Will Ashworth’s practice focuses on complex civil litigation and investigations. He represents clients in a broad range of complex civil matters, including financial services litigation, insurance disputes, false claims actions, contract and employment matters, civil RICO actions, securities and derivative litigation, professional liability matters against accounting firms and law firms, and many other types of commercial disputes. He has handled cases in state and federal courts and arbitration panels around the country, including civil and criminal appeals. Will also has experience representing clients from Europe, Latin America and the Middle East in a wide range of matters. Will is the Co-Chair of the firm’s Insurance Disputes practice group.
Will was born in Roanoke, Virginia and grew up in Dallas, Texas. He graduated from Wake Forest University, summa cum laude, in 1998, and the University of Texas School of Law, with honors, in 2002, where he served as a member of the Texas Law Review. Will joined Williams & Connolly in 2002 and currently serves on the firm's Associates Committee.
Though all cases vary and none is predictive, Will’s experience includes:
- Counsel for a Fortune 500 corporation in ongoing qui tam false claims litigation and related investigations in various state and federal courts across the country (several of which were resolved with favorable settlements for the client).
- Counsel for an insurance company in a nationwide putative class action involving allegations of claims underpayment;
- Counsel for an international financial services company in RMBS trustee litigation in various state and federal courts;
- Counsel in an insurance-linked dispute involving a contract related to the sale of a portfolio of life insurance policies;
- Counsel for an individual in an election law investigation;
- Counsel for an international financial institution in a matter related to OFAC compliance;
- Counsel for a life settlement provider in a civil RICO, fraud, and contract action in the Southern District of New York that proceeded from filing of the Complaint to trial inside of a year. The case ultimately settled after a three-month bench trial.
- Counsel in an employment dispute between the co-founder of a venture capital firm and a former business partner;
- Counsel for a Fortune 500 corporation in qui tam false claims litigation in California federal and state courts (and other jurisdictions) alleging violations of a “most favored customer” provision of certain group purchasing contracts. After years of litigation, the primary actions against the client were resolved by complex settlements in state Court.
- Counsel for a Big Four accounting firm in securities litigation and an arbitration related to an accounting fraud committed by the audit client and its executives. The arbitration resulted in a complete defense judgment for the client that was upheld on appeal.
- Counsel for a Mexican national, a third-party defendant in litigation in the Southern District of California asserting civil RICO claims and claims under California’s Unfair Competition Law. All of the claims against the client were dismissed on motions to dismiss.
- Counsel for a Big Four accounting firm in litigation related to the collapse of an Irish bank in the Southern District of New York. The matter was dismissed and an appeal to the Second Circuit Court of appeals was later dropped by the plaintiffs.
- Counsel for a Big Four accounting firm in federal court in Nevada in securities and derivative litigation related to the collapse of an SEC-listed company based in China. The federal court dismissed the securities claims on a motion to dismiss, and the remaining claims against the client were ultimately resolved in a global settlement of claims against multiple Defendants.
- Counsel for a multinational company in civil RICO litigation brought by Latin American government entities in New York. After years of litigation, the plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed the case without prejudice and did not attempt to reinstate it.
- Counsel for a law firm and several of its former partners in a securities investigation and related litigation. After a comprehensive investigation, the SEC declined to take any action against the law firm or any of its former partners.
- Counsel for a former director of Computer Associates, Inc. in derivative litigation related to alleged fraud at that company. All of the claims against the client were dismissed and the dismissal upheld after a Second Circuit appeal.
- Counsel for an individual in a white-collar criminal matter in Minneapolis, as well as related civil and tax enforcement investigations and litigation. All matters were resolved favorably for the client.
- Counsel for a Brazilian firm in a plaintiff-side arbitration against a foreign exchange trading firm. The arbitration resulted in a victory for the client.
- Counsel for a major law firm in securities and derivative litigation and investigations related to the collapse of Enron Corporation. All claims against the firm were dismissed or otherwise successfully resolved, and none of the agencies involved pursued charges against individual firm attorneys.
“500 Leading Litigators in America,” Lawdragon, 2023