William Shaw McDermott




Mr. William Shaw McDermott is a Partner with K&L Gates LLP. Mr. McDermott has been Chairman of Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority since January 11, 2016. He founded his own firm, McDermott & Rizzo, in 1981 and merged that firm into the predecessor of his current firm. Throughout his career, he has prepared and tried cases in state and federal courts on a wide variety of subjects, primarily in civil matters. In recent decades, he has concentrated on complex commercial litigations and class actions, internal investigations and the defense of government enforcement actions. He serves as a Director of Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority. He has also dedicated substantial time in civic and community activities. He served as President of the Boston Bar Foundation; President of Dexter School and Southfield School; President of the Harvard Club of Boston; President of Citizens for Dedham Neighborhoods Alliance; Secretary of Thompson Island Outward Bound; and in leadership positions as a Director, Trustee and Overseer at Harvard teaching hospitals, the Harvard Medical Faculty Physicians and the Harvard School of Public Health. He is active in local, state and national politics. For over two decades, until January 1, 2013, he served as an elected Member of the Dedham Town Meeting and as Chairman of his precinct delegation for several terms. Mr. McDermott has published articles on historical, legal and other topics in the New York Times, the Boston Globe and legal publications. He has spoken on legal issues at national and international forums. After passing the Bar, he served as a Law Clerk to Andrew A. Caffrey, Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts.


He graduated with a B.A. in European History from Harvard college,an M.A. in Modern History from Oxford University, and received his J.D. from the University of Virginia Law School.

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