William R. Stein is the Managing Partner of the Washington, D.C. office of Hughes Hubbard and the Chair of the firm’s Appellate Practice Group. He is a senior litigator with 40 years of experience in complex financial, commercial, and regulatory litigation and investigations. Bill represents issuers, officers, directors, and professionals in SEC and PCAOB investigations and enforcement proceedings under the securities laws. He has been retained by companies and boards of directors to defend companies and individuals in governmental investigations, and to undertake internal investigations, into allegations of wrongdoing or regulatory non-compliance. In addition, Bill is a senior advisor to the major accounting firms in legislative, regulatory, public policy, risk management, and structural matters.
Bill represents clients in litigation and arbitration across a wide array of substantive areas, including disputes involving financial instruments and derivatives (such as mortgage-backed securities litigation and disputes arising out of the Lehman Brothers liquidation), contractual matters, fraud allegations, business valuation disputes, auditing and accounting issues, insurance coverage, and product liability. In recent years, he represented the Trustee in the liquidation of Lehman Brothers, Inc. Bill represented the FDIC and Receiver for IndyMac Bank in the dismissal of MBIA’s attempt to recover $500 million in losses from insuring IndyMac Bank mortgage-backed securities. He was counsel for the FDIC as Receiver for Washington Mutual Bank in defending against claims for billions of dollars in losses asserted by investors in mortgage-backed securities.
Bill’s appellate practice includes handling appeals in most of the federal circuits and many state appellate courts. He also has considerable experience preparing briefs to the Supreme Court of the United States at both the certiorari and merits stages, including amicus curiae briefs in cases of significant interest.
Law Clerk, Hon. Leonard I. Garth, United States Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit (1977 – 1978)
Executive Committee, Board of Directors, DC Appleseed
American Bar Association: Litigation Section, Business Law Section, Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice Section, International Section
District of Columbia Bar
2012–2017, 2019 Capital Pro Bono High Honor Roll, sponsored by the District of Columbia Court of Appeals and the Superior Court of the District of Columbia
Supreme Court of the United States
U.S. Courts of Appeals District of Columbia Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland
Securities, Professional and Regulatory Investigations, Enforcement and Litigation
Bill represents issuers, officers, directors and professionals in SEC and PCAOB investigations and enforcement proceedings under the securities laws, as well as in civil litigation under the securities laws, and in shareholder direct and derivative litigation. Bill has particular expertise representing the major accounting firms in such cases, as well as in professional liability claims asserted by clients and others.
Representing a foreign member firm of a Big Four accounting firm network in a PCAOB investigation and enforcement proceeding, and a related internal investigation.
Representing a senior executive of a Big Four accounting firm in a joint U.S. Attorney’s Office, Justice Department, and SEC investigation.
Representing a major pharmaceutical company and several of its officers and directors in multidistrict litigation securities, shareholder derivative and ERISA litigation arising out of withdrawal of a drug from the market.
Representing subsidiaries of IndyMac Bank FSB sued as issuer and underwriter in a federal securities class action brought by purchasers of IndyMac Bank-sponsored mortgage-backed securities on behalf of a class of all purchasers in 106 separate trusts.
Representing a Big Four accounting firm in SEC investigation and in civil securities fraud class actions arising out of a troubled major shopping mall real estate investment trust.
Representing a Big Four accounting firm in an SEC investigation involving financial accounting and other issues at a major computer industry audit client.
Representing a Big Four accounting firm in an investigation and class-action litigation related to securities claims against the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae).
Represented a Big Four accounting firm in securities claims by investors in a failed offshore hedge fund and in a malpractice claim by the fund liquidators.
Representing the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) as receiver for Washington Mutual Bank (WaMu) in an action brought by the indenture trustee of over 127 trusts holding the loans underlying WaMu-sponsored mortgage-backed securities, alleging numerous breaches of representations and warranties by WaMu.
Representing the FDIC as Receiver of WaMu in litigation with JPMorgan Chase Bank to determine whether Chase had assumed liabilities associated with WaMu-sponsored mortgage-backed securities.
