William P. Bila

William BilaFounding Partner
wbila@wwmlawyers.com
Phone: 312.244.6764
Fax: 312.244.6800/6801
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Biography

Bill Bila is a founding partner of Walker Wilcox Matousek LLP and served as the firm’s managing partner from April 2005 through January 2011. Bill concentrates on liability and insurance issues in the corporate directors/officers and financial institutions arenas and counsels business organizations on professional risk management, indemnification, and insurance protection. He also litigates coverage and bad faith actions in courts throughout the country.

Over his 23 year career, Bill has become known for his commercial and creative approach to evaluating and resolving management liability and insurance exposures. Bill’s experience spans the S&L crisis of the 1980’s to the most recent credit crisis, and his nationwide practice covers a diverse spectrum of claims, including insolvency-related actions, derivative suits, state and federal investigations, wage and overtime class actions, mergers and acquisitions, and securities fraud class actions. He has a deep understanding of the insurance marketplace, informed by multiple market cycles. Bill has counseled carriers at all stages of the underwriting process, from refining underwriting strategies, to form drafting, reserving, as well as claims administration and resolution.

Bill is a frequent writer and speaker on a number of professional liability topics through the Professional Liability Underwriting Society, the American Bar Association, the Association of Corporate Counsel, the Public Risk and Insurance Management Association and the American Conference Institute. Bill achieved an AV rating from Martindale-Hubbell. Bill has earned a distinguished service award from Chicago Volunteer Legal Services and serves as pro bono general counsel to charitable organizations.

Presentations

“From Start-Up to Mid-Size – What We Learned,” American Bar Association Annual Meeting, Law Practice Management Section, August 12, 2010.

“Criminal Securities Violations and Proceedings,” 2009 Midwest Securities Law Institute, Michigan State University.

“Stock Options Backdating,” Lloyd’s Market Association, March 6, 2007.

“Balance Sheet Insurance? Deepening Insolvency Claims Against Directors, Officers, Accountants and Others,” Lloyd’s Market Association, September 20, 2006.

“Invisible Deputies and Other Troubling Issues in Navigating Government Corporation Investigations,” 2005 American Bar Association Annual Meeting, Criminal Justice Section.

“Public Officials at Risk – Liability and Insurance Issues,” 2003 Annual Conference of the Public Risk Management Association.

“Directors and Officers Liability and Insurance: An Overview,” April 2003 Meeting of the Washington, D.C. Chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel.

“Advertising and Marketing Insurance Products Online: How to Minimize the Risks,” The Canadian Institute’s Insurance Online Symposium, December 5, 2000.

“Insurers at the Alamo—Is the Industry Outgunned and Surrounded?” 2000 Professional Liability Underwriting Society International Conference, November 9, 2000. Panel Chair.

“Advertising Insurance in Cyberspace: Avoiding Legal and Regulatory Hurdles,” American Conference Institute’s Online Insurance Transactions Seminar, June 23, 2000.

“Settlement Mechanisms in Directors and Officers Cases – Mediation and Arbitration,” American Conference Institute’s Directors and Officers Liability Symposium, June 22, 1999. Panel Chair.

“Mock Mediation of an Employment Practices Liability Claim Against a Corporate Officer,” American Conference Institute’s Directors and Officers Liability Seminar, June 23, 1998.

“Settlement of Directors and Officers Liability Claims,” American Conference Institute’s Directors and Officers Liability Seminar, June 27, 1997.

“Mutual Fund and Investment Advisor Liability and Insurance Issues,” Professional Liability Underwriting Society International Conference, November 13, 1997. Panel Chair.

Publications

“The Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act: Possible Implications for D&O Insurers,” Walker Wilcox Matousek LLP, June 4, 2012.

“New SEC Rules: Whistling Through the D&O Graveyard,” Walker Wilcox Matousek LLP, August 12, 2011.

“New SEC Rules: Whistling Through the D&O Graveyard,” Walker Wilcox Matousek LLP, August 12, 2011.

“Courts ‘Exhaust’ Reliance on Zeig: Excess Policy Not Triggered Absent ‘Actual Payment’ of Underlying Policy Limits,” Walker Wilcox Matousek LLP, July 6, 2010.

“Management Under the Microscope: The Delaware Court of Chancery’s Decision in The Walt Disney Company Derivative Litigation,” Professional Liability Underwriting Society Journal, October 2005.

“Directors and Officers Policy Basics – What You Should Know,” American Bar Association Criminal Justice Section, August 6, 2005.

“Advertising Insurance of the Internet: The Developing Law and Compliance Considerations,” American Conference Institute Online Insurance Transactions, June 23, 2000.

“An Introduction to Alternative Dispute Resolution,” American Conference Institute 4th Annual Directors and Officers Liability Seminar, June 21, 1999.

“An Overview of the Legal Landscape Surrounding Mutual Funds and Investment Advisors,” Professional Liability Underwriting Society International Conference, November 13, 1997.

“The Risks of Exposure: Financial Institutions,” with Lyle Wayne Sparks, Chapter 7, Corporate Directors and Officers, 1989.

Courts

Illinois
U.S. District Court, N.D. Illinois

Professional and Community Organizations

American Bar Association
Chicago Economic Development Law Project
Chicago Volunteer Legal Services
Professional Liability Underwriting Society

Education

University of Illinois at Urbana, B.A., 1985

  • Pi Sigma Alpha Honorary

University of Illinois at Urbana, J.D., cum laude, 1988

  • Law Review