Thomas Williamson

Thomas S. Williamson Jr.

Senior Counsel
Download V-card

Covington & Burling LLP
One CityCenter
850 Tenth Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001-4956
Tel: +1 202 662 5438



  • University of California, Berkeley School of Law, J.D.
  • University of Oxford
    • Rhodes Scholar
  • Harvard University, B.A.
    • magna cum laude
    • Phi Beta Kappa
    • All-Ivy & All-East Defensive Back

Bar Admissions

  • District of Columbia


  • French

Tom Williamson is a senior member of the firm's employment practice group and was a member of the firm's management committee from 2005 through 2008.  His litigation practice includes employment law, complex litigation, and health and welfare law matters for state governments.  Mr. Williamson also has experience resolving high stakes disputes with the U.S. Department of Labor.

Representative Matters

  • Mr. Williamson has served as co-lead counsel in defending a nationwide class action alleging race discrimination against a major financial services firm.
  • Mr. Williamson won a jury trial for a major credit card firm, defending claims based on race and national origin discrimination; and he obtained an award of $265,000 in attorneys' fees against the law firm of plaintiff's counsel.
  • Won summary judgment and Ninth Circuit affirmance of a whistleblower/discrimination case brought against a major pharmaceutical company.
  • On behalf of a major health care network, Mr. Williamson negotiated a class action FLSA consent judgment with the Labor Department relating to overtime that avoided liquidated damages and civil money penalties while foreclosing any private right of action.
  • Mr. Williamson led a litigation team that brought an injunctive action against the U.S. Labor Department that challenged the constitutionality of a special, mass audit of a law firm’s advice to its clients relating to the submission of labor certification applications, and then he successfully negotiated a consent decree that rescinded the mass audit and revoked the unconstitutional restriction on the client’s advice.

Previous Experience

  • U.S. Department of Labor, Solicitor of Labor (1993-1996)
  • U.S. Department of Energy, Deputy Inspector General (1978-1981)
  • Texaco Task Force on Equality and Fairness, Chair (1998-2002)
    • A court-appointed panel that monitored and evaluated Texaco's nationwide efforts to reform and enhance diversity initiatives and equal opportunity.
  • Sodexo Consent Decree Monitors, Chair (2010-2012)
    • Monitoring implementation of class action race discrimination consent decree.
  • Harvard University, Board of Overseers, President (2002-2003); Member (1997-2003)

Honors and Rankings

  • Washington DC Super Lawyers, Employment & Labor (2013-2015)
  • Best Lawyers in America, Employment Law - Management (2015-2016)  
  • Wiley Branton Award for Lifetime Commitment to Equal Justice, 2007, presented by the Washington Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs.
  • Recognized as one of "The 50 Most Influential Minority Lawyers in America" by The National Law Journal.
  • Celebration of Service Award, District of Columbia Law Students in Court (2014 honoree)

Memberships and Affiliations

  • Mr. Williamson served as President of the D.C. Bar in 2012-2013.

Publications and Speeches

Print PDF Word Version Print this page