William F. Cavanaugh , Jr. - Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP
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William F. Cavanaugh , Jr.

Listed in Best Lawyers since 2007

William Cavanaugh is Co-Chair of the firm.  His areas of concentration include antitrust, intellectual property and commercial litigation.  

A skilled trial attorney with extensive experience in both state and federal courts as well as in arbitration, Mr. Cavanaugh has served as national and trial counsel in several large multiparty antitrust, fraud and consumer protection litigations in federal and state courts across the United States brought by private plaintiffs and State Attorneys General.  His clients include major pharmaceutical, medical device and financial services companies.  Mr. Cavanaugh also recently served as Deputy Assistant Attorney General of the United States for Civil Enforcement in the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice. 

Mr. Cavanaugh’s trial experience includes securing defense verdicts in a multi-billion dollar antitrust class action, civil fraud class actions and representing a plaintiff medical device manufacturer in back-to-back jury verdicts of $325 million and $271 million in patent infringement cases against two competitors.  He has also successfully tried a number of Hatch-Waxman patent cases and represented a number of major health care companies in arbitrated contract disputes.

Mr. Cavanaugh has been named the Best Lawyers® 2015 Litigation - Antitrust “Lawyer of the Year” in New York City. He is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. Chambers USA has recognized him in the area of Intellectual Property: Patent, where sources “describe him as ‘very accomplished’ and ‘a strong first chair’” in his representation of “marquee clients in business-critical patent cases.” Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC’sBenchmark: America's Leading Litigation Firms and Attorneys has listed Mr. Cavanaugh as a "Litigation Star" for New York. Mr. Cavanaugh has also been selected as a Life Science Star in the inaugural edition of LMG Life Sciences 2012, which identifies leading lawyers in the areas of intellectual property, regulatory, transactional and non-IP litigation.

Additional Information

Representative Matters: Antitrust
  • Secured summary judgment for chocolate maker in antitrust price fixing case.
  • Secured summary judgment for defendant pharmaceutical manufacturer in antitrust case arising out of ANDA settlement agreement.
  • Secured directed verdict on behalf of large U.S. pharmaceutical manufacturer in multi-defendant Sherman Act class action trial and argued appeal before Seventh Circuit on behalf of all manufacturers.
  • Defended pharmaceutical company in antitrust jury trial involving four different plaintiff groups arising out of ANDA patent litigation and product "switching."
  • Represented plaintiff in antitrust action involving alleged tying agreements for cancer drugs, including one week bench trial on preliminary injunction. 
  • Defending major financial institution in ongoing antitrust litigations involving network services for credit and debit cards, and ATM fees.  
  • Defended pharmaceutical company in antitrust cases arising out of ANDA patent litigation.  
  • Advised corporate and trade group clients on a wide range of antitrust issues, including distribution rights, resale pricing, promotional programs and information exchanges.   
Intellectual Property
  • Secured judgment for plaintiff following bench trials on validity and inequitable conduct against ANDA applicant for drug selling $4 billion annually.  
  • Secured judgment for plaintiff following jury trial on patent validity and bench trial on inequitable conduct; case settled for $157.5 million.  
  • Jury verdict in favor of brand name pharmaceutical manufacturer in patent infringement case against ANDA applicant.  
  • Representing brand name drug manufacturer in multiple patent infringement case against ANDA and 505b(2) applicants.  
  • Defending brand name drug manufacturer in patent lawsuit brought by principal competitor.
  • Defending surgical device manufacturer in patent lawsuit brought by competitor. 
  • Represented plaintiff in back-to-back jury verdicts of $325 million and $271 million in patent infringement actions against two competitors of medical device company. 
  • Defense verdict in patent infringement jury trial involving defendant's coronary stents. 
  • Secured six-figure settlement from competitor pharmaceutical manufacturer based on damage claim stemming from preliminary injunction which delayed client’s introduction of new product.  

Commercial Litigation
  • Secured dismissal of FCA qui tam against pharmaceutical manufacturer involving off-label promotion of pharmaceutical product. 
  • Representing companies in various false advertising matters. 
  • Following bench trial, secured dismissal of fraud and state consumer class action claims against pharmaceutical manufacturer. 
  • Defending major pharmaceutical manufacturer in multiple actions brought by State Attorneys General involving "AWP" issues, including multiple trials.
  • Successfully represented medical device company in 75-day arbitration involving fraud and contract claims arising out of divestiture of product line.
Part 2
  • Defended former Commissioner of Baseball in copyright and fraud action in which plaintiff sought to publish unauthorized biography.  
  • Successfully defended celebrity in jury trial of civil assault and battery claims resulting in 20¢ judgment against client.
  • Represented Office of the Commissioner of Baseball in disciplinary proceedings and successfully defended related litigations involving George Steinbrenner and others.
  • Defended large brokerage firm in federal securities and RICO actions involving Eurobond offerings, master limited partnerships and other security underwritings.
  • Secured reversal in the Second Circuit of district court order dismissing declaratory judgment complaint brought by a major insurer against a Fortune 50 oil company. 
  • Represented prominent New York law firm in fraud and malpractice lawsuit.
  • Represented health care company in litigation and arbitration.
Court Admissions
  • U.S. District Court, Southern; Eastern; Western; Northern Districts of New York; Central District of California; Northern District of Illinois; Eastern District of Wisconsin
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, First Circuit; Second Circuit; Third Circuit; Fourth Circuit; Seventh Circuit; Ninth Circuit; Federal Circuit; District of Columbia Circuit
  • U.S. Supreme Court
St. John’s UniversityBS St. John's University School of LawJ.D.
American College of Trial LawyersAmerican Bar AssociationAmerican Intellectual Property Law AssociationAssociation of the Bar of the City of New YorkCalifornia Bar AssociationFederal Bar CouncilNew York State Bar Association

Office Location

1133 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10036
United States

Lawyer of the Year Awards

2015 Lawyer of the Year in Litigation - Antitrust of the New York City Metro Area
William F. Cavanaugh, Jr. has earned a Lawyer of the Year award for 2015!

Practice Areas

Antitrust Law
Commercial Litigation
Litigation - Antitrust