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Litigation Star

National Practice Area Star

Practice area:


Brendan Sullivan is a senior partner at the firm with 50 years of litigation experience in federal and state courts throughout the country. Mr. Sullivan is recognized nationally as one of the best known and most able trial lawyers in America, with an extraordinary record of successes. His principal areas of practice include all types of complex commercial litigation, including securities, antitrust, banking, RICO, and license disputes; the defense of major law firms in malpractice cases and the defense of accounting firms; products liability and mass tort; will contests; as well as high-profile criminal litigation. Typical clients include Fortune 500 companies involved in criminal investigations, litigation, internal investigations, or government regulatory matters.

In keeping with Williams & Connolly’s long tradition of representing individuals charged with white collar criminal violations, one area of Mr. Sullivan’s national practice continues to be the defense of persons caught up in the high-profile case. Such cases include the representation of Lt. Col. Oliver North and former HUD Secretary Henry Cisneros. Both involved massive legal battles against large prosecutorial teams working at the direction of specially appointed “Independent Counsels” with unlimited resources. In 2008-2009, Mr. Sullivan defended U.S. Senator Ted Stevens. The case was dismissed when Mr. Sullivan and his team uncovered government misconduct that corrupted the trial.  In December 2009, a federal district court in California dismissed the options backdating indictment of Mr. Sullivan’s client, Dr. Henry Nicholas, the co-founder of Broadcom. This case, too, was dismissed based upon misconduct of the government. Though all cases vary and none is predictive, other cases have involved major federal investigations and prosecutions of corporations and their senior executives in industries such as defense, healthcare, food production and distribution, agriculture, international trade, finance, securities, banking, and manufacturing. A major civil case includes the successful defense of Dick Grasso, CEO of the New York Stock Exchange, in litigation brought by the Attorney General of New York.

Mr. Sullivan received the 2017 “Champion of Justice Award” from the Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project, an organization dedicated to fighting injustice in D.C., Maryland, and Virginia by bringing comprehensive legal assistance to individuals facing wrongful convictions and incarceration.

Born and raised in Rhode Island, Mr. Sullivan received his A.B. from Georgetown University in 1964 and his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center. He is a fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers, and was awarded an honorary Doctor of Law by Georgetown University Law Center in 2011. Mr. Sullivan served on the Williams & Connolly Executive Committee for 25 years. Before joining the firm, Mr. Sullivan served as a Captain in the United States Army.


Updated Aug 2022