People

William F. Lee

Partner

Lee, William F.

Bill Lee is a leading intellectual property litigator who has represented a variety of technology-focused clients for more than 35 years. Mr. Lee has tried more than 100 cases to verdict and argued more than 75 cases to the Court of Appeals of the Federal Circuit and other appellate courts. Those cases have included some of the highest profile patent cases of the last decade. He also has been a member of the faculty at Harvard Law School for more than ten years.

Practice

Mr. Lee continues to concentrate his practice primarily on intellectual property and commercial litigation. His trial and appellate experience is extensive. Mr. Lee has tried more than 100 patent cases, both jury and jury waived, to judgment and argued more than 50 appeals before the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and other Courts of Appeals. In 2012, he was one of eight finalists selected by The American Lawyer as "Litigator of the Year."

Mr. Lee has acted as lead trial counsel for Apple Inc. in the "smart phone war" litigations and in several cases between Broadcom and Qualcomm; and in a number of other federal court cases involving genetically engineered products, laser optics, video compression, cellular communications, remote data storage, secure Internet communications, pharmaceutical products, high-speed chromatography and medical devices. From July 1987 through June 1989, Mr. Lee served as associate counsel to Independent Counsel Lawrence E. Walsh in the Iran-Contra investigation. In that capacity, Mr. Lee was responsible for certain portions of the grand jury investigation and resulting indictments.

He has also served as a special assistant to the Massachusetts Attorney General for the purpose of investigating alleged incidents of racial bias in the Commonwealth's courts.

Honors & Awards

  • Named a 2013 leading practitioner in patent law by IAM Patent 1000: The World's Leading Patent Practitioners 
  • Selected as one of The National Law Journal's 2013 "100 Most Influential Lawyers in America"
  • Named the 2013 "Massachusetts Oustanding IP Litigatior" of the year and an "IP Star" by Managing IP (MIP) magazine
  • Named the 2013 and 2014 Boston "Patent Law Lawyer of the Year" by The Best Lawyers in America
  • Named a "Life Sciences Star" in the 2012 and 2013 editions of LMG Life Sciences for intellectual property
  • Recognized as a "2012 Lawyer of the Year" by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly
  • Named to Law360’s list of “Intellectual Property’s MVPs” in 2011, 2012 and 2013
  • Received a 2012 National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) Trailblazer Award, NAPABA’s highest honor, which recognizes individuals who have demonstrated vision, courage and tenacity, and those who have made substantial and lasting contributions to the Asian Pacific American (APA) legal profession, as well as the broader APA community
  • In 2013, for the third consecutive year, recognized as one of Boston’s top 50 most powerful people by the Boston Business Journal
  • Named Litigator of the Week by Litigation Daily, an American Lawyer Media affiliate providing breaking news, for his lead role in representing Pfizer in its $2.15 billion settlement with generic drug makers. This is the third time Mr. Lee has been recognized by Litigation Daily as a Litigator of the Week. In 2012, Mr. Lee was recognized for his lead role in representing Apple in its $1.05 billion trial victory against Samsung. In 2008, he was recognized for back-to-back victories for clients Broadcom and Targus.
  • Included on Managing IP magazine’s 2012 exclusive list of “Outstanding IP Practitioners of the Year,” and also named among the "Top 10 Litigators" in the life sciences patent industry
  • Named a "Litigator of the Year Finalist" by The American Lawyer 2012 and singled out as "Mr. IP"
  • Recipient of the 2011 Founders Award on behalf of the Asian American Lawyers Association of Massachusetts for his significant contributions in business, academics and the community in relation to the law
  • Recognized as a "Most Admired Attorney” by Law360 for his success rate in the court room as an IP litigator
  • Listed as a "Leading Lawyer" in the areas of intellectual property: patent litigation in the 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 editions of The Legal 500 United States
  • Named "Outstanding US IP Practitioner of the Year," by Managing IP magazine in 2009
  • Named one of "The 50 Most Influential Minority Lawyers in America," by The National Law Journal in 2008
  • Named one of "The 100 Most Influential Lawyers in America" by The National Law Journal in June 2000 and again in June 2006
  • Recognized for his exceptional intellectual property practice (2006-2014) and named a leading litigation: trial lawyer (2013, 2014) by Chambers Global: The World's Leading LawyersIn 2014, sources described him as "just excellent" and named him as "a leader in the legal space." In the 2013 edition, a client stated that Mr. Lee is "the guy you'd call up to win the big case for you."
  • Recognized as a Massachusetts leader in the area of intellectual property and a national leader in the area of life sciences: IP/patent litigation in the 2010-2013 editions of Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business. In 2013, Mr. Lee was also recognized in the area of litigation: trial lawyers.
  • Listed in each edition of Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business since 2003 and was the only Massachusetts lawyer awarded the "star" ranking in intellectual property (a stand-alone award above the number one ranking) in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2012 and 2013
  • Highly recommended in the PLC Cross-border IP in Business Transactions Handbook 2008/09
  • Listed in the 2006-2007 of the PLC IP & IT Cross-Border Handbook as both a "leading" lawyer for intellectual property in Boston and for patent litigation in the US
  • Ranked as one of the nation's most highly recommended intellectual property attorneys in the 2006/07, 2007/08 and 2009/2010 editions of the PLC Cross-border Life Sciences Handbook
  • Selected as a "patent law expert" in Legal Media Group's Guide to the World's Leading Patent Law Practitioners 2007 and a "litigation expert" in The Best of the Best 2011
  • Recognized as one of Boston's top lawyers in the dispute resolution and intellectual property, and as national leader in patent litigation in the PLC Which Lawyer? Yearbook 2006. Also listed as one of four "star" lawyers of the firm in the 2005 edition.
  • Selected as one of The National Law Journal’s 2005 "Top Ten Lawyers with Successful Trial Strategies"
  • Selected by peers for inclusion in every issue of The Best Lawyers in America since 1995/1996 and was named Best Lawyers’ 2011 and 2012 "Boston Intellectual Property Litigation Lawyer of the Year"
  • Selected by clients and peers as a leading intellectual property lawyer in the 2013 edition of The International Who's Who of Life Sciences Lawyers

