University of Minnesota Law School, J.D., 1988, Cum Laude

University of St. Thomas, B.A., 1985, Summa Cum Laude 

Bar & Court Admissions

  • Minnesota
  • U.S. District Court District of Minnesota
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of Wisconsin
  • U.S. District Court Central District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court District of New Jersey
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of Pennsylvania
  • Delaware Court of Chancery
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 3rd Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 8th Circuit


  • Honorable David S. Doty, U.S. District Court District of Minnesota
Photo of Patrick S. Williams
Patrick S. Williams
News & Insights
View Full Bio +

Pat Williams practices principally in the areas of:

  • General Commercial Litigation
  • Securities and fiduciary litigation
  • Intellectual property litigation
  • Trust and estate litigation
  • ERISA litigation
  • Product liability litigation
  • Antitrust litigation and counseling
  • Outside General Counsel

Representative clients include: Medtronic, Inc., Wells Fargo, Cargill, PepsiAmericas, Hormel Foods, The Toro Company, Patterson Companies, Inc., Precept Foods, Custom Fire Apparatus and Beyond Components.

Securities, Trust and Estates, Fiduciary Litigation, ERISA
Pat has worked on some of the most significant complex commercial cases to come before state and federal courts. He has built his practice to involve substantial work in securities matters comprising defense of clients in class actions and other securities fraud claims before state and federal courts, arbitrations before the NASD, and closely held shareholder disputes, as well as complex business litigation.

Pat recently served as defense counsel on class action shareholder securities and ERISA stockdrop claims against Patterson Companies, Inc. and certain of its officers and directors involving alleged violations of the Exchange Act, ERISA and Minnesota statutes in federal district court. The court dismissed all actions after the filing of motions to dismiss by Briggs on behalf of its clients. See In Re: Patterson Cos., Inc. Sec., Deriv. & ERISA Litig., 479 F. Supp. 2d 1014 (D. Minn. 2007). He has also defended a number of broker-dealers in securities arbitrations before the NASD (now known as the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority or FINRA) involving claims of securities fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, selling away and negligence. Among his experience, Pat participated in the successful defense of billion-dollar breach of fiduciary duty claims against a Minnesota trust company, where, after a 10-week trial and appeal, dismissal and recovery of attorneys fees was awarded to the client. In 2006, Pat argued another case, Cooper Industries v. PepsiAmericas Inc., involving $30-million breach of fiduciary claims against a trustee and beneficiary in Illinois state court, which also resulted in dismissal of the claims.

From 2003 to 2005, Pat was lead defense counsel on a $110-million shareholder class action suit involving claims of breach of fiduciary duty/securities fraud against the chairman of the board, president, general counsel and six senior officers challenging an $820-million merger. Under Briggs’ counsel, the client received summary judgment for three of nine officers and settled the case.

As co-counsel, Pat obtained summary judgment on a $38-million claim in a New Jersey federal court involving a dispute over the enforceability of a letter of intent to form a joint venture. In both state court and the Minnesota Court of Appeals, he also won a challenge by a competitor to a municipal bid award that put his client’s multi-million dollar business at risk in Dakota Barge Services v. The St. Paul Port Authority; obtained a settlement valued in excess of $1 million on behalf of an individual in a closely held shareholder dispute; and obtained another million-dollar settlement for a shipper from a major carrier involving difficult aspects of transportation law.

Intellectual Property Litigation
Pat has also acted as lead counsel in a number of intellectual property litigation matters. He served as lead counsel in a patent infringement action in Minnesota federal district court that involved a utility patent for mechanical equipment. See Toro v. Ingersoll Rand, 545 F. Supp. 2d 933 (D. Minn. 2008). Previously, he served as lead counsel in various trademark litigation before Massachusetts and New York federal courts, and covenant not to compete and trade secret litigation in Minnesota federal court.

In 2000, Pat co-led a team in defense of a $200-million destruction of distributorship claim through a two-week trial that involved complex aspects of bankruptcy law, trade secrets and application of the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) in Philadelphia Federal Court.

Pat has worked on numerous antitrust cases and matters, including an NFL case invoking the labor exemption to the antitrust laws; defense of a predatory pricing lawsuit against a Minnesota construction supplier; successfully averting a challenge to a hospital merger, posed by the State of Minnesota; responding to second requests from the U.S. Department of Justice in both the health care and dairy cooperative industries; and defense of multiple indirect purchaser price fixing lawsuits.

Product Liability
In product liability, Pat has worked on a number of claims involving asbestos, latex glove litigation and other product liability claims.

Pat also acts as outside general counsel to a number of businesses in agricultural products and food processing, electrical component distribution, medical products and services, fire engine manufacturers, and barge transportation. As outside counsel, he is involved in managing practical, cost-effective resolution of his clients’ ongoing legal problems.

Pat co-chaired both the 1998 and 1999 Antitrust and Business Competition Law seminars for the Minnesota State Bar CLE, presenting papers entitled "Effective Antitrust Corporate Compliance Programs and Internal Investigations" (1998) and "Current Approach to Hart Scott Rodino Filings" (1999). He has successfully conducted antitrust compliance training courses for his corporate clients. Pat co-chaired the 2002 Securities Litigation seminar for the Minnesota State Bar CLE presenting "Current Strategies in Defending Statements of Claim in NASD Securities Arbitrations."

Pat co-authored, with the Honorable David S. Doty, U.S. District Court Judge, the article "Effective Approaches to Motions to Dismiss in Securities Cases," appearing in Securities Litigation 2002, published by Minnesota Continuing Legal Education.

Pat is a certified mediator and assists with dispute resolution in mediations.

Honors & Awards

  • Delta Epsilon Sigma, National Honors Society
  • Aquinas Scholar
  • The Best Lawyers in America, Litigation - Trusts and Estates
  • Who's Who in American Law
  • Super Lawyer, Minnesota Super Lawyers

Professional Affiliations

Minnesota State Bar Continuing Legal Education

  • Antitrust and Business Competition Law Seminar, Co-Chair, 1998-1999
  • Securities Litigation Seminar, Co-Chair, 2002

Federal Bar Association, Minnesota

  • Member
  • Former President