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William B. Monahan


William B. Monahan

New York +1-212-558-7375+1-212-558-7375 +1-212-558-3588+1-212-558-3588
[email protected]

Bill Monahan is a partner in the Firm’s Litigation Group and head of the Firm’s Products Liability & Mass Torts Group. His diverse trial, appellate and arbitration practice around the country focuses on products liability/mass tort, shareholder, securities, complex commercial, employment, and M&A litigation, as well as related governmental and internal investigations. Bill’s corporate clients have included prominent automotive, telecom, financial services, computer, and pharmaceutical companies.

Bill was a member of Law360’s Product Liability Editorial Advisory Board in 2018 and 2019.


  • “Chapter 26, Derivative Actions by Stockholders,” Business and Commercial Litigation in Federal Courts, 5th Edition, Volume 1, co-authored with Gerrard Beeney, Brian T. Frawley and Jacob M. Croke (2021)
  • “Derivative Actions by Stockholders,” Business and Commercial Litigation in Federal Courts, Fourth Edition, co-authored with John Warden, Garrard Beeney and Brian Frawley (March 2017)
  • “M&A Litigation: Traits and Trends,” Practical Law The Journal, co-authored with Adam Magid (October/November 2016)
  • “New York Appeals Court Provides Guidance For Merger Parties Sharing Privileged Communications,” The M&A Lawyer, co-authored with Brian Frawley, John Hardiman and David Rein (January 2015)
  • “Shareholder Derivative Litigation: Demands from Parties Whose Shareholder Status is Uncertain," Practical Law Journal, co-authored with Adam Magid (October 2014)
  • “Delaware Court Authorizes ‘Books and Records’ Discovery of Internal Investigation,” The Corporate & Securities Law Advisor, co-authored with John Hardiman, Brian Frawley and Nicolas Bourtin (September 2014)
  • “Investigating Shareholder Derivative Claims: The Importance of Independent Counsel,” The CLS Blue Sky Blog, co-authored with Adam Magid (March 2013)
  • “Now What? Strategic Considerations for Managing Civil Litigation After a Criminal Investigation Has Concluded,” published in PricewaterhouseCoopers’ 2008 securities litigation study

Rankings & Recognitions

  • AmLaw Litigation Daily – “Litigator of the Week” (November 2020)
  • ​Law360 – recognized as a “Rising Star” in Transportation (2017)
  • Benchmark Litigation – named a Top Litigator Under 40 (2017, 2018) and to the 40 & Under Hot List (2016, 2017, 2018)
  • New York Super Lawyers – recognized as a “Rising Star” in the areas of Securities, Business and Appellate Litigation (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017)
  • The Legal 500 United States (2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018)
  • Sanctuary for Families – recipient of Above & Beyond Award for Excellence in Pro Bono Advocacy (2013)


  • Representing Volkswagen and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles as one of their lead counsel in numerous federal and state actions, including multidistrict litigations in San Francisco, as well as regulatory investigations, regarding allegations that certain of their diesel vehicles emitted nitrogen oxides in excess of the limits imposed by U.S. law. Work has included class action litigation, opt-out litigation, securities litigation, litigation brought by State Attorneys General, and litigation with the companies’ primary regulators, including the EPA, as well as the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission.
  • Represented Volkswagen in a three-week jury trial in federal court in San Francisco, California. Following 11 days of trial, the jury rejected bellwether consumers’ claims seeking millions of dollars in damages after opting out of the landmark consumer class action settlements arising out of Volkswagen’s sale of diesel cars that violated emissions laws. The 10 consumers ultimately recovered approximately $28,000 in the aggregate – less than what they would have been entitled to under the class action settlements.
  • Represented AT&T in securing, at the pleading stage, the dismissal of a securities class action in New York Supreme Court alleging violations of Sections 11, 12, and 15 of the Securities Act of 1933 in connection with AT&T’s June 2018 acquisition of Time Warner.
  • Securing the dismissal on standing grounds of a putative class action against Volkswagen in the Northern District of California brought by individuals who both purchased and sold their diesel vehicles before news of the diesel emissions issues became public.
  • Secured the dismissal of most claims against FCA US LLC at the pleading stage in two putative nationwide consumer class actions in the Eastern District of Michigan concerning (i) two alleged defects in model year 2013-2017 Ram 2500 and 3500 diesel trucks, and (ii) an alleged defect in the Exhaust Gas Recirculation coolers in model year 2014–2019 Ram 1500 diesel trucks. 
  • Represented Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Ferrari in obtaining the voluntary dismissal—following an oral argument at which the court issued a tentative ruling dismissing all claims—of a securities action in the Northern District of California alleging misstatements in connection with Fiat Chrysler’s 2016 spinoff of its remaining equity stake in Ferrari.
  • Representing Illinois Tool Works as plaintiff in litigation in Delaware Superior Court alleging that the defendant private equity firm fraudulently induced plaintiff into buying one of defendant’s portfolio companies.
  • Representing various companies in “Delaware-style” litigation, including shareholder derivative actions, M&A litigation, appraisal actions, and Section 220 “books and records” proceedings.
  • Represented Goldman Sachs in FINRA arbitration and related state court action concerning alleged investor losses arising from an investment in a mortgage-related product, culminating in a favorable decision from a panel of three arbitrators.
  • Represented Fiat Chrysler Automobiles in Delaware Chancery Court in a pricing dispute concerning the terms of a call option to purchase certain company membership units.
  • Represented a CA Technologies in connection with its defense of claims brought in the New York federal courts concerning a shareholder proxy contest and, separately, a motion to overturn a settlement of class action and derivative litigation on the grounds of fraud.
  • Represented Philips Healthcare in a contract action in California federal court concerning a license agreement for an oral healthcare product and the theory that Philips failed to adequately market the product.
  • Represented Microsoft in appeal in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals on plaintiffs’ theory that defendants fraudulently induced plaintiffs to enter into an agreement assigning certain patent applications to Microsoft.
  • Represented a pharmaceutical company in the District of Minnesota in litigation concerning the proper interpretation of a bond indenture.
  • Represented prominent former director of a Texas state savings bank that failed during the 2008 financial crisis in class action litigation in the Texas federal courts.
  • Represented a computer software company in the Delaware Supreme Court – in the first case ever certified by the SEC to the Delaware Supreme Court – concerning a proposed shareholder bylaw requiring the mandatory reimbursement of proxy solicitation expenses.