Elaine Horn represents clients in a broad range of complex civil and commercial litigation matters, with an emphasis in the areas of employment disputes, products liability, and commercial contracts.  Her trial experience includes the representation of both defendants and plaintiffs in federal and state court, bankruptcy court, and arbitrations.

In her products liability practice, Elaine represents major pharmaceutical companies in mass tort litigation, including serving on the national coordinating counsel team.  Elaine’s work in this area has included coordinating case management and discovery activities in dozens of parallel state and federal proceedings, drafting and arguing dispositive motions and motions regarding class certification, and drafting appellate briefs in state and federal court.  She has also served in various capacities on trial teams in state and federal court, assisted with the design and implementation of bellwether trial programs, and assisted with the design and implementation of an innovative large-scale national settlement program.  Most recently, the MDL Court appointed Elaine to the Defense Steering Committee in the federal Zantac MDL.

Elaine’s employment practice includes conducting internal investigations, providing counseling on corporate and non-profit employment policies, defending employers in class action litigation, and litigating individual civil and administrative cases.   Elaine serves as Co-Chair of Williams & Connolly’s Employment Litigation practice group.  Since 2020, Elaine has been recognized as a “Labor and Employment Star” by Benchmark Litigation.

Over the course of her career, Elaine has also litigated claims involving major hospitality and commercial real estate companies, and a wide variety of plaintiffs' litigation, including favorable multi-million dollar judgments for a defrauded plaintiff.  Elaine’s pro bono work has included the representation of asylum applicants, supervising representation in landlord-tenant matters and administrative proceedings involving disability benefits, and supervising attorneys on appellate criminal matters.

Elaine grew up in Fort Worth, Texas, and received double degrees from Texas A&M University in 1991, and her J.D., with honors, from the University of Chicago Law School, where she was on the Editorial Board of The University of Chicago Law Review.  Following law school, Elaine clerked in Los Angeles for Judge Stephen Reinhardt of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.  Following her clerkship, Elaine spent a year in New York working for the Office of the Appellate Defender, a non-profit organization that represents indigent criminal defendants on appeal.  Elaine joined Williams & Connolly in 1996.  She serves on the Firm’s Associate Evaluation Committee and its Discovery Attorney Committee.  She previously served on the Williams & Connolly Hiring Committee.  Elaine currently serves on the Board of Directors for the House of Ruth, a local non-profit organization that provides housing and other services to homeless and abused women and their children.

Representative Experience

Though all cases vary and none is predictive, Elaine’s experience includes:

  • Conducting internal investigation for large international nonprofit regarding sensitive allegations made against C-suite level executive
  • Representing global professional services corporation in arbitration of alleged sexual harassment and retaliation claims
  • Trial counsel in federal court jury trial (D. Md.) on financial fraud claims; jury verdict in clients’ favor on all claims
  • Trial counsel in bankruptcy adversary proceeding; successfully blocked discharged based on proof of debtors’ fraud
  • Trial counsel in 6-week international arbitration hearing; matter successfully resolved at conclusion of hearing
  • Advising global wealth management firm on navigating strategic issues surrounding current employee with pending allegations of discrimination and retaliation
  • Representing Pfizer in federal MDL and related state court proceedings alleging personal injury and class claims relating to OTC Zantac
  • Representing Merck in the Vioxx MDL litigation, including defense of related individual  personal injury actions
  • Defending multi-national tech company against multiple sexual harassment and other Title VII claims asserted based on alleged conduct by senior executives 
  • Providing advice and counsel to regional corporation in financial services industry regarding FMLA obligations and related litigation
  • Providing strategic advice and counsel regarding enforcement of complex contractual agreements for large national retailer
  • Trial counsel in arbitration hearing regarding commercial contractual disputes for health services company; client prevailed at hearing
  • Defended a major AmLaw law firm against FMLA and ADA claims, and their state counterparts
  • Representing senior executive in commercial real estate industry in lawsuit brought by former prospective employer on alleged breach of contract claims
  • Defending pharmaceutical company in state court in litigation involving diabetes medications
  • Representing international hospitality company in arbitration involving disgruntled franchisees
  • Defeating class certification in claims brought by store employees alleging racial discrimination and harassment in operations of large retail grocery chain
  • Trial team member in numerous bellwether trials in pharma/mass tort litigation 
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