Representing the FDIC as receiver for IndyMac Bank in an action by MBIA Inc. seeking to recover hundreds of millions of dollars that MBIA paid to holders of IndyMac Bank-sponsored mortgage-backed securities insured by MBIA, alleging that IndyMac and the FDIC breached the relevant agreements and violated federal law.
Commercial and Financial Litigation and Arbitration
Bill represents companies in commercial and financial disputes across a wide array of substantive areas, including disputes relating to financial instruments (including mortgage-backed securities) and derivatives, contractual matters, business valuation disputes, insurance coverage, technology disputes and toxic torts. He has litigated in state and federal courts, as well as before domestic and international arbitral tribunals.
Representing a Big Four accounting firm in pension-related litigation.
Representing a Swedish company in non-administered arbitration proceedings against a major US corporation in a dispute involving an agreement to develop and commercialize new technology relating to international shipping security.
Represented a major US insurance company in American Arbitration Association arbitration against a large Swiss financial institution in a dispute under trade credit insurance policies arising from Parmalat insolvency.
Fullen v. Philips Electronics North America Corp., No. 06-128 (W. Va.): Defended CBS (formerly Viacom, Inc.) against claims by 1,300 current and former employees in a light bulb factory that their employers (including CBS’s predecessor Westinghouse) deliberately exposed them to harmful substances.
First State Insurance Co. v. Minnesota Mining & Manufacturing Co. (Minn. Dist. Ct., Minn. Ct. App., Minn.): Represented major insurers in a complex dispute regarding the amount and scope of insurance coverage for $1 billion in liability for silicone breast implant claims.
Arco Chemical Co. v. Respol Quimica SA (ICC, European Commission): Represented a large US petrochemical company in arbitration and in EU competition proceedings regarding rights to valuable chemical technology.
Represented a large multinational company in arbitration and litigation, including contractual, insurance coverage and other issues regarding gas turbine production and technology.
Bill has long represented the major accounting firms in legislative, regulatory, public policy, risk management and structural/organizational matters. Bill has vast knowledge of the accounting industry and the regulatory and policy issues it faces, and has advised the major firms on a host of issues, including international organization, risk management, partnership issues, professional activities and professional liability. Bill also represents the firms before the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and state licensing and disciplinary authorities on a variety of regulatory, licensure and disciplinary matters.
Bill heads Hughes Hubbard's Appellate practice group. He has handled appeals in most of the federal circuits and many state appellate courts. He also has considerable experience in briefing cases in the Supreme Court of the United States at both the certiorari and merits stages and has often prepared amicus curiae briefs in cases of significant interest.
Coventry Health Care of Missouri, Inc. v. Nevils, No. 16-149 (US), arguing against federal preemption and in support of state authority to regulate insurance matters on behalf of the National Association of Governors, the National Conference of State Legislatures, and the Council of State Governments as amici curiae.
Sessions v. Morales-Santana, No. 15-1191 (US), arguing in support of gender equality in citizenship laws on behalf of Equality Now, Human Rights Watch and other human rights organizations as amici curiae.
Hughes v. Talen Energy Marketing LLC, No. 14-614 (US), arguing against preemptive federal regulation and in favor of cooperative federalism on behalf of the National Association of Governors, the National Association of State Legislatures, and the Council of State Governments as amici curiae.
White & Case LLP v. United States, No. 10-1147 (US): Represented Japan Competition Law Forum as amicus curiae in a case challenging the government's power to subpoena from a foreign company's US counsel the company's non-US documents produced in US civil litigation under a strict protective order.
Merck & Co. Inc. v. Reynolds, No. 08-905 (US): Represented Merck in Supreme Court proceedings in securities litigation arising out of circumstances related to Merck's painkiller Vioxx®, as well as in appeals before the 3rd US Circuit Court of Appeals.
Represented Merck in related appeals before the 3rd Circuit in shareholder derivative litigation related to the Vioxx situation.
Schwarzenegger v. Video Software Dealers Association, No. 08-1448 (US): Represented the Electronics Consumer Association as amicus curiae in the US Supreme Court in a case addressing the First Amendment protections afforded to video games.
Plains Commerce Bank v. Long Family and Cattle Co. Inc., No. 07-411 (US): Represented the Navajo Nation, the National American Indian Court Judges Association (NAICJA), and others as amici curiae in the US Supreme Court in a case addressing the scope of civil jurisdiction of tribal courts over non-Indians on tribal land.
