William R. Hanlon

William R. Hanlon

Partner Chair, Washington, DC
William R. Hanlon

Bill Hanlon, a partner in the firm’s Business Litigation Group, is Chair of Goodwin’s Washington, D.C. office and past Co-Chair of the office's Litigation Department. His nationwide practice focuses on defending, negotiating and resolving complex disputes, including commercial matters, asbestos and other mass tort claims, and asbestos defendant bankruptcy cases. He is recognized in The Legal 500 as a ‘marvelous attorney’ with ‘exceptional people skills,’ who ‘excels at solving complex legal matters in a prompt and cost-effective manner.’ Mr. Hanlon is a former member of the firm’s Executive Committee and a current member of its Allocations Committee.

Professional Experience

Mr. Hanlon was the Administrative Partner and a member of the firm’s Executive Committee at Shea & Gardner prior to its combination with Goodwin in 2004.


Mr. Hanlon has been recognized by The Legal 500 for his mass tort and product liability defense work. At the University of Pennsylvania Law School, Mr. Hanlon served as Associate Editor of the University of Pennsylvania Law Review.

Areas of Practice


Mr. Hanlon has represented numerous companies, professional organizations and other law firms in a variety of significant litigation. Recently, he developed and successfully led CIRCOR International, Inc. through the completion of a pre-negotiated asbestos bankruptcy plan for its Leslie Controls subsidiary. Developed and pre-negotiated by Mr. Hanlon and his team with a targeted plaintiffs committee representing current claimants and a proposed representative of future claimants, this reorganization plan was confirmed in only three months – the fastest confirmation ever achieved in an asbestos bankruptcy case. This plan enabled both CIRCOR and Leslie Controls to permanently resolve Leslie’s asbestos liabilities – as well as any potential alter ego or other derivative claims – through a Section 524(g) Trust. CIRCOR’s chairman and CEO hailed the completion of the process as “a tremendous accomplishment for CIRCOR, our shareholders and our employees.”

Among other clients, he also represents a 10-company group (including Dana Corporation, CertainTeed Corporation and Union Carbide Corp.) in nationwide litigation involving more than 300 actions in scores of state and federal courts, seeking to hold those companies liable for more than $1 billion in settlement obligations left unpaid by other, now-bankrupt companies under multi-defendant mass tort settlement agreements. Mr. Hanlon serves as a member of Dana Corporation's national strategy team for asbestos-related litigation, with responsibility for developing and implementing national litigation strategy and supervision of all discovery disputes. He also successfully defended an Am Law 100 law firm in a multi-million dollar contingent fee dispute with another law firm.

Mr. Hanlon also has served for many years as Special Counsel for the Center For Claims Resolution, a claims-handling organization that handled all asbestos-related personal injury claims against its 20 corporate members. His responsibilities have included strategic advice and representation on a wide range of litigation-related matters, including the development, negotiation and litigation of the landmark asbestos settlement class action in Georgine v. Amchem Products, Inc. Recent achievements include the successful litigation and negotiation of multiple multi-million dollar recoveries on breach of contract claims against certain former members of the organization.



J.D., 1979
University of Pennsylvania Law School

(cum laude)

B.A. (Honours), Jurisprudence, 1977
University of Oxford
B.A., 1975
College of William and Mary


1979 to 1980 U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, Honorable Arlin M. Adams



District of Columbia


U.S. Supreme Court
U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
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