

  • Allen v. Honeywell Retirement Plan, et al., No. 04-424-ROS (D. Ariz.). Counsel to Honeywell in complex ERISA action alleging unlawful cutbacks and reductions of benefits in claims valued over $390 million.

Memberships & Affiliations

Criminal Justice Act Panel Committee, United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit

Judicial Clerkship Advisory Board, Georgetown University Law Center

Section on Litigation, American Bar Association

The Federalist Society

Other Distinctions

Recognized in The Legal 500 U.S. for Product Liability, Mass Tort and Class Action: Toxic Tort - Defense, 2015, 2018


Adjunct Professor of Trial Advocacy, Georgetown University

First-Year Practical Skills Instructor, Georgetown University

Panelist, Symposium of Civil Justice Issues, George Mason University

Instructor, D.C. Bar Pre-Trial Skills Series: Taking & Defending Depositions

Instructor, D.C. Bar CLE: Advanced Deposition Strategies

Instructor, D.C. Bar CLE: Dealing with Abusive Discovery Tactics

Instructor, D.C. Bar Trial Skills Series: Opening Statements & Closing Arguments


New Jersey Supreme Court

United States District Court for New Jersey

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit

United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit

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