Publications & News

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March 26, 2014

Managing IP Names WilmerHale as Patent Contentious Firm of the Year

Managing IP has recognized WilmerHale as the US Patent Contentious Firm of the Year for the fourth consecutive year. At its Annual North American Awards Ceremony held at the Willard InterContinental in DC on March 25, the firm was not only honored as the Patent Contentious Firm of the Year but was also named the Copyright Firm of the Year in the northeast, and the winner of the Milestone Case of the Year with Medtronic for their joint success in Medtronic v. Boston Scientific.

March 14, 2014

Chambers & Partners Recognizes WilmerHale in its 2014 Global Edition

Thirty-one WilmerHale lawyers have been named among the “World’s Leading Lawyers for Business” in the 2014 edition of Chambers Global. In addition to these individual accolades, 13 of the firm’s practice areas were also recognized.

March 11, 2014

WilmerHale Again Named to Daily Journal’s “Top Verdicts” List

For the second consecutive year, the Daily Journal included WilmerHale in its "Top Verdicts" list, an annual list that recaps California's most significant verdicts over the past 12 months.

November 27, 2013

For the Third Consecutive Year, Bill Lee is Named Law360’s IP MVP

WilmerHale Partner Bill Lee was named Law360's "IP MVP" for the third straight year. For three years, Law360 has selected individuals that had the biggest wins and made the most significant contributions to their practice groups in the past year.

November 12, 2013

Bill Lee Included Among Boston Business Journal’s “Power 50”

The Boston Business Journal has again honored WilmerHale Partner Bill Lee as a part of its annual "Power 50" feature-a list that is meant to identify and honor the most successful and influential individuals in Boston.

October 29, 2013

Bill Lee to Become Harvard Corporation’s Senior Fellow

Bill Lee will become the Harvard Corporation’s senior fellow next summer, succeeding Robert D. Reischauer, the University announced today. Lee, a member of the Corporation since 2010 and a distinguished intellectual property expert, was elected by his Corporation colleagues to become senior fellow as of July 1, 2014.

September 26, 2013

WilmerHale Receives 2013 LMG Life Sciences “Canadian Impact Deals of the Year” Award

On September 25, WilmerHale was named as the winner of the LMG Life Sciences "Canadian Impact Deals of the Year" award at the LMG Life Sciences Awards dinner at the Essex House in New York City.

August 15, 2013

Best Lawyers in America® 2014 Recognizes Nearly 100 WilmerHale Partners, Naming Eight “Lawyer of the Year”

Nearly 100 WilmerHale lawyers have been selected for inclusion in the 20th edition of The Best Lawyers in America®—a respected peer-review publication in the legal industry. The 2014 list also highlights eight WilmerHale partners who have been named "Lawyer of the Year" by Best Lawyers.

June 17, 2013

WilmerHale Earns Top Rankings in LMG Life Sciences Guide

The 2013 edition of LMG Life Sciences has been released, and it includes the recognition of nine WilmerHale practice areas and 17 attorneys.

June 14, 2013

Bill Lee Named Litigator of the Week for a $2.15 Billion Patent Litigation Settlement

WilmerHale Partner Bill Lee has been named Litigator of the Week by Litigation Daily for his lead role in representing Pfizer in its $2.15 billion settlement with generic drug makers.

Professional Activities

Mr. Lee is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers.

In July 2010, Mr. Lee was appointed a Fellow of the Harvard Corporation. He is a former member of the Harvard Board of Overseers.

Mr. Lee has served as the John A. Reilly Visiting Professor and the Eli Goldston Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School.

Mr. Lee has served on the Advisory Committee of the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. He has also served on the Advisory Committee of the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts on its local rules; its Committee to Evaluate Administration of the Criminal Justice Act; and the Merit Selection Panel on Magistrate Judges. The Governor of Massachusetts appointed Mr. Lee to serve on a special Judicial Nominating Committee for the selection of judges for the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court.

He has also served as a member of the Visiting Committee at Cornell Law School. He is a former member of the Board of Directors of the Broad Institute.

Community Involvement

A resident of Wellesley, Mr. Lee has served as chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Tenacre Country Day School.

Practices

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Education

JD, magna cum laude, Cornell University Law School, 1976, Order of the Coif

MBA, with Distinction, Cornell University, 1976

AB, magna cum laude, Harvard University, 1972

Bar Admissions

Massachusetts

United States Supreme Court