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William J.F. Roll, III

Partner

William is Co-US General Counsel. Previously, he held the role of General Counsel of Shearman and Sterling before which he was a partner in Litigation for many years.

William represented clients in a variety of commercial and financial litigation. His practice included bankruptcy and workout-related litigation, bank fraud and lender liability actions, private antitrust and securities actions, intellectual property litigation, and real estate litigation. In addition to trial level work in the foregoing areas in many jurisdictions around the country, he also handled appeals in both state and federal courts in New York, California, Florida, Ohio, Texas, and elsewhere. William also handled arbitrations conducted under the auspices of the American Arbitration Association, JAMS, the New York Stock Exchange, and the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID).

William, who is admitted in both New York and California (and has practiced in both jurisdictions), joined the firm in 1980 following a judicial clerkship with the Hon. Thomas C. Platt, United States District Judge for the Eastern District of New York. He served as the firm’s global Hiring Partner from 1994 through 1996.

Experience

Representative matters

Coldwater Creek and affiliates in their Chapter 11 cases in the Bankruptcy Court in Delaware.

Citibank, N.A. in the Chapter 11 cases of Residential Capital and affiliates in the Bankruptcy Court in New York, including, in a decision of first impression, successfully obtaining post-petition interest at the contractual default rate, as well as attorneys' fees, despite the debtors' insolvency and inability to pay unsecured claims in full.

Ardagh Group S.A. in the successful defense of an action in the District Court in Philadelphia by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation seeking involuntary termination of the pension plan Ardagh would assume and sponsor following its acquisition of the Verallia North America subsidiary of Compagnie de Saint-Gobain.

China State Construction Engineering Corp. and affiliates in the Chapter 11 cases in the Bankruptcy Court in Delaware of the owner and developer of the Baha Mar casino and resort development project in Nassau, Bahamas.

Bank of America, N.A. and Merrill Lynch and affiliates in major aspects of the Chapter 11 cases of Lehman Brothers Holdings, Inc. and affiliates in the Bankruptcy Court in New York.

The court-appointed Chapter 11 Trustee in the Chapter 11 cases of GSC Group and affiliates in the Bankruptcy Court in New York.

Vedanta Resources plc and its subsidiaries Sterlite (USA), Inc. and Sterlite Industries (India) Ltd. in the proposed purchase of assets and related litigation in the Chapter 11 cases of Asarco LLC and affiliates in the Bankruptcy Court in Corpus Christi, Texas.

Fairfax Financial Holdings in the successful defense of a $400 million fraudulent conveyance action relating to a dispute concerning an intercompany financing arrangement in the Bankruptcy Court in Delaware.

Tomen America, Inc. and affiliates in an action in state court in Naples, Florida, involving various claims by and against a local developer relating to several real estate joint ventures.

Oneida Ltd. and affiliates in their Chapter 11 cases in the Bankruptcy Court in New York.

Tata Motors Ltd. in connection with the negotiation of its agreement to supply certain parts to Boeing for inclusion in the 787 "Dreamliner" aircraft.

JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A. in its capacity as agent for the bank lenders in the Chapter 11 cases of Genuity, Inc. and affiliates in the Bankruptcy Court in New York.

Citibank, N.A. in its capacity as agent for the bank lenders in the Chapter 11 cases of Warnaco Inc. and affiliates in the Bankruptcy Court in New York.

Credit Suisse First Boston LLC and Salomon Smith Barney in their capacities as agents for the bank lenders in the Chapter 11 cases of Exide Technologies, Inc. and affiliates in the Bankruptcy Court in Delaware.

Oneida Ltd. in an action in the District Court in Toledo alleging "trade dress" infringement in connection with seven lines of glassware sold to the foodservice market nationwide.

American Airlines, Inc. in a nationwide class action in the District Court in New York alleging breach of contract in connection with lifetime memberships in the "Admiral's Club".

Citicorp North America, Inc. and four other major financial institutions in the Chapter 11 cases of Knudsen Corporation and its affiliates and 23 related civil actions, all in Los Angeles, alleging a variety of lender liability claims, fraudulent conveyance, and equitable subordination.

The Dow Chemical Company, the largest producer of chlorine and caustic soda in the world, in separate antitrust class actions in the District Courts in Philadelphia and St. Paul alleging price fixing involving those products.

BASF Corp. in consolidated nationwide class actions in the District Court in New Orleans alleging defects in the painting process employed on various Ford Motor Company vehicles.

Citibank, N.A. in the Chapter 11 cases in the Bankruptcy Court in Los Angeles of First Capital Holdings Corp. and two subsidiaries, in which the bank served as agent for a five-bank syndicate holding secured claims in excess of $260 million, and that involved separate state conservation proceedings relating to non debtor insurance company subsidiaries.

Citicorp Real Estate, Inc. as secured creditor in the Chapter 11 cases in the Bankruptcy Court in Los Angeles of limited partnerships that owned the former west coast headquarters of Drexel Burnham Lambert, Incorporated.

Bay Networks, Inc. in an AAA arbitration in San Francisco and related state and federal court litigation in New York arising from the termination of one of its east coast distributors.

TrizecHahn Corporation in an action in state court in Chicago over a contingent payment provision in a stock purchase agreement.

Citibank, N.A. and affiliated parties in an action in state court in Los Angeles for alleged fraud in connection with the lease of a commercial aircraft to a Scottish trans-Atlantic airline.

Fosterlane Management Corp. and certain of its affiliates in parallel state and federal actions in Florida and Kentucky, respectively, involving the joint venture agreement and related documents governing a bulk distribution warehouse complex in Orlando, Florida.

PolyGram Holdings, Inc. and its pension committee in an action in the District Court in New York involving claims under ERISA over trading in certain of the company's retirement plan funds.

PLM International, Inc. and several subsidiaries and officers and directors in an action in state court in San Francisco by the company's former chairman alleging, among other things, violations of California's Unfair Practices Act.

Swiss Aluminium Ltd. in an ICSID arbitration against the Government of Iceland over various issues, including taxation of the company's Iceland subsidiary, intracompany transfer pricing, power supply contract issues, and others.

Published Work

  • Author, "Termination Premiums Under ERISA Held to be Dischargeable Prepetition Claims," The Bankruptcy Strategist, May 2008
  • Author, "Corporate Mergers Provoke Challenges," New York Law Journal, March 21, 1988

Leadership Positions And Professional Affiliations

  • American Bar Association
  • Federal Bar Council
  • New York State Bar Association
  • Los Angeles County Bar Association

Qualifications

Admissions

Attorney-at-Law, New York

Attorney-at-Law, California

Courts

United States Supreme Court

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit

United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

United States District Court for the Southern District of New York

United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York

United States District Court for the Northern District of New York

United States District Court for the Northern District of California

United States District Court for the Central District of California

United States District Court for the Southern District of California

Academic

Boston College A.B., summa cum laude

Phi Beta Kappa

Cornell University Law School J.D., cum laude

Disclaimer
A&O Shearman was formed on May 1, 2024 by the combination of Shearman & Sterling LLP and Allen & Overy LLP and their respective affiliates (the legacy firms). Any matters referred to above may include matters undertaken by one or more of the legacy firms rather than A&O Shearman.