Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP, a Delaware limited liability partnership | This website contains attorney advertising.

William M. Connolly


This attorney has been selected for the recognitions mentioned herein, which have been conferred by the corresponding publications and/or organizations noted. An overview of the award selection methodologies for these recognitions can be found here. Links to certain specific methodologies are embedded in individual entries. Results may vary depending on your particular facts and legal circumstances. No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey.


An accomplished litigator, William Connolly represents companies and professional services firms in their complex commercial litigation and consumer class actions matters. Bill has achieved successful results for Fortune 500 companies in multiple jurisdictions across the country, including defense of clients facing multijurisdictional attacks involving a combination of class actions, mass actions, individual actions and/or arbitrations.

Clients in the telecommunications, energy, professional services and pharmaceutical industries value Bill’s ability to understand their businesses, passionately convey that understanding to others, strategically manage exposure and reputational issues, effectively resolve matters where possible, and try cases when needed.

Bill serves on Faegre Drinker’s board, a leadership collective dedicated to setting the firm’s policies and strategy.

Class Action Litigation

Bill advocates for clients’ interests through strategic use of dispositive motions, challenges to class certification and settlement negotiations. He has advised on matters involving classes of hundreds of plaintiffs. An effective collaborator, Bill often works with other attorneys in co-counsel or joint-defense group roles.

Commercial Litigation

With a background in public accounting, Bill defends complex claims involving business valuation and complex economic damages. He represents officers, corporations and shareholders in corporate governance disputes. When litigation crosses borders, Bill helps clients resolve issues through international arbitration, including both defending against and securing multimillion-dollar damages awards.

Prior Experience

Bill has served on the firm's executive leadership team as executive partner and liaison to the finance and talent functions. He has also served as chair of the firm’s Audit Committee and as a member of its national hiring committee. He worked as an auditor for the public accounting firm Deloitte before entering William & Mary law school, where he graduated first in his class. Bill joined the firm following a two-year judicial clerkship with the Honorable Joseph J. Longobardi, Chief Judge, United States District Court for the District of Delaware.

Representative Experience

Results may vary depending on your particular facts and legal circumstances.

  • Bill has represented Fortune 500 companies in more than 50 class actions in the state and federal courts, achieving successful results through dispositive motions, challenges to class certification, and effective and efficient settlement strategies where warranted.
  • Bill successfully represented a national energy company in a portfolio of overlapping class actions, mass actions and individual actions involving claims by royalty owners, ultimately prevailing on the merits across all matters.
  • Bill defended a national insurance company in multi-jurisdictional litigation brought arising out of a $250 million Ponzi scheme centered in Los Angeles California. Bill represented his client in a series of putative class actions and individual actions brought by more than 150 plaintiffs in state and federal courts in four states. Bill worked with his client to successfully negotiate potentially significant litigation exposure through a strategy of early dispositive motion victories, targeted and efficient discovery, multiple mediations to implement a common settlement matrix across all claims, and targeted summary judgment and trial strategies for the remaining claims.
  • Bill represented a national professional services firm in a series of malpractice and investor actions filed by a bankruptcy trustee and investors following the collapse of a financial services firm, achieving dismissal of all claims.
  • Bill pursued claims in an international arbitration on behalf of a pharmaceutical industry client against a commercial partner for breach of a commercialization agreement. Bill obtained $10 million damages award, representing the full damages sought by his client.

Personal Interests

Bill lives in the Philadelphia suburbs with his wife Carol and their two sons, three dogs and two cats. Much to the amusement of his family, Bill has a somewhat fraught relationship with squirrels.


Bar Admissions

New Jersey

Court Admissions

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey
U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan


U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, Hon. Joseph J. Longobardi, 1994-1996


University of Notre Dame
B.B.A. in Accounting and Philosophy, cum laude (1989)

William & Mary School of Law
J.D. Order of the Coif, William and Mary Law Review (1994)

Insights & Events

Leadership & Community

Professional Associations

  • Notre Dame Club of Philadelphia
  • Philadelphia Bar Association

Civic Activities

  • Delaware Valley Friends School — Trustee

Firm Leadership

  • Board Member, 2023-present
  • Executive Partner, 2020-23


  • Pennsylvania Super Lawyers — Rising Star, 2005
    This award is conferred by Thomson Reuters. A description of the selection methodology is available here. No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey.
Awards Methodology
No aspect of these recognitions has been approved by the highest court of any state.
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