Photograph of Robert L. Willmore

Government Experience

  • Department of Justice: Civil Division—Deputy Assistant Attorney General (1985-1988)
  • Office of Management and Budget—Chairman, Task Force on Liability Insurance Availability (1985-1988); Executive Secretary, Domestic Policy Council Tort Policy Working Group (1985-1988)
  • Office of Management and Budget—Assistant General Counsel, Office of Management and Budget (1982-1985)
  • United States Senate—Legislative Assistant, U.S. Senate


  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology, B.S. economics (1977) Phi Beta Kappa
  • Yale Law School, J.D. (1980)


  • District of Columbia
Robert L. Willmore, Partner Washington, D.C.
Phone: +1 202.624.2915
1001 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20004-2595

Robert L. Willmore is a partner in the Litigation and Trial Department, as well as a member of both the Mass Tort, Product, and Consumer Litigation and Tax groups. His practice consists primarily of litigation and counseling in products liability and toxic torts, as well as the litigation of tax disputes.

In recent years, Mr. Willmore tried in the U.S. Tax Court one of the most complex and significant cases litigated to date regarding the scope of the research and experimentation tax credit available under section 41 of the Internal Revenue Code – the central issue in that case being the availability of that tax credit for manufacturing process research conducted at several operating chemical plants. He has represented corporate taxpayers before many other judicial tribunals, including the U.S. Supreme Court, several U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeals, the D.C. Court of Appeals, various U.S. District Courts, and the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.

With respect to his products liability and toxic torts practice, Mr. Willmore assists companies faced with repetitive or mass tort litigation in multiple jurisdictions, and his practice has focused primarily on developing liability defenses that can significantly reduce the proliferation and scope of such litigation. He also has prepared and assisted in preparing dozens of appellate briefs regarding various liability defenses in products liability and toxic tort cases. He works with numerous law firms throughout the county coordinating liability defenses in such cases both at the trial court and appellate levels.

From 1985 to 1988, Mr. Willmore was the Deputy Assistant Attorney General responsible for the Torts Branch of the U.S. Department of Justice. As head of the Torts Branch, Mr. Willmore supervised the defense of claims against the government involving such areas as asbestos, Agent Orange, radiation exposure, environmental and toxic torts, and aviation disasters. His prior government experience included service as Assistant General Counsel in the U.S. Office of Management and Budget as well as service as a legislative assistant in the U.S. Senate.

Mr. Willmore received a B.S. in economics in 1977 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. In 1980, he earned a law degree from Yale University, where he was an editor of the Yale Law Journal.


Admitted to practice: District of Columbia, District of Columbia Court of Appeals, U.S. Supreme Court, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, U.S. Court of Appeals for D.C. Circuit, U.S. Court of Appeals for Federal Circuit, U.S. Court of Federal Claims, D.C. Superior Court, U.S. District Court for D.C., U.S. Tax Court

Highlights, News & Knowledge

Speeches & Presentations

  • "Recent Developments in the Law of Privilege and the Work Product Doctrine," Crowell & Moring’s Managing Tax Audits and Appeals Seminar 2016, Washington, D.C. (September 30, 2016). Presenter: Robert L. Willmore.
  • "Avoiding Tax Appeal Blunders," Crowell & Moring's 2014 National SALT Summit, Washington, D.C. (November 6, 2014). Presenter: Robert L. Willmore.
  • "New IDR Enforcement Policies and Summons Procedures," Managing Tax Audits and Appeals, Washington, D.C. (October 9-10, 2014) San Francisco, CA (October 23-24, 2014). Presenter: Robert L. Willmore.
  • "Developments in Work-Product Doctrine and Attorney-Client Privilege Issues," Managing Tax Audits and Appeals, Washington, D.C. (October 9-10, 2014). Presenter: Robert L. Willmore.
  • "Protecting Privileged Information In Light of the IRS's New Information Document Request and Summons Enforcement Policy," Association of Corporate Counsel Webinar (May 14, 2014). Presenter: Robert L. Willmore.
  • Webinar, "Corporate Income Tax: Compiling and Maintaining Audit Files" (Stafford, August 17, 2010).


  • "Fifth Circuit Strikes Down Mass Trial Plan Based On Extrapolation Of Jury Verdicts," Toxic Torts & Environmental Litigation Newsletter (November 1998). Author: Robert L. Willmore.
  • "The Explosive Growth in Tort Damage Awards," Law, Economics & Civil Justice, A Reform Agenda for The '90s (1994). Author: Robert L. Willmore.
  • "Tort Law in The 21st Century," Pernicious Ideas and Costly Consequences, The Intellectual Roots of the Tort Crisis (1990). Author: Robert L. Willmore.
  • "Cancerphobia: A Toxic Tort Bomb," The Wall Street Journal (September 14, 1989). Author: Robert L. Willmore.
  • "Personal-Injury Cases Could Turn On Public-Interest Regulations," Legal Times (February 6, 1989). Author: Robert L. Willmore.
  • "In Fear of Cancerphobia," Defense Counsel Journal (January 1989). Author: Robert L. Willmore.
  • "Boyle in Court: Invitation for New Litigation Strategies," Legal Times (July 18, 1988). Author: Robert L. Willmore.
  • "An Update on the Liability Crisis," Tort Policy Working Group, U.S. Department of Justice (March 1987). Author: Robert L. Willmore.
  • "Report on the Causes, Extent and Policy Implications of the Current Crisis in Insurance Availability and Affordability," Tort Policy Working Group, U.S. Department of Justice (February 1986). Author: Robert L. Willmore.

Client Alerts & Newsletters

Firm News & Announcements

Jun.22.2007 Legal 500 United States Ranks Crowell & Moring’s Tax Group