William H. Paine


Paine, William H.

Bill Paine represents public companies, financial services companies and financial institutions, and their officers and directors, with respect to securities, derivative and ERISA litigation in state and federal courts, internal investigations, and SEC investigations and civil enforcement actions.

Litigation: Mr. Paine has defended more than 50 securities class actions brought in federal and state courts. Reported cases include the dismissal of securities class actions brought against numerous companies, including: The First Marblehead Corporation, Medtronic, Art Technology Group, Boston Scientific, Security Dynamics Technologies, Inc., Shiva Corporation, Boston Technology, and Chipcom Corporation. He has comparable experience defending derivative actions and ERISA class actions.

Investigations: Mr. Paine represents technology and financial services companies, financial institutions and their officers and directors with respect to SEC investigations and internal investigations, including investigations concerning accounting matters (e.g., revenue recognition and stock option compensation), FCPA, corporate governance, internal controls and insider trading.


  • Recent dismissals of open market fraud actions and derivative actions against software companies and a medical devices company in Massachusetts, Minnesota, Delaware and North Carolina.
  • Numerous internal and SEC investigations on matters such as software and other revenue recognition, FCPA, stock option compensation, and insider trading.
  • Recent dismissals of Securities Act class action claims against underwriters of CDO certificates, and open market fraud claims against a facilitator of asset-backed securities offerings.
  • Represent bank holding company in ERISA and open market fraud claims, litigation concerning foreign exchange pricing, and internal and other investigations.
  • Leading role in the defense of the mutual fund adviser defendants in the mutual fund market timing multidistrict litigation. Defended mutual fund advisers in "excess fee” cases brought under the Investment Company Act, and with respect to SEC investigations concerning fund prospectus disclosures, governance and internal controls, insider trading and market timing.

Honors & Awards

  • Recognized as a Massachusetts leader in securities litigation in the 2008-2016 editions of Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business
  • Selected by his peers for inclusion in the Best Lawyers in America 2008-2017 for commercial litigation, litigation - securities and securities regulation 
  • Named a "New England Super Lawyer" (formerly "Massachusetts Super Lawyer") in securities litigation in the 2004-2015 issues of Boston Magazine

Publications & News


August 15, 2016

WilmerHale Lawyers Named Among the 2017 Best Lawyers in America®, Six Recognized as Lawyers of the Year

Best Lawyers in America®—a respected peer-review publication in the legal industry—recognizes 101 WilmerHale lawyers and names six partners as Lawyers of the Year in its 23rd edition.

May 27, 2016

WilmerHale Lawyers and Practices Recognized in 2016 Edition of Chambers USA

Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business announced its final rankings for the 2016 edition, with WilmerHale ranking among the nation's best in 47 practice area categories. Chambers also ranked 82 WilmerHale lawyers as leaders in their respective fields.

May 19, 2015

WilmerHale Practices, Lawyers Ranked Among Nation’s Best by Chambers USA

Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business announced its final rankings for the 2015 edition, with WilmerHale ranking among the nation's best in 46 practice area categories. Chambers also ranked 86 WilmerHale attorneys as leaders in their respective fields.

June 25, 2014

US Supreme Court Decides Closely Watched Case on ERISA "Stock Drop" Class Actions

In Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer, a decision written by Justice Breyer, the US Supreme Court unanimously held that plan fiduciaries are not entitled to any special “presumption of prudence” under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) when they decide to buy or hold employer stock in an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP).

May 24, 2013

Chambers USA 2013 Final Results Announced

Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business today announced its final rankings for the 2013 edition, in which 93 WilmerHale lawyers and 44 firm practice areas have been recognized as leading in their field.

June 7, 2012

Chambers USA 2012 Final Results Announced

March 30, 2012

Chambers USA 2012 Preliminary Results Announced

March 15, 2011

Chambers USA 2011 Preliminary Results Announced

August 12, 2010

90 WilmerHale Lawyers Named to The Best Lawyers in America® 2011

Best Lawyers is based on an exhaustive peer-review survey in which more than 39,000 leading attorneys cast almost 3.1 million votes on the legal abilities of lawyers in their practice areas.

June 11, 2010

Chambers USA 2010 Reveals Final Results Ranking 101 WilmerHale Lawyers and Dozens of Practices

One-hundred and one WilmerHale lawyers are recognized in the eighth edition of the guide and the firm is listed as among the best in dozens of practice areas throughout its six US locations.

Professional Activities

Mr. Paine speaks regularly about securities litigation, disclosure, insider trading, officer and director liability, and directors and officers liability insurance.


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JD, cum laude, Boston University School of Law, 1987

BA, cum laude, Amherst College, 1983

Bar Admissions


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