David Willis

David Willis Partner

P 617 670 8451
125 High Street
Oliver Street Tower, 6th Floor
Boston, MA 02110
125 High Street, Oliver Street Tower, 6th Floor, Boston, MA 02110

David Willis is a trial attorney with more than 30 years of litigation experience and chair of MG+M's Trucking and Transportation Practice. He defends public and private corporations nationwide in the areas of transportation law, complex tort, commercial, employment, environmental, franchise, food and beverage, healthcare, and hospitality.  He represents trucking, logistics and hospitality companies and hospitals through the full spectrum of business litigation and commercial disputes and advises on legal issues critical to their business. David also handles professional liability matters in the defense of healthcare providers and national and regional healthcare institutions. In addition to his wealth of experience, clients rely on David’s commitment to be in constant communication with companies on the issues impacting their business. 

David has extensive multi-jurisdictional trial experience and has tried to verdict over 100 cases in over a dozen state and federal courts. He has served as national counsel for clients in transportation and hospitality and focused on helping companies control costs. David's experience also includes conducting internal corporate investigations, including those involving sexual harassment and gender and racial discrimination.

Utilizing his extensive legal background and business acumen to partner with his clients, David develops custom models that focus on achieving results while reducing litigation costs. David’s approach enables clients to focus on the core aspects of their business while effectively and cost-efficiently managing litigation. This network of experts is readily available to provide clients with a response team capable of conducting investigations of catastrophic incidents within the critical initial 24 hours. Areas of expertise represented in this network include accident reconstruction, bio-mechanics, human factors, vocational rehabilitation, economics, and numerous medical disciplines. This emphasis on early assessment allows clients to make informed strategic decisions while the team approach ensures a comprehensive and consistent investigation, including proper document retention protected by work-product and attorney-client privileges. Another crucial part of the program is a coordinated discovery approach, which achieves consistency across multiple jurisdictions. Through this approach, David has saved his clients millions of dollars.

David previously served as national counsel to a Fortune 500 company, where he was responsible for all phases of litigation—from pre-suit investigations through appeals, as well as in-house counsel for a Fortune 500 corporation. Prior to serving in-house, David worked for a national law firm concentrating in personal injury and labor law. He also previously served as a special assistant attorney general for Rhode Island for more than four years, during which he tried nearly 50 jury trials.

Bar Admissions
  • Massachusetts
  • Rhode Island
  • US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
  • US District Court, District of Massachusetts
  • US District Court, District of Rhode Island
  • US Supreme Court
  • Tulane University School of Law, JD, 1989
  • Tulane University, BA, economics with a focus in international trade finance and banking, 1986


  • John F. Mulvaney Environmental Scholarship Recipient, American Hoechst Corporation
  • Bronze Medal Award, Allstate Insurance Company
  • Individual Service Award 1999 – 2002, Allstate Insurance Company
  • Selected for inclusion in Who’s Who 2000


  • Federal Bar Association
  • Rhode Island Bar Association
  • Massachusetts Bar Association
  • American Trucking Associations—Chairman's Membership Committee, Automated Truck Subcommittee, Technology & Engineering Policy Committee, Controlled Substances, Driver Health and Wellness Subcommittee, Environmental and Energy Policy Committee
  • National Retail Restaurant Defense Association
  • National Association of Dealer Counsel
  • International Luxury Hotel Association
  • The Risk Management Society (RIMS)
  • Associate Member of RIHCA
  • Harbor Management Commission (Jamestown, Rhode Island)—Former Commissioner
News & Insights

    Speaking Engagements

  • Exploring the Current State of Arbitration and ADR - taking an Uber from Viking River Cruises, NRRDA 2023 Annual Conference
    March 2, 2023
  • Trends in the F&B and Hospitality Industries: Where are we Going Next?, " Food and Beverage Litigation Conference
    October 7, 2021
  • Impact of Marijuana Legalization, National Retail Restaurant Defense Association Annual Meeting
    February 1, 2020
  • Employment Law Update: How Have Employers Fared Under the Trump Administration, Resulting Administrative Activity, Court Decisions and What Tweets to Expect in 2018, National Restaurant Retail Defense Association's Annual Conference
    March 1, 2018
  • Luxury Surfaces Can Make for a Slippery Business, Hospitality Insurance and Loss Prevention Summit Forum, Hospitality Law Conference
    April 1, 2017
  • Capturing Value: How to Control Skyrocketing Litigation Costs, Continuing Legal Education Seminar
    August 1, 2016
  • Trouble in Las Vegas: A Case Study, Gallagher Bassett Services
    August 1, 2016
  • Managing Outside Counsel
    January 1, 2011
  • Alternative Fee Agreements
    January 1, 2011