William N. Withrow, Jr.
Troutman Pepper Hamilton Sanders LLP
600 Peachtree Street, N.E.
Atlanta, GA 30308
Known for his calm, focused approach to contentious disputes, Bill is adept in helping clients appropriately assess their goals and the risks inherent in going to trial. Although Bill focuses on resolving disputes outside the courtroom whenever possible, clients most often turn to him when a high-stakes matter is going to trial.
For matters litigated to conclusion in these high-exposure cases, Bill’s clients insist that he handle any resulting appeals. In addition, he is often brought in to serve as lead appellate counsel where an outcome in the trial court has created substantial risk for the client. Bill has argued a number of precedent-setting appeals in federal and state courts for clients such as AT&T, Sanofi-Aventis, Truist, and Ford Motor Company. He has handled appeals in a majority of the federal circuit courts.
Bill served as chair of the firm’s Litigation Department from 2003 through 2018, was a member of the Executive Committee, and the former managing partner of the firm’s Chicago office.
- University of Georgia School of Law, J.D., magna cum laude
- University of Georgia, B.A., magna cum laude
- Hon. James C. Hill, U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit, 1978-1979
- Serving as lead trial counsel to Ford Motor Co. in a products liability action involving a rollover crash, in which the trial court declared a mistrial, imposed sanctions, and ordered a subsequent trial solely on the issue of compensatory and punitive damages.
- Represented Columbus Regional Healthcare, a regional medical center in Columbus, Georgia, in defeating class certification in a precedent-setting case decided by the Georgia Supreme Court. This closely watched case related to how hospitals price and file liens.
- Following the completion of multiple appeals, in which the issues for trial were substantially narrowed, served as trial counsel to members of a high net worth family in defense of remaining claims related to their management of family trust assets and related business entities.
- Represented SunTrust Bank in multiple class actions in federal district courts in which the plaintiffs challenged the bank’s practice of assessing overdraft fees. Following separate appeals to two federal circuit courts, class certification was denied in all cases.
- Defended various Anthem entities in a putative class action in which the plaintiffs, a group of out-of-network health care providers, challenged Blue Cross of Georgia’s reimbursement rates for out-of-network providers. The defendants’ motion to dismiss was granted as to all claims.
- Served as national litigation counsel to Associates First Capital Corp. and its affiliates in various litigation matters, including defense of consolidated multidistrict class actions.
- Served as lead appellate counsel to AT&T Corp. in separate appeals of (1) an order refusing to dismiss an action alleging misappropriation of trade secrets on grounds of state secrets privilege; (2) an order attaching settlement payments to international telecommunications carriers under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act; and (3) an order certifying nationwide RICO class actions.
- Served as lead trial counsel in a Texas state court action alleging improper termination of an exclusive distributor agreement.
- Acted as lead trial counsel to AT&T Corp. in an action asserting various fraud-based claims arising out of its provision of various telecommunications services. The jury returned a verdict substantially less than the plaintiffs’ best offer, which judgment was further reduced on appeal.
- Served as lead counsel to sanofi-aventis U.S. LLC in a putative national class action alleging RICO and various state law claims arising out of the company’s marketing and promotion of one of its prescription drugs. The trial court denied certification, and the decision was affirmed on appeal.
- Benchmark Litigation: “Local Litigation Star” (2013-2016, 2021)
- Best Lawyers in America®: Bet-the-Company Litigation (2021-2022), Commercial Litigation (2009-2022), Litigation – Mergers and Acquisitions (2011-2022), Corporate Law (2013-2022)
- Best Lawyers in America®: “Lawyer of the Year” in Litigation – Mergers and Acquisitions (2021)
- Best Lawyers in America®: “Lawyer of the Year” in General Commercial Litigation (2015)
- Chambers USA: Litigation: General Commercial, Illinois (2021) and Georgia (2008-2022)
- Law & Politics and Atlanta Magazine: “Super Lawyer” in Class Action/Mass Torts (2004-2017)
- Georgia Trend Magazine: “Legal Elite” in Business Litigation (2006-2009), General Practice/Trial Law (2012)
Skilled appellate advocacy is a core component of Troutman Pepper’s nationally recognized litigation practice.
We have the experience and insight to present compelling arguments to appellate courts at any level, and to work with trial counsel to best preserve issues for appeal. We have regularly appeared before the Supreme Court of the U.S. — in oral argument and on brief — winning several landmark decisions. We have also appeared before every federal court of appeals, as well as before numerous state supreme courts and other state appellate courts.
Among our attorneys are three former state solicitors general, and a former high-ranking U.S. government appellate advocate. Many of our appellate lawyers are former law clerks for Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court, judges of the state supreme courts, and federal courts of appeals. Our attorneys have spoken on appellate advocacy at seminars and law schools throughout the country, and serve on select court and bar committees with responsibility for studying and revising the rules of appellate procedure.
We have advocated for our clients in appellate courts on a wide range of issues, including the First Amendment and other constitutional provisions, environmental regulation, redistricting, regulatory takings, commercial litigation, utility rates, consumer financial services, insurance coverage, labor and employment, education law, and many others.
Our appellate practice takes various forms, depending on the needs of the client. We routinely represent parties on appeal after representing them in the trial court. In other cases, we have been brought into a case only after trial. We have also filed amicus curiae briefs on behalf of our clients, in courts around the country, including the Supreme Court.
Troutman Pepper was formed in July 2020 when two great law firms with storied histories joined to form a new firm with greater depth and breadth of talent and service. Our common focus and priority is our clients.
The firm’s litigation, transactional, and regulatory practices advise a diverse client base, from start-ups to multinational enterprises. The firm provides sophisticated legal solutions to clients’ most pressing business challenges, with depth across industry sectors, including construction, energy, financial services, health sciences, insurance, private equity, and real estate, among others.