William M. Connolly is the Executive Partner responsible for the firm's litigation practices and serves as the Executive Management Team’s liaison with the firm’s financial function and CFO.
Bill defends companies in complex litigation in both state and federal courts across the country, with an emphasis on consumer class actions, claims against professional service firms, and commercial litigation involving issues of business valuation or complex economic damages. Bill represents clients in the telecommunications, energy, pharmaceutical and professional services industries. As part of his practice, Bill often works with other attorneys in co-counsel or joint-defense group roles.
At Drinker Biddle, Bill has served as chair of the Audit Committee, as a member of the National Hiring Committee and as partner in charge of evaluating proposed alternative fee arrangements for litigation matters. He worked as an auditor for the public accounting firm Deloitte & Touche before entering William and Mary Law School, where he graduated first in his class. Bill joined the firm in 1996 following a two-year judicial clerkship with the Honorable Joseph J. Longobardi, Chief Judge, United States District Court for the District of Delaware.
Examples of representations include:
- Bill defended a national insurance company in multi-jurisdictional litigation brought arising out of a $250 million Ponzi scheme centered in Los Angeles California. Bill represented his client in a series of putative class actions and individual actions brought by more than 150 plaintiffs in state and federal courts in four states. Bill worked with his client to successfully negotiate potentially significant litigation exposure through a strategy of early dispositive motion victories, targeted and efficient discovery, multiple mediations to implement a common settlement matric across all claims, and targeted summary judgment and trial strategies for the remaining claims.
- Bill represented a national professional services fund in a series of malpractice actions filed by a bankruptcy trustee and associate claimants following the collapse of a financial services firm, achieving dismissal of all claim.
- Bill pursued claims in an international arbitration on behalf of a pharmaceutical industry client against a commercial partner for breach of a commercialization agreement. Bill obtained $10 million damages award, representing the full damages sought by his client.
- Bill leveraged the Supreme Court’s 2014 decisions in Daimler AG and Walden v Fiore to achieve dismissals for lack of personal jurisdiction on behalf of two different clients in two different state courts.
- Bill has extensive experience with business valuation issues, and represents companies in a wide variety of industries in disputes involving complex damages issues such as business valuation and lost profits damages claims.
- Bill has represented Fortune 500 companies in more than 50 class actions in the state and federal courts, achieving successful results through dispositive motions, challenges to class certification, and effective and efficient settlement strategies where warranted.
- Bill has represented officers, corporations and shareholders in a wide range of corporate governance disputes, with a particular emphasis on matters involving valuation of business enterprises.
- New Jersey
- William & Mary Law School, J.D., 1994, William and Mary Law Review
- University of Notre Dame, B.B.A., accounting and philosophy, 1989, cum laude
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit
- U.S. District Court, Western District of Michigan
- U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey
- U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania
- Notre Dame Club of Philadelphia
- Philadelphia Bar Association