FacultyFaculty/Author Profile
William F. Alderman

William F. Alderman

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP

San Francisco, CA, USA

Bill Alderman, a partner in the San Francisco office, concentrates his practice on business litigation and dispute resolution. He has broad experience in matters involving federal and state securities, corporate governance, technology, trade secrets, business torts and international disputes. Mr. Alderman is additionally recognized for the results he has obtained in insurance coverage, employee benefits, and federal and state antitrust disputes. He commits a substantial part of his time to pro bono representation.

Representing clients in class and derivative actions, Mr. Alderman's approach is to minimize his clients' overall cost through careful strategic planning, dispositive motions and aggressive negotiation. Of the many securities class actions he has defended, only three have resulted in any settlement payment by his client. Of his more than 50 motions to dismiss securities class or mass actions since 1996, over 90 percent were granted in their entirety (most with prejudice), while others were granted in part or led to a successful motion for summary judgment.

Mr. Alderman's recent securities class and derivative actions include representation of McKesson Corporation's former CFO in class, derivative, criminal (obtained acquittal after trial) and SEC (obtained voluntary dismissal) actions; Hewlett-Packard's former general counsel in successful defense of derivative litigation involving alleged pretexting to obtain confidential records; NovaStar Financial, Inc. and officers in obtaining dismissal with prejudice of class action involving subprime lending, affirmed on appeal; officers and directors of Gap, Inc. and Charles Schwab Corp. in obtaining voluntary dismissal of derivative actions; companies such as PG&E Corp., Callidus Software, Fritz Corp. and Affymetrix Corp. in obtaining dismissals of class actions; and investment banks such as Smith Barney, Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, Lehman Brothers, J.P. Morgan Chase, Piper Jaffray and UBS in obtaining dismissals with prejudice in class actions involving Metricom, Kenetech, Autodesk, Bergen Brunswig, Triteal, Orthologic, Hart Brewing, Worlds of Wonder and other issuers.

Mr. Alderman has also won numerous dismissals of actions throughout the country involving unfair competition, private finance, M&A, broker-customer disputes, fiduciary duty, partnership claims and tender offers. He frequently advises clients in internal investigations and regulatory matters.  A more complete description of these and other recent matters is available in Mr. Alderman's biography at www.orrick.com.

Mr. Alderman, a frequent speaker and writer on securities and other litigation topics, is a co-editor of the Securities Reform Act Litigation Reporter. He is a director of Bay Area Legal Aid, Disability Rights Advocates and The Forgotten International, and a former director of the Bar Association of San Francisco (audit committee chair), The Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area, the St. Thomas More Society of San Francisco (president), and the National MS Society (Bay Area Chapter).


  • J.D., Yale Law School, 1970
  • A.B., summa cum laude, Miami University, 1967


  • Robert J. Sproul, Jr. Pro Bono Award presented by the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area (1996)
  • Award of Merit presented by the Bar Association of San Francisco (2006) 
  • United States District Court (N.D. Cal.) - Court Appointed Evaluator, Mediator and Arbitrator (1988 to present)


  • Supreme Court of the United States
  • United States Courts of Appeals, Second, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth and Tenth Circuits
  • Numerous U.S. District Courts
  • U.S. Tax Court
  • California

  • twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • YouTube
  • RSS

All Contents Copyright © 1996-2018 Practising Law Institute. Continuing Legal Education since 1933.

© 2018 PLI PRACTISING LAW INSTITUTE. All rights reserved. The PLI logo is a service mark of PLI.