William A. Despo, Attorney

“I strive to provide the best legal advice based on years of experience. Clients appreciate a lawyer who is responsive. Good lawyers communicate with clients.”

Bill’s 40 years as a lawyer exposed to a wide range of legal practices. Before he formed the Despo Law Group he was a partner at LeClairRyan, a national law firm with approximately 400 lawyers. He was a member of the Business Litigation team and Financial Services Litigation and Regulation Team, which he also acted as leader. He has represented a full spectrum of business clients including insurance companies, commercial banks, credit unions, investment advisors, insurance brokers, broker-dealers, technology companies, pharmaceutical, construction, real estate and film companies, among others. He has acted as outside general counsel for companies that involved him in employment, licensing, governmental inquiries and investigations, contracts, and corporate matters. He has in-depth experience with capital formation through private and public offerings, mergers and acquisitions, complex litigation, securities regulatory advice, defending securities investigations and administrative defense. He has represented fiduciaries as trustees, executors and other capacities.

Bill has appeared in many state and federal courts throughout the country and often appears before FINRA Dispute Resolution, JAMS, and AAA. He has written articles on legal practice areas, and been a moderator and panelist for many Continuing Legal Education programs, including legal ethics, shareholder disputes, class actions, mortgage crisis, and securities arbitration. He is the chairperson for the Securities Committee of the New Jersey State Bar Association.

LL.M, Georgetown University, 1978

J.D., Vermont Law School, 1976

B.A., Humanities, Michigan State University, 1972

Bar Admissions
New Jersey

Court Admissions
• U.S. Tax Court
• U.S. District Court for Southern District of New York
• U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
• U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
• U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
• Federal Circuit Court of Appeals
• U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
• U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey

Legal Experience

• Despo Law Group, Rumson, New Jersey, May, 2016- Present
• LeClairRyan, Newark, New Jersey, December 2007- April, 2016
• Seiden Wayne, Newark, New Jersey, 1991-2007 (merged with LeClairRyan)
• Cassidy Despo & Foss, 1981-1991
• American Stock Exchange, Inc. 1978-1981 (Enforcement Lawyer)

Memberships and Affiliations

• New York Stock Exchange: Arbitrator (former)
• FINRA: Arbitrator
• National Association of Securities Dealers Arbitrator (former)
• Monmouth Bar Association: Member, Banking and Commercial Law Committee; Member, Professionalism Committee; Member, Legal Education Committee; Member, Publications Committee
• National Futures Association: Arbitrator
• New Jersey State Bar Association: Chair, Securities Committee; Member, Class Action Subcommittee
• American Bar Association: Member, Securities Subcommittee for Self-Regulatory Organizations
• Securities Industry Financial Management Association: Member Compliance and Legal Division (former)
• American Inns of Court, Haydn Proctor Inn of Court: Barrister (former)
• National Society of Compliance Professionals: Member (former)
• Professional Liability Underwriters Society: Member
• Financial Planning Association: Member, New Jersey Chapter Advocacy Committee
• Adjunct Professor at Seton Hall University Law School, Corporate Finance Law (former)

Recent Speaking Engagements

• 2017 Securities Law Conference: Jointly sponsored by the NJSBA and Philadelphia Bar Association, November, 2017
• The Madoff Fraud: An Insider Speaks, NJ Law Center, May 31, 2017 & October 25, 2017
• The Financial Fraud: The Continuing Saga, New Jersey State Bar Association Meeting, May 18, 2017
• Cyber Security, FPA Dinner Meeting, December 5, 2017