About William Restis

William RestisFor almost twenty years, I have been solving complex, multi-district, and multi-party problems. I recovered nearly three hundred million dollars in value for clients and helped change the law to protect them.

Litigation Success

I am frequently Lead Counsel in complex class actions, and was on the Lead Counsel team in the bellwether ICO case In re Tezos Securities Litigation. Before it was settled for $25 million, Tezos was on track to be the first case to determine whether an ICO was a securities offering that must be registered with the SEC. I was lead counsel in two other ICO cases with approved settlements of $24 million. At the final approval hearing in Shomroni v. Fei Labs, the court said “this has been really an extraordinarily well-documented and sophisticated settlement… the adequacy of settlement consideration here, from any measure, has to be viewed as far beyond the fair, reasonable, and adequate standard that we typically apply in class actions.”

As defense counsel, I have obtained prompt dismissal in several complex class actions. One case was dismissed – not settled – a mere 73 days after I was retained by the defendant.

Two of my settlements involved a multi-billion dollar private equity portfolio, and one of the world’s largest auto makers. In one, I won every motion and established defendant’s complete liability to the class on plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment. With only a calculation of damages left for trial, I leveraged our victory into a nationwide settlement. Where most class action settlements recover pennies on the dollar, our settlement allowed class members to recover 75% of what was lost.

Because I am routinely involved in “bet the company” litigation, I face (teams of) the best attorneys in America. This forces me to compete at the highest levels and hone my craft. My competence in the most complex litigation makes victory in ordinary disputes easier. Your opponents play checkers while we play chess.

Solutions for Directors and Shareholders

My litigation acumen provides unique insights for business clients. The contracts they sign, and the deals they make only become an issue when problems arise. My ultimate goal is to anticipate those problems and avoid them, all while providing strategic guidance to help clients grow their business.

I’m a business owner myself, an angel investor, shareholder and director. I have also had the pleasure of serving as general counsel for two tech start-ups. As such, clients rely on me to navigate complex issues involving corporate governance and shareholder rights. 


In recent years, several high profile whistleblowers have come through my door. My extensive history of litigating corporate and financial fraud helped make me the perfect advocate in front of the SEC, Department of Justice, and CFTC. Representative submissions have identified billions in fraud by the largest firms on Wall Street, and false claims by government contractors that are household names.

Some Background

After considerable professional success, in 2016 I decided to take a sabbatical from my practice. I took time to recharge and reconnect with friends and family. I had time to reflect on the practice of law, which is largely stuck in the past, makes attorneys miserable, and routinely puts the interests of counsel at odds with clients.

After some time for reflection and brainstorming, what emerged was The Restis Law Firm. I wanted to make my practice more efficient, more enjoyable, and ultimately more effective for my clients. Instead of gorging on an ever increasing caseload, I am highly selective of each project to ensure every client receives the best representation money can buy. And as tempting as it is, I rarely advertise. Most clients are referred from counsel in previous matters who appreciate the unique skill set I bring to any project.

Before my life as an attorney, I graduated with honors from James Madison College at Michigan State. I received a dual degree in political economy and international relations. Having studied French, Russian and Mandarin in school, I transitioned to the Russian Affairs Office of the U.S. State Department. After realizing that politics and bureaucracy were not for me, I then moved to Beijing, China. While in China I taught economics at a technical university, consulted for China’s CCTV International, and published articles on international finance in China’s largest English language newspaper.

After leaving China, I moved to Southern California to attend the University of San Diego School of Law. I graduated with honors, and along the way founded USD’s Vis Moot International Commercial Arbitration team. The team sends students to prestigious competitions in Vienna and Hong Kong, winning multiple awards in the process.

I am licensed and admitted in all state and federal courts in California, but regularly practice throughout the United States through an experienced network of local counsel.

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