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William R. Bay

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  • Overview
  • Affiliations
  • Civic Involvement
  • Honors
  • Presentations
  • Publications

Bill's litigation practice includes more than 30 years of experience in the representation and trial of business disputes. He regularly represents many corporate clients on such matters regionally and nationally. He has also been recognized as a top litigator by The Best Lawyers in America®, which named him the 2013 St. Louis Lawyer of the Year in Litigation – Banking & Finance.

Bill's clients vary from major financial institutions to manufacturers to for-profit colleges. He has litigated cases on behalf of companies facing high-risk litigation and helped businesses manage and respond to large portfolios of litigation in multiple jurisdictions.

Bill is the immediate past Chair of the 60,000-member ABA Section of Litigation. The Section is the largest in the ABA and is dedicated to all aspects of litigation, trial practice and dispute resolution.

For his leadership of the Section of Litigation and his service to a number of local, state and national bar organizations, Missouri Lawyers Media selected Bill as a 2013 Influential Lawyer. The award is part of the Missouri Lawyers Awards, which honor the top innovators and influencers in Missouri's legal community.

In his litigation practice, Bill has handled a wide variety of highly complex and document-intensive cases involving breach of contract, fraud, corporate governance, insurance coverage, lost profits, lender liability, and tortious interference.

In the course of representing a number of regional and national clients in financial services litigation, Bill and his team developed an innovative, statistics-based predictive model that evaluates large-scale litigation portfolios and effectively controls costs.

Bill led the litigation of the following cases, which have been recognized for their statewide and national significance:

•  Ridge Chrysler Jeep, LLC v. DaimlerChrysler Services North America, LLC, 2006 WL 2808158 (N.D. Ill. Sept. 6, 2006), aff'd, 516 F. 3d 623 (7th Cir. 2008)

•  Host Enterprises, Inc. v. Lehman Bros. Holdings, Inc., 145 S.W.3d 44 (Mo. App. E.D. 2004)

•  St. Paul Mercury Insurance Company v. Foster, 268 F.Supp.2d 1035 (C.D. Ill. 2003)

•  ITT Commercial Finance et al. v. Mid America et al., 854 SW 2d 371 (Mo. Sup. 1993) declared by Missouri Lawyers Weekly to be the most significant case decided in Missouri in 1993.

Bill is active in a number of legal and community organizations throughout the region and country. He has been elected to leadership posts in several local, state and national bar associations, including president of the Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis, president of the St. Louis Bar Foundation and member of the Missouri Bar Board of Governors. Bill has been a member of the ABA's House of Delegates since 2003 representing St. Louis. He served as Chair of the ABA Standing Committee on Bar Activities and Services, which interfaces with national, state, local and special focus bars throughout the country and trains bar leaders. He also served on the board of FOCUS St. Louis, which seeks to train, promote and educate leaders on regional issues.

American Bar Association
Board of Governors (2014-present)
House of Delegates (2003-2014)
Credentials & Admissions Committee (2003-2004); House Select Committee (2008-2010)
Resolutions & Impact Committee (2007-2008, 2010-2012)
Technology & Communications Committee (2012-present)
ABA Section of Litigation
Chair (2012-present)
Co-Chair, Marketing & Membership Committee (2009-2010)
Co-Managing Director (2008-2009)
Council Member, Section of Litigation (2004-2008)
Co-Chair, Section Annual Meeting – Phoenix (2003-2004)
Co-Chair, Committee on Corporate Counsel (2000-2003)
Co-Chair, Committee on Newsletters (1997-2000)
Editor, Corporate Counsel Newsletter (1994-1999)
ABA Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession
Member, 2012-present
ABA Standing Committee on Bar Activities and Services
Chair (2009-2012) Member (2006-2012)
ABA Young Lawyers’ Division
Director Affiliate Outreach Project (1988-1989)
The Missouri Bar
Co-Chair, Joint Commission on Women in the Profession (2013-present)
Board of Governors (2005-2009)
Member, Finance Committee (2008-2009)
Co-Chair, Civic Education Committee (2006-2007)
Annual Meeting Planning Committee (2005-2006)
Member, CLE Programming Committee 2004 Annual Meeting (2003-2004)
Chair, Advisory Committee on Citizenship Education (1992-1994)
Chair, Public Information Committee (1990-1992)
The Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis
President (2001-2002)
Member Other Bar Associations
Illinois State Bar Association
Mound City Bar Association
St. Louis County Bar Association
Women Lawyer's Association
Lawyer's Association of St. Louis
Missouri Organization of Defense Lawyers
Court Appointments
Joint Committee of the Missouri Bar and the Missouri Supreme Court on Gender & Justice (2009-2011)
Missouri Board of Law Examiner Grader (2000-2006)
Merit Selection Panels for Consideration of the Reappointment of a U.S. Magistrate Judge (2000, 2002)
Joint Commission on Women in the Profession (2013-present)
FOCUS St. Louis
Board of Directors (2006-2012)
Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis
President (2001-2002)
Chair, Executive Director Search Committee (2006)
St. Louis Bar Foundation
President (2002-2003)
Board of Directors (2004-Present)
Leadership St. Louis
Participant (1996-1997)
United Way
Priorities Review Team Community Coordination and Public Education Panel (1994-1996)
Listed in "The Best Lawyers in America®" (2012-2015)
Named Lawyer of the Year for Litigation-Banking and Finance in St. Louis by "Best Lawyers®" (2013)
Missouri Lawyers Awards
Influential Lawyer (2013)
Listed in "Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyers" (2005-2006, 2013-2014)
Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis
Past President Distinguished Lawyer (2008)
President Award (2007)
Missouri Bar President’s Award
Volunteer Lawyer Service Award
Legal Services of Eastern Missouri (1994)
Missouri Bar YLS Chairpersons Award
Award of Merit
Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis (1986)
"Litigation Management Roundtable" ABA 2014 Corporate Counsel CLE Seminar (February 2014)
"When a Top Executive Leaves to Join 'The Bad Guy' (a Competitor): How to Protect Your Company" ABA 2014 Corporate Counsel CLE Seminar (February 2014)
"Love Me or Leave Me, What Big Firms Want from Metro Bars Panel" National Conference of Bar Presidents Midyear Meeting (February 2014)
William R. Bay
University of Michigan Law School
J.D., cum laude (1978)
University of Missouri-Columbia
B.A., cum laude (1974)
Thompson Coburn LLP
Partner (1987-Present)
Associate (1980-1986)
Chair, Employment Committee (1995-1999)
Chair, Client Relations Committee (2002-Present)
Missouri (1978)
Illinois (1981)
William R. Bay