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David B. Chaffin Partner

Managing Partner, Boston, MA Office
Boston, MA | Direct 617.748.5215Fax 617.748.5240
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David Chaffin has over 35 years of complex litigation experience, including extensive first-chair trial and arbitration experience. He has represented major pharmaceutical, national defense, insurance, financial services, telecommunications, high technology, and retail companies in real estate, intellectual property, coverage, employment, corporate governance/control, environmental, qui tam, and contract/business-tort matters.

During law school, David served as an editor of the Duke Law Journal

Prior to joining White and Williams, David was a name partner in a litigation boutique firm in Boston. He began his career with Davis Polk & Wardwell in New York City. 

Representative Matters

  • Successfully defended defense contractor against False Claims Act claims involving allegations of fraud on the U.S. Army and wrongful termination claims, securing dismissal of all claims
  • Obtained favorable global settlement in multi-site, multi-state environmental coverage matter, following multiple trials and complex appellate proceedings
  • Secured favorable settlements in recent environmental matters involving CGL and “garage” policies
  • Obtained, following 25-day jury trial, dismissal of all claims against defendants in shareholder dispute and affirmance of dismissal on appeal; thereafter tried counterclaims to a jury, securing one of the largest judgments in MA in 2017 
  • Obtained, on behalf of developer client, dismissal of challenge under Boston zoning code to $35 million mixed-use project
  • Secured favorable settlement for insurer client in coverage dispute arising out of large Lanham Act judgment against insured
  • Obtained, before a single deposition, settlement of over $1.2 million for minority shareholder whose stake in close corporation had been improperly diluted in connection with a merger
  • Obtained dismissal of core claims against defense contractor in dispute arising out of NSF-funded research and development contract, followed by extremely favorable settlement
  • Representing insurers in multiple environmental coverage matters
  • Prevailed on appeal in action for deferred compensation by former CEO of defendant client
  • Secured a multi-million dollar settlement for an international defense contractor following the trial of a complex real estate dispute   
  • Obtained an arbitration award of over $1 million for a telecommunications company in a dispute involving expense and tax assessments under a commercial lease, which led to a settlement valued at nearly $20 million of similar claims as to other lease years
  • Obtained summary judgment for a large home improvement retailer in a trade secret matter involving tens of millions of dollars in alleged damages, and acted as lead appellate counsel in the case in the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, which affirmed based on a decision by Justice Souter, who was sitting by designation
  • Obtained summary judgment for a large home improvement retailer in a fraud/breach of contract/mini-FTC Act matter
  • Represented several pharmaceutical firms in product liability and other matters, including actions involving claims of fraudulent off-label promotion 

Recognition & Involvement

David has been AV® Preeminent™ rated by the Martindale-Hubbell peer review rating system and was selected in a survey of his peers as a Massachusetts "Super Lawyer" by Super Lawyers in 2005 and 2009-2020.

David is a member of the board of Friends of Carlisle Scouting.



Bar and Court Admissions


New York

U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York


Duke University School of Law, JD, 1983 

Amherst College, BA, cum laude, 1979

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