Senior Counsel

Douglas R. Marvin

Douglas Marvin Photo

Douglas Marvin represents major companies in mass tort litigation, and as national coordinating counsel, has led successful defense efforts in some of the largest pharmaceutical proceedings in the country.  He also represents clients in complex litigation and arbitrations.  His legal career began three decades ago at the Department of Justice, the U.S. Senate and Attorney General's office.

As Multidistrict Litigation Lead Counsel in the Vioxx Litigation — which involved more than 60,000 claims — Mr. Marvin helped devise litigation strategy and led negotiations that resulted in a settlement that has been praised as a model for mass tort litigation.  

Mr. Marvin has also represented national and multi-national companies, major professional firms, and medium-sized and smaller corporations in commercial litigation, including contract, tort, trademark, patent infringement, employment, and general commercial cases.  He has handled major litigation across the United States, in the United Kingdom and countries in Europe, the Caribbean, and the Middle East.  Mr. Marvin has counseled clients and represented parties in international arbitrations sitting in London, Amsterdam, the United Arab Emirates, and elsewhere.

Mr. Marvin grew up in the northeastern Pennsylvania town of Canadensis, and received his A.B., cum laude, from Lafayette College in 1969.  He received his J.D. from the University of Virginia, where he was a member of the Virginia Law Review, receiving the 1972 Best Publication Award (cited in a U.S. Supreme Court Opinion), and the Order of the Coif.  Mr. Marvin was hired by then assistant Attorney General William Rehnquist for the Department of Justice's Office of Legal Counsel, where he was an attorney-advisor for two years before being detailed to the Senate Judiciary Committee as a minority counsel in connection with various issues arising out of Watergate and an expected impeachment trial of President Richard Nixon.  After Edward Levi was confirmed as U.S. Attorney General in 1975, Mr. Marvin returned to the Justice Department as Counselor to the Attorney General.

Mr. Marvin joined Williams & Connolly in 1977.  He has practiced law at Williams & Connolly since then, except for two periods, once in 1981 when he left to assist in the transition in the Attorney General's office from the Carter to the Reagan administration; and from 1997 to 2001, when he served as general counsel to a major international holding company (and client of the firm), as well as a director of several of the companies within the Group.

Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business has consistently recognized Mr. Marvin as one of the leading products liability lawyers in the United States.  He has been described by commentators as a "dean of the practice," and noted “as an exceptional strategist, especially in multidistrict litigation”...”a very smart attorney who anticipates several steps ahead to give good, clear advice.”  He is listed in The Legal 500 as one of seven leading lawyers in Product Liability Defense (Pharmaceuticals) (clients were quoted as considering him "as fine a national counsel as you will find" and a "brilliant strategist"), ranked by Vault in its top tiers, and selected for the 2014 to 2017 editions of Washington D.C. Super LawyersLMG Life Sciences has recognized Mr. Marvin on its list of "Life Science Stars" as one of the top product liability practitioners in the country.  BTI, which selects the top 300 lawyers in the country for recognition through unprompted, unequivocal recommendations from corporate counsel, has also recognized Mr. Marvin for excellence. 

Mr. Marvin is a member of the American Law Institute, the Board of Trustees at Lafayette College and former Chair of the Lafayette Leadership Council for Lafayette College.



Inducted into "Hall of Fame" for "Product Liability, Mass Torts and Class Action: Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices - Defense", Legal 500, 2017, 2020-2021

"Senior Statespeople Product Liability & Mass Torts (Nationwide)," Chambers USA, 2023

“Products Liability & Mass Torts (Nationwide),” Chambers USA, 2007-2022

“Leading Lawyer” in the category of Product Liability and Mass Tort Defense: Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices, Legal 500, 2015-2019

“Products Liability: Pharmaceutical (Nationwide),” Chambers USA, 2010-2018

“Local Litigation Star,” Benchmark Litigation, 2016-2018

“Washington’s Top Lawyers,” in the category of Civil Defense, Washingtonian magazine, 2017-2018

“Standout Practitioner,” Who’s Who Legal Life Sciences 2018: Product Liability, 2018

“Life Science Star” in the category of Non-IP Litigation & Enforcement, LMG Life Sciences, 2012-2017

BTI Client Service All-Stars, 2011, 2013, and 2015


Other Government Service

Counselor to the Attorney General, Office of the Attorney General, United States Department of Justice, 1975-1977

Attorney General's Office, 1981

Counsel, Senate Judiciary Committee, United States Senate, 1974-1975

Attorney-Advisor, Office of Legal Counsel, United States Department of Justice, 1972-1973

United States Army Reserve, 1969-1977

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