Chilton Davis Varner

Firm: King & Spalding LLP
Location: Atlanta - GA

  • 1180 Peachtree Street, NE Suite 1600
    Atlanta, GA 30309
  • Tel : 404 572 4789
  • Fax : N/A

Chilton Varner focuses on product liability, business torts, contract and other commercial disputes. As a partner in our Mass Tort and Toxic Tort practice, Chilton defends corporate clients in a range of commercial litigation.

With 30 years of experience as a trial lawyer, Chilton represents clients in mass tort litigation, class actions and multi-district litigation. She has served as trial and appellate counsel for a number of the country’s largest pharmaceutical, medical device and automotive manufacturers.

Chilton was appointed to the Federal Civil Rules Advisory Committee by Chief Justice William Rehnquist in 2004 and reappointed by Chief Justice John Roberts in 2007, where she participated in drafting amendments governing electronic discovery and changes to the rules governing summary judgment, expert discovery and information-gathering from third parties and corporate executives. In 2012-13, Chilton was President of the American College of Trial Lawyers. She is currently President of the Supreme Court Historical Society.

Chilton became the first woman partner in our litigation practices in 1983. She speaks regularly on women’s issues and has taught a session of the Temple University Graduate Program in Litigation titled “Women as Trial Lawyers.” She also gave the Kolsby Distinguished Lecture in Trial Advocacy at Temple University Law School in 2014.

In 2016, Chilton was recognized as a Life Sciences Star by LMG Life Sciences and identified as a Leading Individual by Legal 500 U.S. She was also recognized by Benchmark Litigation in its 2016 edition of Top 250 Women in Litigation.

Since 2003, Chambers USA has recognized Chilton as a leader in Commercial Litigation, Product Liability and Trial practice, and since 2005 as one of the country’s best lawyers as well as a Band 1 Product Liability lawyer. And in 2015, Chambers USA also ranked her in Band 1 of trial lawyers nationally and in Band 1 of Georgia commercial litigators. In 2019, The Best Lawyers in America named her for her work in appellate practice, bet-the-company litigation, commercial litigation, mass tort litigation/class actions-defendants, personal injury litigation-defendants and product liability litigation-defendants.


  • American Academy of Appellate Lawyers
  • American College of Trial Lawyers
  • American Law Institute
  • Supreme Court Historical Society


  • J.D., Emory University, with distinction
  • A.B., Smith College, with distinction

King & Spalding LLP

King & Spalding helps leading companies advance complex business interests in more than 160 countries. Working across a highly integrated platform of more than 1,200 lawyers in 22 offices globally, we deliver tailored commercial solutions through world-class offerings and an uncompromising approach to quality and service.

Our Appellate, Constitutional and Administrative Law team succeeds in major appeals for our clients in virtually every litigation forum, including before the U.S. Supreme Court, federal and state appellate courts, government agencies, and national and international arbitration panels. In addition to cases originally tried by our firm at all levels of the state and federal court systems, we frequently handle high-profile appeals for cases previously tried by other firms.

We regularly handle high-stakes, leading-edge intellectual property matters, including Section 337 matters, before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court. We also have brought major Supreme Court cases for leading energy companies, and played a principal role in regulatory cases before the federal courts of appeals. In the life sciences and healthcare area, we frequently advise on matters involving state regulatory agencies, the FDA and major federal False Claims Act litigation.

Recognized for the level, complexity and number of appellate matters we handle, our Washington, D.C.-based team is co-chaired by a former Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division of the Department of Justice and includes numerous attorneys with prestigious appellate clerkships, including the U.S. Supreme Court.

Our Appellate team also provides strategic counseling and advice on legal issues well before they reach the appellate level. We are frequently retained to brief and argue constitutional and other complex legal issues in trial courts, and regularly assist clients with:

  • pretrial motions;
  • preparation of jury instructions;
  • presentation of motions and objections during trial;
  • post-trial motions; and
  • pre-appellate evaluation and mediation of cases.

We also analyze pending legislation and regulations to assess their constitutionality and the viability of potential legal challenges.