Wilber (Bill) Boies focuses his practice on business dispute counseling and business litigation throughout the country.
Chambers USA (2006 edition) says, "Clients readily turn to Boies for 'bet the ranch' type cases and hail him as a 'top-notch, well-seasoned litigator in the ERISA arena.' He has built his reputation acting for financial institutions in weighty cases centered on securities and fraud issues." The Legal 500 (2007 edition) says, "Clients seek out the 'formidable' Wilber Boies, who doubles up as a financial and securities litigator, for his extensive experience in stock-drop litigation." Chambers USA (2008 edition) says, "Bill Boies 'truly understands the fiduciary issues that come up,' '...a good strategic thinker - smart, tactical and pragmatic.'" Chambers USA (2009 edition) says, "Boies wins acclaim for his highly tuned and carefully considered approach to litigation...'the perfect courtroom strategist.'" Chambers USA (2010 edition) says, "Bill Boies is a highly prized litigator." Chambers USA (2011 edition) says, "He has an excellent way with clients and is extremely polished in the courtroom." Chambers USA (2014 edition) says clients "admire Bill Boies's substance, noting he is a 'driving force' in the practice." Chambers USA (2015 edition) says, "Bill Boies is well regarded for his decades of experience in..class action litigation."
Bill regularly represents benefit plan sponsors and fiduciaries in Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) class action litigation concerning pension plan administration, fiduciary duty, responsibility for asset losses, and changes in welfare benefits. Several of his health benefits class action victories resulted in court-approved savings to employers valued at more than $100 million. He also has defeated several high-exposure class actions regarding company stock price declines in benefit plans. Bill successfully defended a Texas class action claiming huge investment losses from the failure of a "paperless" telephone system for a 33,000-participant 401(k) plan. He also successfully defended the bank trustee of the country's third-largest employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) company in a class action alleging breaches of fiduciary duty in creation of the ESOP and in voting at director elections.
Bill represented an investment fund plaintiff in Equity Funding Securities Litigation in Los Angeles; the defendant corporation in Food Fair Securities Litigation and related shareholder derivative actions in Philadelphia; and the outside directors in Carnation Securities Litigation in Los Angeles and the related insurance coverage dispute and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) investigation, which led to the SEC's "Carnation rule" on corporate disclosure obligations. Bill has defended class actions attacking public company forward-looking statements and market timing in mutual funds.
Financial Institution Disputes
Bill has acted as special counsel for banks and thrifts, and for financial institution owners in disputes with regulatory agencies about capitalization and safety and soundness problems, including bank seizures and subsequent litigation. He won a $155 million damages judgment against the United States in the savings and loan "goodwill" litigation in the US Court of Federal Claims. Bill has represented plaintiffs and defendants in fraudulent conveyance and fraud lawsuits following failed leveraged buyouts, and defended banks and thrifts in substantial lender liability lawsuits. He represents banks and trust companies as defendants in class actions contesting trust fees, share voting and other administrative procedures.
Bill has extensive experience in the defense of class and multi-party lawsuits throughout the United States involving securities fraud, business failures, franchise systems, insurance and benefits plans, consumer fraud and antitrust claims. His recent consumer class action victories involve credit card transactions and a nationwide series of class actions involving disputes over telephone services billing.
Trials and Appeals
Bill has tried and won jury and bench trials in state and federal courts across the country. He defended Chicago's largest grocery retailer in the trial of a consumer price-fixing class action dismissed at the close of the plaintiffs' evidence. He wrote the chapter on "Trial of Federal Cases" for the Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education Federal Civil Practice manual.
Bill has argued and won numerous appeals in the US Courts of Appeals for the Second, Third, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, Eleventh and Federal Circuits, the Illinois Appellate Court and the Illinois Supreme Court. One notable appellate victory was the complete reversal of a $125 million district court ruling against a pension plan sponsor. Bill also defeated the State of Illinois in constitutional litigation challenging a statue that directed a private foundation to "contribute" $125 million of its endowment to the state.
Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)
Bill has experience with a variety of ADR devices, including mediations, formal arbitrations and court enforcement of arbitration awards. He was appointed by the Court of Federal Claims as the plaintiffs' ADR negotiator in efforts to settle some 125 cases filed by savings and loan plaintiffs against the United States challenging legislation that wiped out $10 billion in regulatory capital. He trained in the CPR Institute Mediation Training Program and has been a member of the CPR Panels of Distinguished Neutrals. Bill is a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Dispute Resolution Arbitrator.
Bill has served several terms on McDermott's Management, Executive, and Compensation Committees, and a three-year term as head of the Firm's Litigation Department of more than 400 lawyers across the United States.