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headshot of brendan otoole, williams mullen partner

Brendan D. O'Toole

Richmond, VA
  • T.
  • 804.420.6588
  • F.
  • 804.420.6507

Brendan O’Toole focuses on complex federal and state commercial litigation, with an emphasis on financial services, residential development and construction, and mortgage disputes, along with the defense of business tort and class action claims.

He also regularly defends clients in shareholder disputes and against claims brought under various consumer protection statutes (Fair Credit Reporting Act, Fair Debt Collection Practices Act). Brendan handles all aspects of litigation, including taking and defending depositions, arguing motions and examining witnesses during trials in state and federal court.

Brendan has also drafted appellate briefs in the Supreme Court of Virginia (petition and merits stages) and the United States Supreme Court (petition stage), and he has argued cases before the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. He also has experience defending against claims under the Virginia Fraud Against Taxpayers Act. Brendan’s knowledge of the Eastern District of Virginia is a tremendous asset for clients involved in federal litigation.

Brendan returned to the firm in the fall of 2013 after serving as a law clerk to U.S. District Judge John A. Gibney, Jr. in the Eastern District of Virginia.  Prior to joining the firm in 2007, Brendan served as a law clerk to the Hon. Dennis W. Dohnal, also of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. Brendan has been listed in Virginia Super Lawyers magazine for business litigation.  In addition, Brendan has been named among Virginia's "Legal Elite" by Virginia Business (2015-present); listed in The Best Lawyers in America® for Commercial Litigation (2017-present); and listed in Virginia Super Lawyers (2013-present). He has also been named to Benchmark Litigation's 40 & Under Hot List (2018-present). He is the author of various articles pertaining to financial services litigation, white collar crime and administrative law. 

Brendan is also involved in the community and serves as a board member of Communities in Schools of Chesterfield (CIS), an organization that utilizes both public and private partnerships to provide prevention and intervention services to at-risk youth and their families in Chesterfield County. Brendan, a cancer survivor, also participates with the Association for the Support of Children with Cancer (ASK), Young Adult Survivor’s Advisory Group.

Brendan received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Wake Forest University, with honors, and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Richmond School of Law, where he was elected by the faculty to the National Order of the Barrister. While in law school, Brendan was a senior associate with the Richmond Journal of Global Law and Business, the 2004 Intrascholastic Trial Advocacy Competition champion, a semi-finalist in the Client Counseling and Negotiation Competition and a member of the Honor Council Student Advocate Corps.

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  • University of Richmond School of Law (J.D.)
    • CALI Excellence for the Future Award
    • Education Law
    • Honor Council
    • Student Advocate Corps
    • National Order of the Barristers
  • Wake Forest University (B.A.)
    • with honors
Professional & Community Affiliations

Professional Affiliations

  • John Marshall American Inn of Court, Executive Committee (2015-present)
  • Richmond Bar Association, CLE Committee (2016-present)
  • Federal Civil Practice in Virginia – Co-Author (2020)

Community Involvements

  • Association for the Support of Children With Cancer (ASK) – Young Adult Survivor's Advisory Group
  • Communities in Schools of Chesterfield (CIS) – Board Member
  • MCA Model Judiciary Program – Coach
Bar & Court Admissions

Bar Admissions

  • Virginia State Bar

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Virginia
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Virginia
  • U.S. Supreme Court

Benchmark Litigation – Future Star for Virginia (2020)

Benchmark Litigation – 40 & Under Hot List (2018)

Virginia Business – "Legal Elite," Civil Litigation (2015-present)

Virginia Super Lawyers – Business Litigation (2013-present)

The Best Lawyers in America® – Commercial Litigation (2017-present)

Virginia Super Lawyers Rising Stars – Commercial Litigation(2012)

Pro Bono Service Honor Roll – Member (2021)

2022 Criminal Justice Pro Bono Award Recipient


  • Defending various banks and mortgage companies against alleged wrongful foreclosure claims;
  • Defending large law firms in legal malpractice and breach of fiduciary duty cases;
  • Assisted various Virginia 501(c)(3) stakeholder organizations in obtaining historic federal court order for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families;
  • Representing a university and its chancellor in a First Amendment case;
  • Defending multiple class action lawsuits brought under the Fair Credit Reporting Act and Fair Debt Collection Practices Act;
  • Challenging the constitutionality of the federal "honest services" statute as part of the defense of a client accused of racketeering;
  • Representation of a law firm spokesperson accused of defamation, abuse of process and conspiracy.
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