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Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP

William F. Cavanaugh, Jr.

William F. Cavanaugh, Jr.


Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP
New York, U.S.A.

tel: 212-336-2793
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William Cavanaugh is a senior litigation Partner and served as Co-Chair of the Firm from 2007 to 2017. His areas of concentration include antitrust, intellectual property and commercial litigation.

A skilled trial attorney with extensive experience in both state and federal courts as well as in arbitrations, Mr. Cavanaugh has served as national and trial counsel in several large multiparty antitrust, fraud and consumer protection litigations in federal and state courts across the United States brought by private plaintiffs and State Attorneys General. His clients include major pharmaceutical, medical device and financial services companies. Mr. Cavanaugh also served as Deputy Assistant Attorney General of the United States for Civil Enforcement in the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice in the beginning of the Obama Administration.

Mr. Cavanaugh’s trial experience includes securing defense verdicts in a multi-billion dollar antitrust class action, civil fraud class actions and representing a plaintiff medical device manufacturer in back-to-back jury verdicts of $325 million and $271 million in patent infringement cases against two competitors. He has also successfully tried a number of Hatch-Waxman patent cases and represented a number of major health care companies in arbitrated contract disputes.

Mr. Cavanaugh is an elected Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. He was recognized as one of the “Top 10 Practitioners” nationally in the area of Antitrust in Benchmark Litigation’s 2017 guide, and was named the Best Lawyers® 2015 Litigation - Antitrust “Lawyer of the Year” in New York City. He is also recognized in Chambers USA.

With respect to his antitrust work, clients quoted in Benchmark have called Mr. Cavanaugh “one of the best antitrust lawyers to be found anywhere.” One stated that, “Bill has an amazing depth of experience and knowledge in antitrust. From a counselling perspective, he is able to give quick guidance and recommendations, which many attorneys are hesitant to do.Chambers USA noted that his, “antitrust practice covers a broad spectrum of industries, including pharmaceuticals and financial services. Sources are quick to highlight his ‘big trial record’ and agency experience as particular strengths.”

Chambers USA, also recognized Mr. Cavanaugh for his patent litigation skills. Sources “describe him as ‘very accomplished’ and ‘a strong first chair’” in his representation of “marquee clients in business-critical patent cases.” The guide states that, “[t]he ‘formidable’ William Cavanaugh, observers comment, is ‘an excellent trial lawyer and strategist, quick on his feet and excellent at conveying points clearly and persuasively in the courtroom.’ He represents a fine choice of counsel for cases in the technology and life sciences sectors.”

Bar Admissions

  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, First Circuit; Second Circuit; Third Circuit; Fourth Circuit; Seventh Circuit; Ninth Circuit; Federal Circuit; District of Columbia Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Southern, Eastern, Western and Northern Districts of New York; Central District of California; Northern District of Illinois; Eastern District of Wisconsin
  • New York
  • California


  • St. John's University School of Law (J.D., 1980)
  • St. John’s University (B.S., magna cum laude, 1977)
Areas of Practice
Professional Career

Professional Activities and Experience

MEMBERSHIPS: Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers; Member, American Bar Association; American Intellectual Property Law Association; Association of the Bar of the City of New York; California Bar Association; Federal Bar Council; New York State Bar Association

HONORS: Recognized in Who’s Who Legal: Litigation 2017; Recognized in Chambers USA in the area of Intellectual Property: Patent; Named the Best Lawyers® 2015 Litigation - Antitrust “Lawyer of the Year” in New York City; Listed as a "Litigation Star" for New York in Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC’s Benchmark: America's Leading Litigation Firms and Attorneys; Named in Super Lawyers in the area of Antitrust and Commercial Litigation; Named to the "Irish Legal 100"


Antitrust Update
Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP 

Antitrust Update Blog is a source of insights, information and analysis on criminal and civil antitrust and competition-related issues. Patterson Belknap’s antitrust lawyers represent clients in antitrust litigation and counseling matters, including those related to pricing, marketing,...

Biologics Blog
Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP 

Biologics Blog is a source of insights, information and analysis related to biologics, including the legal developments, trends and changing regulation that impact the biotechnology industry. Patterson Belknap represents biotechnology, pharmaceutical and healthcare companies in a broad range of...


  • Contributor to www.AntitrustUpdateBlog.com
  • Contributor, Antitrust Year in Review (United States), ABA Section of International Law (2015; Spring 2016)
  • Co-Author, "EU Pursues Questionable Antitrust Case Against Google," Law360 (June 1, 2015)
  • "5 Steps for Handling an Antitrust Subpoena or CID,” Corporate Counsel (April 9, 2014)
  • Evaluating Pay-For-Delay Deals After FTC V. Actavis,” Law360 (June 19, 2013)

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