Wilson M. Dunlavey, Ph. D.
Partner, New York Office
212 355-9500

Wilson Dunlavey

Wilson M. Dunlavey represents government entities, consumers, small businesses, workers, and homeowners in complex litigation against fossil fuel companies and other polluters. Through creativity and tenacity, Wilson has changed company practices and recovered over $16 billion for his clients in just eight years of practice.

Wilson has been a driving force in changing the law to benefit victims of environmental disasters, including negligence, nuisance, and trespass law.

Among his many active cases, Wilson currently represents the State of California against Big Oil in arguably the most significant environmental litigation ever. They seek to hold Exxon, Shell, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, BP, and the American Petroleum Institute accountable for the decades of deception regarding the impact of climate change. Wilson also represents citizens of Benton Harbor, Michigan in environmental civil rights litigation involving contaminated drinking water.

Wilson’s past successes include a $90 million dollar settlement reached in 2023 with a pipeline company and shipping companies arising out of the 2021 Oil Spill in Huntington Beach, California; a $1.8 billion dollar settlement reached in 2021 with Sempra Energy Corporation arising out of the largest methane leak in U.S. history in Porter Ranch, California in 2016; a $230 million dollar settlement against Plains Pipeline Company arising out of the 2015 Santa Barbara Oil Spill; and a series of settlements against Volkswagen, Porsche, and Audi in 2022, 2019, 2018, and 2017 arising out of the 2015 “Clean Diesel” Scandal.

Wilson’s pro bono practice includes successfully representing unaccompanied Central American minors in obtaining immigration relief.

His hobbies include hiking and backpacking, gardening, yoga, and singing nursey rhymes to his children on the streets of New York City.

Long form bio (click to open pdf).

  • University of California, Berkeley, School of Law (Berkeley Law), Berkeley, California
    J.D. – 2015
  • Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Germany
    Ph.D. – 2015
    M.A. – 2011
  • St. John’s College, Annapolis, Maryland
    B.A. – 2003
  • German
  • New York, 2023
  • California, 2015
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit, 2016
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia, 2021
  • U.S. District Court, Central District of California, 2016
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, 2016
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Michigan, 2023
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan, 2019
  • U.S. District Court, Middle District of North Carolina, 2016
  • “Lawdragon 500 Leading Plaintiff Consumer Lawyers in America,” Lawdragon, 2023, 2024
  • “Lawdragon 500 X – The Next Generation,” Lawdragon, 2023
  • “Rising Star for Northern California,” Super Lawyers, 2019-2023
  • “California Lawyer of the Year,” California Daily Journal, 2018
  • “Consumer Attorney of the Year Finalist,” Consumer Attorneys of California, 2017
  • “Outstanding Private Practice Antitrust Achievement,” American Antitrust Institute, 2017