Mara Murphy’s practice has been shaped by the combination of private law firm and in-house legal department experience.  Her practice covers a broad range of substantive areas, including consumer class actions, commercial disputes, products liability, professional liability defense, and securities laws.  Mara is a tireless advocate for her clients.  She has represented Fortune 100 companies, global food and beverage manufacturers, national accounting firms, media companies, investment banks and individuals in a broad range of cases in federal and state courts, and in trial and arbitration proceedings.  Having been a law firm client herself, she has a keen understanding of the issues that drive the most successful law firm/client relationships.

Mara serves as Co-Chair of the firm's Food, Beverage & Pet practice.  She has substantial experience representing manufacturers of food, beverage, and pet products and services in a diverse range of commercial matters.  Recent matters have involved allegations of consumer fraud, false advertising, breach of contract, and products liability.  She also has extensive experience defending professional responsibility claims on behalf of national accounting and law firms.

In addition, Mara has represented financial services, Internet and other clients in SEC enforcement matters.  Her criminal defense work has included representation of clients in government investigations involving allegations of securities fraud, tax fraud and criminal antitrust violations, as well as a variety of pro bono matters.

A native Washingtonian, Mara received her B.A. from Colorado College in 1991.  She received her J.D. from the University of Virginia, where she served on the editorial board and the managing board of the Virginia Law Review.  Before joining the firm in 1997, Mara clerked for Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia and served as a judicial extern to Judge Malcolm Marsh of the United States District Court for the District of Oregon.  She was previously Senior Counsel for America Online, and returned to Williams & Connolly in 2007.  She is a member of the firm’s Women’s Initiative.

Representative Experience

  • Represented global food, confectionery and pet products companies in numerous commercial, false advertising class action, and products liability matters throughout the country
  • Represented veterinary services company operating vet hospitals nationwide in various commercial, consumer fraud, and intellectual property actions
  • Defended audit and accounting firm in several litigation and regulatory matters, including enforcement action brought by the CFTC and investigations brought by the PCAOB and various state boards of accountancy
  • Represented global investment bank in DOJ and SEC fraud and bid-rigging investigations
  • Defended media and internet company in DOJ and SEC accounting fraud investigations



Government Service

Law Clerk, Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson, United States District Court for the District of Columbia, 1996-1997

Judicial Extern, Judge Malcolm Marsh, United States District Court for the District of Oregon, 1994

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