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725 Twelfth Street, NW
Washington, DC 20005

202 434 5117

Local Litigation Star

National Practice Area Star


Practice area:

Commercial


John K. Villa is a partner at Williams & Connolly who served on the firm’s Executive Committee from 2002 through 2017. John is Co-Chair of the firm’s Financial Services and Banking Practice Group. He focuses on corporate, securities and financial services-related litigation (both civil and criminal) and legal malpractice defense. He was a trial attorney in the Department of Justice. 


The Financial Times writes, “John Villa, of Williams & Connolly in Washington, has a reputation for being the lawyer that law firms turn to when in a spot of bother.” The American Lawyer has called him “perhaps the premier [legal] malpractice defense lawyer in the nation.” The Washington Post reports “John Villa of . . . Williams & Connolly [is] the lawyer and firm that lawyers and law firms turn to when they’re in trouble,” and describes him as “a litigator who has gained national prominence with a somewhat rare specialty: defending top-flight law firms in trouble.” John was named to The National Law Journal’s list of “100 Most Influential Lawyers in America” as “the first lawyer that other attorneys and law firms turn to when caught up in the S&L and banking scandals.” In its list of “6 Firms to Have on Speed Dial if Malpractice Trouble Hits,” Law360 puts Williams & Connolly and John Villa first.


The PLC Global Counsel’s Handbook calls him “an exceptional banking, financial and corporate governance litigator.” In 2012-19, Chambers identified him in Tier 1 nationally for Financial Services Regulation: Banking (Enforcement and Investigations), among the leading lawyers nationally in Securities Litigation (2012-17) and Tier 1 in the District of Columbia for General Commercial Litigation and Securities Litigation (2012-18). Chambers says “John Villa is the ‘first name to come to mind for financial services litigation matters.”


John serves as an adjunct professor at Georgetown University Law School and at Columbia University Law School, has authored three treatises and co-authored a casebook on professional responsibility. He has been named by the American Lawyer as “Litigator in the Spotlight” and “Litigator of the Week” for a series of victories on behalf of major law firms. He has argued before every federal court of appeals and the highest courts of three states and appeared in the federal or state courts of more than twenty states.


Last updated Oct 2019