Charles Davant represents clients in high-stakes litigation.  He has represented clients in disputes over contracts, trade secrets, intellectual property licenses, real estate, civil rights, labor law, financial services, and numerous other areas in state and federal courts, and in JAMS, AAA, and ICC arbitrations. Charles has particular experience defending law firms and accounting firms accused of malpractice or other wrongdoing.  He has represented many of the largest law firms and accounting firms, and he has been named by Super Lawyers to the Washington, D.C. “Rising Stars” list for Professional Liability Defense (2013-2016).

Born and raised in Blowing Rock, North Carolina, Charles graduated with high honors from Dartmouth College.  Charles received his J.D. from Duke University School of Law, where he graduated first in his class, summa cum laude, and was a member of the Order of the Coif.  He was Executive Editor, Duke Law Journal.  Charles clerked for Judge Ronald M. Gould of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit before joining Williams & Connolly LLP in 2003.  In 2017, he was appointed by the D.C. Court of Appeals to chair its Committee on the Unauthorized Practice of Law, on which he has served since 2011.  In 2015, he was appointed to a D.C. Board of Professional Responsibility Hearing Committee.  He is a member of the firm's Ethics Committee and of the Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers.

Charles lives on Capitol Hill with his wife and their two children.  An avid runner, he has completed nine marathons.

Representative Experience

  • Defended through a two-month federal trial in New York City a financial services company accused of fraud, negligent misrepresentation, and breach of contract, and involving more than $1 billion in alleged damages
  • Defended through jury trial in St. Louis a law firm accused of negligently preparing a contract provision for a corporate transaction
  • Defended through jury trial in Chicago an accounting firm accused of negligently failing to discover fraud in a financial statement audit
  • As first chair, represented through trial in D.C. Superior Court a tenant in a lease dispute
  • As second chair, represented through a five-day International Chamber of Commerce arbitration hearing a global pharmaceutical company
  • As first chair, conducted the formal evidentiary hearing in the D.C. Court of Appeals into potential unauthorized practice by a disbarred lawyer
  • Presented oral argument on behalf of lawyers and law firms in hearings before the highest courts in Kansas and the District of Columbia
  • Defended a law firm accused of negligent due diligence relating to acquisition of a company in China
  • Defended a law firm accused of negligence in its defense and settlement of an antitrust class action
  • Defended a law firm accused of overbilling
  • Defended law firms and accounting firms against claims by bankruptcy trustees and creditors committees
  • Counseled law firms on matters involving professional liability and the Rules of Professional Conduct
  • Defended a lawyer and law firm in an Order to Show Cause proceeding regarding alleged lawyer misconduct.
  • Defended lawyers accused of violating the Rules of Professional Conduct in an investigation by Disciplinary Counsel
  • Represented an accounting firm in an investigation by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board
  • Defended through an arbitration proceeding an accounting firm accused of unlawful discrimination against a former partner
  • Defended a public company against a customer’s allegations that a product was defective and breached warranties
  • Represented a clinical research organization in an action for theft of trade secrets against a major pharmaceutical company
  • Represented a real estate developer and builder in litigation concerning alleged breaches of contract

Education

Recognitions

Selected to Washington, D.C. “Rising Stars” list for Professional Liability Defense, Super Lawyers, 2013-2016

Admissions

Government Service

Law Clerk, Judge Ronald M. Gould, United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, 2002-2003

Chair, District of Columbia Court of Appeals Committee on the Unauthorized Practice of Law, 2017-present

Member, District of Columbia Court of Appeals Committee on the Unauthorized Practice of Law, 2011-2017

Member, D.C. Board of Professional Responsibility Hearing Committee, 2015-present

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