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

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 the Tax Group and the Mass Tort, Product, and Consumer Litigation Group. His practice consists primarily of the litigation of tax disputes, as well as litigation and counseling in products liability and toxic torts.

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 Third 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

Recent Highlights, News & Knowledge

"Asserting and Protecting Your Privilege Claims During an Audit," Crowell & Moring's Managing Tax Audits and Appeals Seminar 2020 (October 8, 2020). Presenters: S. Starling Marshall and Robert L. Willmore. Speech/Presentation
3rd Circ. Questions Tax Exemption In NJ Biz Grant Dispute Law360 (April 23, 2020) Media Mentions
"IRS Increases Focus on Research Issues," Tax Alert (March 19, 2020). Contacts: David B. Blair, Robert L. Willmore, Teresa Abney, John Arszulowicz Client Alert / Newsletter
Crowell & Moring’s Tax Group Recognized by World Tax and World Transfer Pricing (Feb.17.2020) Firm News / Announcement
"Specific Audit Issues: Privileges," Crowell & Moring's Managing Tax Audits and Appeals Seminar 2019, Washington, D.C. (September 13, 2019). Presenters: Robert L. Willmore and Teresa Abney. Speech/Presentation
"Treasury Issues Policy Statement That May Be The Death Knell For 'Auer' Deference In Tax Cases And Zombie Notices," Bloomberg (March 19, 2019). Author: Carina C. Federico, David B. Blair, and Robert L. Willmore. Publication
"Ninth Circuit Holds IRS Failed to Provide "Reasonable Notice" in Third-Party Summons Case," Tax Alert (March 18, 2019). Contacts: Robert L. Willmore, Carina C. Federico Client Alert / Newsletter
" IRS Expands Audit Campaigns to Include Economic Development Incentives," Tax Alert (November 8, 2017). Contacts: David B. Blair, Dwight N. Mersereau, Robert L. Willmore, Teresa Abney Client Alert / Newsletter
"Recent Developments in the Law of Privilege and the Work Product Doctrine," Crowell & Moring's Managing Tax Audits and Appeals Seminar 2017, Washington, D.C. (October 6, 2017). Presenter: Robert L. Willmore. Speech/Presentation
"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. Speech/Presentation