Bill Burke concentrates his practice on complex commercial litigation, professional liability defense, and investigations.  He has successfully represented clients in federal and state courts, arbitrations, and federal regulatory proceedings throughout the United States.

Bill has extensive experience representing corporations and their officers and directors in contract disputes, fraud cases, class actions, securities litigation, shareholder derivative actions, and other types of complex civil litigation. 

In the field of professional liability defense, he has defended major law firms in malpractice actions, grand jury investigations, and SEC investigations, has represented individual lawyers in ethics proceedings, and has defended state court judges in lawsuits asserting federal civil rights claims.  He also serves as a member of Williams & Connolly’s Ethics Committee.

In addition to his litigation practice, Bill represents public companies, boards of directors, and audit committees in internal investigations regarding accounting issues, whistleblower complaints, insider trading, and alleged violations of the securities laws, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, and the False Claims Act.  

A member of the Bars of the District of Columbia, Virginia, and several federal courts, Bill has handled litigation and investigations in Alabama, Arizona, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin, China, India, and the United Kingdom. 

His pro bono work has included representing public-housing tenants in disputes with the D.C. Housing Authority in D.C. Superior Court; advising a non-profit whose mission is to advocate for military families; and advising a non-profit that provides legal assistance to foreign governments involved in peace negotiations, drafting constitutions, and prosecuting war criminals.  

Bill was raised in Burke, Virginia.  He graduated from Princeton University, where he was a Distinguished Military Graduate of the Air Force ROTC program, and earned his law degree at the University of Virginia School of Law.  As a track and field athlete, he broke the four-minute mile, twice earned NCAA All-American honors, won a silver medal at the 1991 Pan American Games in Havana, won the 1993 U.S. National Championship, and was a member of the U.S. national team at two World Championship meets.  After law school, Bill was a Captain and a judge advocate in the United States Air Force for five years, serving as both a prosecutor and a defense attorney in numerous courts-martial, and as a Special Assistant United States Attorney prosecuting crimes committed on base by civilians.  In 2000, he joined Williams & Connolly, where he served on the firm’s Hiring Committee for three years, supervised the summer associate program for three years, and is a current member of the Ethics Committee.  Bill lives in Arlington, Virginia with his wife and three children.

Representative Experience

  • Defended Fortune 50 company from class action fraud claims in Alabama state court
  • Defended financial institution from fraud claims in Illinois state court
  • Defended Fortune 50 company from class action fraud claims in U.S. district court
  • Lead trial counsel for real estate developer in breach of contract trial in D.C. Superior Court
  • Represented law firm in legal malpractice lawsuit in Virginia state court
  • Defended state court judges in two lawsuits in U.S. district courts alleging violations of federal civil rights
  • Represented audit committee of public company in internal investigation of whistleblower allegations regarding accounting irregularities and related SEC investigation
  • Defended officers and directors of two banks from lawsuits by the FDIC relating to the financial crisis
  • Defended major media company from tort claims by participants in reality TV show
  • Represented former executives of a Real Estate Investment Trust in a breach of employment contract lawsuit against the REIT
  • Defended real estate development company from securities fraud claims before district and appellate courts
  • Defended major oil company from fraud and breach of contract claims in arbitration against another major oil company relating to a joint venture chemical company
  • Represented Fortune 500 company in securities class action, derivative action, and related SEC investigation
  • Defended partner in major law firm in sanctions proceedings before federal appellate court
  • Advised Am Law 100 law firm on inquiries by Committee on Unauthorized Practice of Law
  • Defended Am Law 100 law firm from malpractice claims in ICC arbitration
  • Defended Am Law 100 law firm from fraud and malpractice claims in Maryland state court
  • Represented Am Law 100 law firm in securities class action, lawsuit alleging fraud and RICO claims, and government investigations arising from the bankruptcy of Refco
  • Represented Am Law 100 law firm in securities class action and government investigations arising from the bankruptcy of Enron
  • Defended Am Law 100 law firm from legal malpractice action in DC Superior Court
  • Worked on team of Independent Consultants retained pursuant to SEC order to review audit practice of major accounting firm
  • Represented Fortune 100 company in Foreign Corrupt Practices Act investigation
  • Represented Fortune 100 company in False Claims Act investigation
  • Represented special committee of the board of directors of public company in investigation of insider trading allegations



Other Government Service

Captain, Judge Advocate General’s Department, United States Air Force, 1995-2000

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