Donald Burke is a partner in the Litigation Department. His practice covers a range of trial and appellate litigation, with a particular focus on complex commercial disputes and investment-related matters. He has represented companies and individuals in civil and criminal cases throughout the country, as well as in investigations by the U.S. Department of Justice and other federal agencies. Donald has briefed cases for parties and amici curiae in federal and state appellate courts, and in the Supreme Court of the United States. These cases have involved a variety of issues, including federal criminal law, partnership tax controversies, drug patents, environmental disputes, RICO claims, and the False Claims Act.

Donald previously served as a law clerk to Justice Antonin Scalia of the Supreme Court of the United States and to Judge Raymond M. Kethledge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.


Prior to joining Willkie, Donald was a partner at Robbins, Russell, Englert, Orseck & Untereiner LLP.

  • Moot Court Panelist, Georgetown Supreme Court Institute
  • Moot Court Panelist, National Association of Attorneys General
  • Previously served as a co-director of the Supreme Court Litigation Clinic at the University of Virginia School of Law

Donald’s experience includes the following representative matters*:

  • Represented ad hoc group of general obligation bondholders of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico in litigation arising from the Commonwealth’s default and restructuring.*
  • Represented a national bank and its senior officers in suit seeking more than $500 million in damages allegedly resulting from a canceled wire transfer. The district court granted summary judgment in the defendants’ favor, and also granted summary judgment in favor of the bank on its claim for third-party indemnification.*
  • Represented major hospital management company in litigation with joint-venture partner relating to alleged breaches of partnership agreement and related contracts.*
  • Represented assisted-living and healthcare provider in RICO dispute with labor unions representing employees at the provider’s facilities.*
  • Represented a leading software provider in a suit alleging various business torts in connection with provision of cloud-based services.*
  • Briefed and argued successful appeal in the D.C. Court of Appeals relating to discovery of forensic evidence in criminal prosecutions. The court agreed that the government had improperly withheld evidence and remanded the case to the trial court for further proceedings.*
  • Represented a health-care executive in post-verdict proceedings and on appeal following criminal conviction.*
  • Represented major accounting firm in investigations by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board.*
  • Briefed successful appeal on behalf of a major bank in suit alleging liability under the California Hazardous Substance Account Act. The trial court’s grant of summary judgment was affirmed by the California Court of Appeal.*
  • Advised major investment fund on constitutional and administrative-law issues related to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac conservatorship.*

*Donald advised on these matters prior to joining Willkie in 2022.



University of Virginia School of Law, J.D. (Order of the Coif), 2008 University of Virginia, B.A. (with highest distinction), 2005

Bar Admissions

District of Columbia Virginia