David Donovan

Retired Partner

David Donovan was a litigator who focused his practice on a wide range of complex commercial and regulatory disputes and investigations, including in the areas of product liability, financial services, securities fraud, antitrust,  insurance, corporate governance, internal investigations, employment, and trademark and copyright licensing and protection.

Mr. Donovan  joined the firm in 1985. He left the firm in 2005 to serve as general counsel for the Washington Redskins NFL franchise, where he represented the team and related businesses, their officers and directors in commercial and regulatory matters. During his six years with the team, Mr. Donovan also served for three years as its chief operating officer, as well as general counsel to Red Zebra Broadcasting and president of the Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation. He returned to the firm in 2011 and retired in 2019.

Mr. Donovan represented clients before state and federal courts all over the United States, as well as before regulatory agencies, including the SEC and OCC, and provides ongoing advice concerning legislative and litigation developments.

Professional Activities

Mr. Donovan is a member of both the Diversity Law Institute and The Trial Law Institute. He is also a member of the District of Columbia Bar, the Commonwealth of Virginia Bar and he is admitted to practice before a number of federal courts, including the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth and Sixth Circuits, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia and the United States Supreme Court.


  • Fellow, Litigation Counsel of America, The Trial Lawyer Honorary Society
  • Recognized for exceptional standing in the legal community in the area of general commercial litigation by Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business
  • Selected by his peers for inclusion in the 2012-2019 editions of the Best Lawyers in America in the area of commercial litigation
  • Recommended in the 2018 edition of The Legal 500 United States for his antitrust practice in the areas of civil litigation, class actions and defense
  • Awarded Global Competition Review's 2017 award for Litigation of the Year: Cartel Defense for class action settlements achieved on behalf of DENSO Corporation
  • Iowa State University Dept. of Political Science Alumni Achievement Award, 2008
  • NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund Pro Bono Award, 1992

Insights & News


  • Education

    • JD, Georgetown University Law Center, 1984

      magna cum laude Editor-in-Chief, Georgetown University Law Journal
    • BS, Journalism and Political Science, Iowa State University, 1980

      with Honors Editor-in-Chief, Iowa State Daily, Phi Beta Kappa
  • Admissions

    • US Supreme Court

    • District of Columbia

    • Virginia

  • Clerkships

    • The Hon. Thomas A. Flannery, US District Court for the District of Columbia, 1984 - 1985



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