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Joe Petrosinelli

Williams & Connolly

Joe Petrosinelli is the Chairman of Williams & Connolly and a member of the firm’s Executive Committee.  He is also Co-Chair of the firm’s Products Liability practice group.  Joe has tried numerous civil and criminal cases in federal and state courts, has been lead counsel in several significant U.S. and international arbitrations, and has represented clients in litigation and investigations matters in Europe, Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean.

Joe’s civil practice focuses on products liability, mass tort/class action, and complex commercial litigation.  He has represented manufacturers and suppliers of chemicals, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, industrial equipment, military hardware and technology, and various other products in litigation and arbitration matters across the United States and internationally.  He also has represented various companies in large contract and other commercial disputes.

In his government investigations and criminal defense practice, Joe represents clients in a wide variety of matters, including federal grand jury proceedings, trial and appellate work in federal and state courts, and international or cross-border investigations.  He has defended both individuals and corporations against allegations of mail and wire fraud, false claims, government contracts fraud, FCPA violations, public corruption, healthcare fraud, and securities violations.  He and two of his partners successfully represented the petitioner before the U.S. Supreme Court in Cleveland v. United States, 531 U.S. 12 (2000), a leading case on the interpretation of the federal mail and wire fraud statutes.


  • Lead counsel for Pfizer Inc. in two federal MDLs and associated state court proceedings alleging personal injury relating to the medications Viagra and Zantac. In the Viagra MDL, after a week-long Daubert evidentiary hearing, the MDL court granted Pfizer’s motion to exclude all of plaintiffs’ general causation experts.
  • Lead counsel for Tyco Fire Products in federal MDL alleging personal injuries and economic damages relating to the use of aqueous film-forming foams (AFFF) at military bases and other facilities to extinguish fuel-based fires.
  • Lead resolution counsel for medical device company in connection with federal MDL and associated state coordinated proceedings alleging personal injury.
  • Represented a major defense contractor in two separate ICDR commercial contract arbitrations against a supplier, in which contractor prevailed in both.  In one, the contractor won an eight-figure award, obtaining every penny of relief it sought.  In the other, the contractor first defeated the vendor’s motion for a preliminary injunction, and later prevailed on the merits, when the Panel rejected all of the vendor’s contract claims.
  • Represented global pharmaceutical company in commercial arbitration concerning royalties owed under a licensing agreement.  Arbitrator awarded company significant eight-figure award for past royalties, and adopted company’s interpretation of contract for purpose of calculating future royalties. 


  • Georgetown University Law Center, J.D., magna cum laude, 1991; Order of the Coif; Associate Editor, Georgetown Law Journal
  • Brown University, A.B., 1988