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Barbara J. Dawson

Barbara J. Dawson

Partner| Phoenix|Washington, D.C.


Barb Dawson is a senior litigation and investigations partner. She serves on the firm’s elected Executive Committee and co-chairs the firm's Commercial Litigation Practice Group and its International Practice Group.

Barb’s practice concentrates on assisting Fortune 500 businesses and boards of directors with internal investigations, complex litigation and regulatory compliance. She has experience helping companies when legal challenges arise from government action, shareholder, consumer and whistle-blower claims, and other circumstances involving conflict and crisis management. Barb has handled litigation and investigations related to SEC and other regulatory inquiries, corporate governance, qui tam and class action claims, officer and director liability, Foreign Corrupt Practice Act claims, and shareholder and derivative litigation. She has deep industry experience with financial and other consumer services as well as business-to-business entities and government contractors.

On a national basis, Barb currently serves as the American Bar Association’s Section of Litigation vice chair and will chair the Section in 2019-2020.  She recently served as one of 16 members of the ABA’s Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary that vets and rates federal judicial candidates for the United States Supreme Court, Courts of Appeal and District Courts.

On an international basis, Barb has served as chair of the Board of Directors for Lex Mundi, an international affiliation of 160 independent law firms located in 100 countries. She frequently assists clients with matters involving non-U.S. parties and venues, international compliance issues and cross-border investigations. Her experience has included legal engagements, law-related presentations, projects and board of directors’ duties on six continents including the non-U.S. venues of China, Singapore, Australia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Mexico, Canada, Colombia, Argentina, Ecuador, Barbados, Costa Rica, the Netherlands, Germany, England, Scotland, Portugal, Spain, Estonia, Czech Republic, Russia, Austria, Ghana and Nigeria.

