William Lisa

William Lisa is an associate in Nixon Peabody’s Commercial Litigation practice group and resident in the firm’s San Francisco office. Will represents clients in a wide variety of dispute resolution matters. Will, additionally, has experience with the administration of employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs) and regularly manages the due diligence phase of mergers and acquisitions involving ESOPs.

What do you focus on?

Commercial Litigation

I represent industry clients in a wide variety of matters, in multiple practice areas; including construction, insurance, employee benefits, and bankruptcy. I have substantial experience resolving discovery disputes, drafting pleadings and drafting dispositive motions. My ability to analyze complex legal issues and statutory schemes enables me to help clients understand and navigate their respective obligations, avoid potential disputes, rectify past breaches and expeditiously resolve unavoidable disputes. Recently, for instance, I worked with a team of attorneys to help a creditor involved in an adversary bankruptcy action secure a favorable settlement.


In addition to litigation, my practice focuses on the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), with a particular focus on ESOPs. To this end, I have experience helping plan sponsors resolve plan deficiencies by navigating the IRS’s Voluntary Correction Program. Additionally, I regularly manage the due diligence phase of mergers and acquisitions involving ESOPs.

What do you see on the horizon?

I anticipate that ESOPs will gain increasing prominence as a succession model for existing businesses, as baby-boomer business-owners move closer towards retirement. The growth of ESOPs will likely lead to increased scrutiny from the plaintiff’s bar and governmental agencies. This will require vigilance from plan sponsors and fiduciaries.


  • “Legal Guide to Cooperative Conversions: A Business Owner’s Legal Guide to Cooperative Conversion Including Conversion Models, Case Studies and Sample Documents,” Sustainable Economies Law Center, 2015 (co-author)


William Lisa


San Francisco

Phone: 415-984-8299

Fax: 844-873-5283

University of California, Berkeley School of Law, J.D.

Columbia University, B.A., cum laude


  • National Center for Employee Ownership, Member
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