Steven R. Williams Partner

Steve's practice runs the substantive spectrum of complex civil litigation. In recent years, he has focused on the defense of mass torts and commercial claims filed as class actions or consolidated actions in federal and state courts. His experience includes representing clients in three separate federal MDL coordinated proceedings in the substantive areas of toxic torts, medical devices, and antitrust.

He serves as national coordinating counsel and trial counsel to clients involved in nationwide mass tort litigation. He serves as national counsel to one of the manufacturing defendants in lead litigation filed across the country. He also serves as national counsel to a manufacturer of smokeless tobacco products in the tobacco litigation. He routinely prepares and tries cases involving complex scientific and medical issues, with a particular emphasis in the area of epidemiology.

During the last several years, Steve has also concentrated in the defense of novel claims brought by plaintiffs, including public nuisance, market share liability, civil conspiracy, unjust enrichment, and deceptive trade practices. This experience has involved him in the preparation of defenses and trial of cases in jurisdictions across the country, many of which are recognized as the most "plaintiff-friendly" courts in the country.

Prior to joining McGuireWoods in 1993, Steve served as a military prosecutor and criminal defense counsel in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General's Corps. During his four years in the Army, he prosecuted and defended cases ranging from drug distribution to murder. He also represented the United States in criminal prosecutions of civilians as a special assistant U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Georgia between 1989 and 1991. He served in Saudi Arabia and Iraq with the 24th Infantry Division during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. He was twice awarded the Meritorious Service Medal.

Steve serves as the firm’s account manager in its role as one of DuPont’s primary convergence law firms. He is also a member of the firm's Executive Committee and Board of Partners. 

Steve frequently writes and speaks on topics associated with the defense of mass and toxic torts.


National representation for the last 12 years of DuPont in the litigation brought against the former manufacturers of lead paint by individuals, municipalities and states.

Currently serves as lead counsel for DuPont in County of Santa Clara v. Atlantic Richfield Company, et al., in which 10 California cities and counties sued seeking abatement of lead paint from all private residences in their respective jurisdictions.

Currently serves as lead counsel for DuPont in cases brought by hundreds of personal injury plaintiffs in state and federal count in Wisconsin alleging damages due to childhood exposure to lead paint.

Currently serves as lead counsel (along with Samuel L. Tarry, Jr.) for a manufacturer of smokeless tobacco products in a personal injury/fraud case filed in Mississippi federal court.

Currently represents a public utility in a purported class action filed on behalf of plaintiffs claiming property damage arising from defendants’ alleged release of green house gases which thereby intensified the effects of Hurricane Katrina. Trial court granted defendants’ motion to dismiss, and the case is currently on appeal before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Comer, et al. v. Murphy Oil USA Inc., et al., Case No. 12-60291.

Represented DuPont in public nuisance cases filed against the former manufacturers of lead paint by the states of Ohio and Rhode Island, the cities of Chicago and St. Louis, and various municipalities in Ohio and New Jersey. Defendants prevailed in all the cases either at the motions stage or on appeal.

Represented various defendants in asbestos litigation throughout the country.

  • Virginia
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Military Appeals
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia
  • U.S. Supreme Court

Selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America, Commercial Litigation, Mass Tort Litigation / Class Action - Defendants, Product Liability Litigation, Personal Injury Litigation - Defendants, Woodward/White, Inc., 2007-2019

Named to "Virginia Super Lawyers," Environmental Litigation, Super Lawyers, Thomson Reuters, 2013-2017

Named a “Nationwide Leader,” Products Liability, Chambers USA, 2009-2014

Selected for inclusion in America's Leading Lawyers for Business, Litigation: Products Liability, Virginia, Chambers USA, 2004-2018

Recipient, Meritorious Service Medal, 1991, 1992

AV Rated, Martindale-Hubbell

  • Cornell University Law School, JD, 1988
  • The College of William & Mary, BA, 1985

Member, John Marshall Inn of Court

Member, Board of Governors, Section of Military Law, 1994-2000, Virginia State Bar

Member, Defense Research Institute

Member, Tort and Insurance Section, American Bar Association

Member, Virginia Bar Association

Member, Richmond Bar Association

Member, Virginia Association of Defense Attorneys

Member, Federal Bar Association

President, 2009-2012; Member, Board of Trustees, 2007-present, Virginia Repertory Theatre and predecessor entity, Barksdale Theatre  

President, 2013-2014; Vice-President, 2011-2012; Member, Board of Trustees, 2010-present, Historic Richmond Foundation

Member, Board of Trustees, The Fund for William and Mary, 2010-2013

Member, Maymont Center Task Force, 2007-2009

Member, City of Richmond Recreation and Parks Advisory Board, 2004-2005

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