Boumediene v. Bush, Nos. 06-1195 & 06-1196 (US): Represented Canadian parliamentarians and law professors as amici curiae in a case in which the Supreme Court held that foreign nationals detained at Guantánamo Bay have certain rights to pursue habeas corpus.
KSR International Co. v. Teleflex Inc., No. 06-1350 (US): Prepared amicus curiae brief on behalf of General Motors Corp., Cisco Systems Inc., Hallmark, Fortune Brands, Electrolux NA and Microsoft Corp. in a patent case addressing an issue of obviousness. The court ruled in favor of the position advocated in our brief.
Served as coordinating appellate coupled for Lorillard Tobacco Company in dozens of appeals in the Florida Courts of Appeals, the Florida Supreme Court, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit and the Supreme Court of the United States arising from the thousands of personal injury claims filed in response to the Florida Supreme Court’s holding in Engle v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. et al.
Aref v. Lynch (D.C. Cir. 2016), arguing in a case of first impression that the Prison Litigation Reform Act permits prisoners to pursue claims for non-physical injuries for deprivations of constitutional rights on behalf of the Legal Aid Society and the American Civil Liberties Union as amici curiae.
Maldonado v. Holder (2d Cir. 2014), arguing against the Second Circuit standard for suppressing evidence obtained as a result of Fourth Amendment violations in immigration removal proceedings on behalf of the ACLU and National Immigration Law Center.
Apple Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Inc., Nos. 12-1600, 1606 (Fed. Cir.): Representing the First Amendment Coalition as amicus curiae on appeal of court orders governing the sealing of documents.
MBIA Inc. v. FDIC, No., 11-5317 (D.C. Cir.): representing FDIC in appeal of the dismissal of MBIA's complaint seeking to recover over $500 million in losses from insuring mortgage-backed securities sponsored by IndyMac Bank.
In re Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., Nos. 12-2322, 2328, 2657, 2973 (2d Cir.): Representing the Securities Investor Protection Act (SIPA) trustee of Lehman Brothers Inc. in an appeal involving a dispute over ownership of over $6 billion in assets that arose subsequent to the 2008 sale of Lehman's North American brokerage business to Barclays.
Wolf v. Sprenger + Lang PLLC, No. 11-CV-1206 (D.C.): Represented a party seeking to vacate an arbitral award in a multimillion-dollar fee dispute.
In re The Mills Corp. Securities Litigation, No. 09-142(L) (4th Cir. 2009): Represented Ernst & Young LLP in a petition to review a class certification order in a securities class action.
Fullen v. Philips Electronics North America Corp. No. 06-128 (W. Va.): Represented CBS (formerly Viacom Inc.) in an appeal of a grant of summary judgment in its favor on a toxic tort claim by 1,300 current and former employees in a lightbulb factory that their employers (including CBS' predecessor Westinghouse) deliberately exposed them to harmful substances.
Bullmore v. Ernst & Young Cayman Islands (N.Y. App. Div. 1st Dep't): Defended a victory for Ernst & Young LLP in New York state court. The liquidators of a failed Cayman Islands hedge fund alleged that Ernst & Young had done inadequate audit work.
Gonzales v. Oregon, 546 U.S. 243 (2006): Prepared amicus curiae brief on behalf of members of Oregon's congressional delegation challenging the federal government’s attempt to curtail Oregon's Death with Dignity Act, which allows doctors in carefully regulated circumstances to assist terminally ill patients who choose to hasten death. The challenge was successful.
Sosa v. Alvarez-Machain, 542 U.S. 692 (2004): Prepared amicus curiae brief on behalf of 17 international jurists who have served as judges and experts for international human rights bodies around the world. The international jurists encouraged the Supreme Court to adhere to the precedent beginning with Filartiga v. Pena-Irala in ruling on the application of the Alien Tort Claims Act.
In re Silicone Implant Insurance Coverage Litigation, 667 N.W.2d 405 (Minn. 2003): Represented insurers on complex coverage questions regarding liability for silicone breast implants. Persuaded the Minnesota Supreme Court that the insureds could not recover attorneys' fees and costs based on an alleged breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing.