John Villa

  • Lecturer in Law

John Villa is a partner at Williams & Connolly where he specializes in corporate and financial services-related litigation (both civil and criminal) and legal malpractice defense. The Financial Times of London writes “John Villa, of Williams & Connolly in Washington, has a reputation for being the lawyer that law firms turn to when in a spot of bother.” He was named to National Law Journal's list of "100 Most Influential Lawyers in America" as "the first lawyer that other attorneys and law firms turn to when caught up in the S&L and banking scandals." Chambers says “John Villa is the ‘first name to come to mind for financial services litigation matters.’” The PLC Global Counsel’s Handbook describes him as “an exceptional banking, financial and corporate governance litigator.” American Lawyer has called him “perhaps the premier [legal] malpractice defense lawyer in the nation.” The Washington Post reports “John Villa of . . . Williams & Connolly [is] the lawyer and firm that lawyers and law firms turn to when they’re in trouble,” and describes Villa as “a litigator who has gained national prominence with a somewhat rare specialty: defending top-flight law firms in trouble.” Law 360 has listed him and W&C first among the “6 Firms to have on Speed Dial if Malpractice Trouble Hits.” He has been Chambers rated Tier One nationally and regionally in a number of areas for nearly a decade including financial enforcement, securities defense and commercial litigation.

He is the author of the following treatises and legal casebooks: Banking Crimes: Fraud, Money Laundering and Embezzlement (2 vol.) (West), Bank Directors' and Officers' and Lawyers' Civil Liabilities (Aspen), Corporate Counsel Guidelines (2 vol.) (West /ACC), and Professional Responsibility: Representing Business Organizations (West Academic). Mr. Villa is an adjunct professor at Georgetown University Law School and at Duke Law School’s Winter session. Mr. Villa was a trial attorney (Honors Program) in the United States Department of Justice and a Special Assistant United States Attorney in the District of Columbia.