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Practice Area(s)


  • J.D., University of Virginia School of Law, 1994, Virginia Law Review
  • M.A., The University of Chicago, 1988
  • B.A., University of Virginia, 1983, Phi Beta Kappa

Bar and Court Admissions

  • Virginia
  • District of Columbia
  • District of Columbia Court of Appeals

Other Professional Affiliations

Member, American Bar Association

Douglas N. Varley

Member, Washington, D.C.
(202) 862-7818 | v-card | PDF

Douglas N. Varley is a Member of Caplin & Drysdale's Washington, D.C., office. He became a Member of the firm in February, 2000.


Mr. Varley's practice focuses principally on advising exempt organizations, in particular, private foundations. He has guided the design of major grantmaking programs and participated in the development of national public educational campaigns targeted on a range of significant policy issues. In addition to helping a diverse array of nonprofit organizations comply with the rules governing lobbying and political activities, his areas of concentration also include such matters as international philanthropy, restrictions on executive compensation, transactions with for-profit organizations, and minimizing unrelated business income tax. Before embarking on his legal career, Mr. Varley administered grantmaking programs for college and university faculty at the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Professional Activities

Mr. Varley has served on the Board of Trustees of several national nonprofit organizations, including the National Audubon Society, the NRDC Action Fund, and Earthjustice. He is an Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University Law Center.

Awards & Rankings

  • The Legal 500, Leading Lawyer, 2011 and 2013; Recommended, 2014-2017
  • Best Lawyers in America, Lawyer of the Year, 2021; 2013-Present
  • American Bar Association Outstanding Nonprofit Lawyer, 2019

Recent News

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Speaking Engagements

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Recent Publications

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