  • University of Iowa College of Law (J.D., with distinction)
    • Senior Note and Comment Editor, Journal of Corporation Law
  • Iowa State University (B.S., with distinction)
    • Senior Class President
  • American Bar Association, Section of Litigation
    • Vice Chair (present)
    • Member of Leadership (1998-present)
  • American Bar Association, Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary (2014-2017)
  • American Bar Foundation (2005-present)
  • Arizona Bar Association
    • Access to Justice Taskforce (2015)
    • State Bar Convention Committee, Co-Chair (2006)
    • Legal Services Committee (1991-1997), Chair (1993-1995)
  • Arizona Foundation for Legal Services and Education (formerly known as Arizona Bar Foundation)
    • Board of Directors (1998-2005), Chair (2004), Fellow (2004-present)
  • Arizona Tax Research Association
    • Board of Directors (2000-2014)
  • International Bar Association (2004-present)
  • Lex Mundi
    • Board of Directors (2006-2011), Chair (2009-2010)
    • Global Program Committee (2011-2016)
    • Dispute Resolution Committee, Chair (2008-2009)
    • Diversity Taskforce Coordinator (2005-2010)
    • Women and the Law Committee, Chair (2003-2005)
  • "Seeking Success in International Mediation," Author, Litigation Magazine, Vol. 42, No. 2, pp. 18-19 (Winter 2016)
  • Global Symposium, Lex Mundi/ACC Arizona Chapter/Snell & Wilmer, Program Chair (2011, 2013, 2016)
  • "War Stories and Lessons Learned," Presenter, Maricopa County Bar Association (2015)
  • "Protecting the Attorney-Client Privilege in Internal Investigations," Co-Author and Moderator, Snell & Wilmer Corporate Counsel Forum (2015)
  • "If I Knew Then What I Know Now — Tips From Proven Leaders," American Bar Association Section of Litigation (2014)
  • "In Government's Shoes: The Continuing Force Behind the False Claims Act & Qui Tam Complaints," Co-Author, Arizona Attorney (March 2014)
  • "Standing in the Shoes of the Government — The Rise of Qui Tam Litigation," Snell & Wilmer Corporate Counsel Forum (2013)
  • "Ethics in Merger & Acquisitions: A Review of Best Practices from Pre- and Post-Closing," Presenter, ACC Arizona Chapter (2013)
  • "Lex Mundi/ACC Southeastern Global Symposium," Moderator (2013)
  • "Disclosing and Reserving for Loss Contingencies," Presenter (2013)
  • "Litigation Management in Evolving Times," Moderator, ACC Utah Chapter (2012)
  • "Commercial Litigation Funding & Investment 2012," Presenter, New York Digital Sandbox (2012)
  • "Discovering Risks for Non-US Entities: Adapting to US Rules of Engagement," Chapter Co-Author, Inside the Minds: Complying with International Discovery Regulations; Leading Lawyers on Understanding Rules for Discovery in Foreign Countries, Aspatore Books (2012)
  • "Controlling Costs in Litigation and Arbitration Around the World," Panel Chair, ACC New York Chapter/Lex Mundi (2011)
  • "Dukes v. Wal-Mart & AT&T v. Concepcion: Strategies for Avoiding Class & Collective Actions," Presenter, ACC Arizona Chapter (2011)
  • Cross-Border Dispute Resolution Faculty, Lex Mundi Institute (2011-present)
  • "Valuing Litigation: Lessons Learned from Collaboration," Co-Author, ACC Docket, 127-131 (2011)
  • "Attorney-Client Privilege: The Implications of Bevill and United States v. Graf for Corporate Counsel and Personnel," Presenter, ACC Arizona Chapter (2011)
  • "Risk Factors for the Away Team in U.S. Litigation," Co-Author with Dr. Martin Wagener, ACC Docket, pp. 25-28 (2010)
  • "Bringing Value to Litigation, Co-Chair, ABA Section of Litigation/ACC, Valuing Litigation Symposium (2010)
  • "Update on Internal Investigations and Related Cross Border Litigation," Program Chair, Lex Mundi Litigation, Arbitration & Dispute Resolution North America Regional Meeting (2010)
  • "The Anatomy of the Director-Led Investigation and the Role of Special Counsel to the Board," Co-Author with Joseph Adams and Andreea V. Micklis, Snell & Wilmer Financial Services Litigation Bulletin (2010)
  • "Unclaimed Property: Understanding and Navigating this Trap for the Unwary," Presenter, Arizona Tax Executives Institute (2010)
  • "Ethical Issues in Internal Investigations," Presenter, ACC Ethics Series (2009)
  • "Unchartered Waters: Ten Considerations to Crafting the International Mediation Clause," Co-Author with Mark Rogers, ACC Docket, 78-85 (2008)
  • Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business®, Litigation: General Commercial (2014-2018)
  • The Best Lawyers in America®, Bet-the-Company Litigation, Commercial Litigation, Mass Tort Litigation/Class Action - Defendants, Regulatory Enforcement Litigation (SEC, Telecom, Energy), Securities Litigation (2008-2018); Arbitration (2014-2018)
    • Phoenix Lawyer of the Year, Regulatory Enforcement Litigation (SEC, Telecom, Energy) (2018)
  • Top 100 Lawyers in Arizona, AZ Business Magazine (2014-2018)
  • Southwest Super Lawyers®, Business Litigation (2007-2018)
    • Top 25 Female Lawyers in Arizona (2014, 2016-2018)
  • Benchmark Litigation, Local Litigation Star – Arizona, Antitrust, General Commercial (2013, 2016-2018)
  • Who's Who Legal, Commercial Litigation (2008-2017)
  • Outstanding Women in Business, Phoenix Business Journal (2016)
  • "Female Powerbrokers Q&A: Snell & Wilmer's Barb Dawson," Feature Article, Law360 (February 21, 2014)
  • Lawdragon Top 3000 Leading Lawyers in America (2010-2013)
  • Walter E. Craig Distinguished Service Award, Arizona Foundation for Legal Services and Education (2013)
  • "Barb Dawson: Winning Cases and Leading Lawyers in and from the Valley of the Sun," Of Counsel Interview: Vol. 31, Iss. 11 (November 2012)
  • ATHENA Award, Business Woman of the Year, Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce (2009)
  • Phoenix Business Journal, 40 Under 40 Award
  • Volunteer of the Year, Volunteer Lawyers Program
  • Judicial Intern Opportunity Program
    • Sponsor (2004-present)
  • Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation (2006-present)
    • Chair (2009-2010)
  • Phoenix Committee on Foreign Relations
    • Board of Directors (2012-2015)
    • Advisory Board Member (2015-present)
  • Valley Leadership Class XVI
  • XICO
    • Board of Directors (2012-2016)
    • Program Committee Member (2015-present)
  • Arizona
  • District of Columbia
  • Supreme Court of Arizona
  • United States District Court, District of Arizona
  • United States District and Bankruptcy Court, District of Columbia
  • United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
  • United States Tax Court