Biography

Bill is Co-Chair of the firm’s Cannabis Law Practice and is nationally ranked by Chambers USA as a leading lawyer in Cannabis Law.

He leads a 70-attorney national team that provides a comprehensive suite of legal services to businesses in the legalized cannabis sector. He focuses his practice on providing strategic regulatory and transactional advice to both the cannabis and gaming industries.

Recognized as a “Trailblazer” in cannabis law by The National Law Journal, Bill is a sought-after authority on legal developments surrounding the production, distribution and marketing of medical and adult-use cannabis products. He is frequently asked to speak at high-profile conferences on the regulatory and corporate issues shaping the sector and its burgeoning businesses.

Representing some of the largest multi-state cannabis operators in the country, Bill litigates a range of civil and regulatory issues. Recent successes include securing coveted licenses in key markets and waging challenges against administrative and court license denials and disciplinary actions. 

“I have full confidence in Bill's ability to discern what rules and regulations mean, how to interpret them and how to build a trusting relationships with regulators.”

~ Chambers USA, confidential interview of cannabis-sector client

Bill also helps power players in the recreational and medical cannabis space navigate complex regulations and facilitate industry-shaping mergers and acquisitions. His multidisciplinary practice reaches major cannabis markets across the country, assisting private and public cannabis companies with a range shareholder liability, venture capital, taxation, employee, trademark and financial services issues. 

In Illinois’ cannabis market, Bill spearheaded efforts that amended the Illinois Supreme Court Rules to allow for legal representation of cannabis clients and has served regional clients since medical marijuana was legalized in 2013.

Gaming and Administrative Law

Bill guides national gaming industry companies, suppliers and investors through the web of complex gaming laws. Clients rely on his experience with applying for gaming licenses in jurisdictions across the country, defending gaming licensees in disciplinary proceedings, and his successful record of enjoining regulators from revoking licenses. In addition, he provides counsel on promotional sweepstakes, contests, fantasy sport leagues and charitable raffles, ensuring that such programs comply with state and federal laws and do not constitute illegal gambling.

He also assists gaming regulators and lawmakers with crafting new and revised gaming regulations. As a former legal adviser to the Illinois Gaming Board (IGB), Bill authored much of Illinois’ gaming regulations and advised the IGB and the governor’s office on all aspects of gaming law and regulation. He draws upon this extensive government experience to assist a range of clients in other industries that have regulatory oversight.

Bill is frequently asked to litigate in administrative hearings, trial courts and appellate courts. In addition to the IGB, Bill’s experience in Illinois includes representing clients with the Illinois Racing Board, the Illinois Department of Public Health, the Chicago Department of Public Health, the Illinois State Board of Elections, the University of Illinois, the Illinois Department of Central Management Services, the Illinois Secretary of State, the Illinois Department of Revenue, the Illinois Department of Agriculture, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, the Illinois Comptroller, the Cook County Department of Revenue and numerous local municipalities. He has also represented clients with government agencies outside of Illinois. In addition, his litigation experience includes acting as lead counsel in multiple state and nationwide class actions, and handling commercial and regulatory disputes between competitors.

* Please be mindful that possessing, using, distributing and/or selling marijuana is a federal crime, and no legal advice given by Fox is intended to provide any guidance or assistance in violating federal law.

Before Fox Rothschild

Prior to joining Fox Rothschild, Bill was a partner at Nixon Peabody (previously Ungaretti & Harris). Bill was also Acting General Counsel and Legal Counsel to the Illinois Gaming Board for over seven years. Early in his legal career, he was Assistant General Counsel to the Illinois House of Representatives and the judicial law clerk for the Honorable Aaron Jaffe in the Chancery Division of the Circuit Court of Cook County.

Beyond Fox Rothschild

In addition to his legal and state government experience, Bill has held numerous professional and local government positions, including:

  • Illinois State Bar Association
    • Vice-Chair, Cannabis Law Section (2020)
  • Chicago Bar Association
    • Co-Chair, Administrative Law Committee (2017-2019)
    • Legislative Liaison, Administrative Law Committee (2015-2016)
    • Co-Chair, Gaming Law Committee (2015-2016)
    • Legislative Liaison, Gaming Law Committee (2014-2015)
  • City of Highland Park Natural Resources Commission, Highland Park, Illinois
    • Commissioner and former Chairman (2006-2010, 2011-2013)
    • Member, Park District of Highland Park, Parks Advisory Committee (2011-2013)
  • Commissioner, East Skokie Drainage District, Lake County, Illinois (2013-2019)

Honors & Awards

  • Recognized by Chambers USA for Cannabis Law - Nationwide (2020)
  • Named a "Notable Practitioner" in the IFLR1000 Guide (2020)
  • Named to the list of "Leading Lawyers" for Gaming & Casino Law and Governmental, Municipal, Lobbying & Administrative Law by the Law Bulletin Publishing Company (2019)
  • Named a Cannabis Law Trailblazer by The National Law Journal (2018)
  • Named to a list of 250 Cannabis Law Experts by Databird Research Journal (2018)
  • Selected for inclusion in Expert Guide’s: Best of the Best USA – Top 30 Gaming Lawyers in the United States (2014, 2020)

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