Bill focuses his practice on finding pragmatic solutions to issues that may affect the viability and continued operations of a business, such as shareholder, vendor, and customer disputes, liquidity shortfalls, and debt maturity.
Bill focuses his practice in the areas of restructuring, commercial litigation, and fraud investigation and litigation and has substantial experience representing businesses and their owners in commercial disputes, collection and receivership proceedings, state and federal litigation, bankruptcy proceedings, and appeals.
Bill understands that every business has different needs, different revenue sources, and different cost structures. Recognizing that complex problems require comprehensive solutions, Bill tailors his approach to the needs of each client. This often means employing a combination of legal proceedings, administrative remedies, and out of court negotiations to provide a comprehensive and complete solution to existing problems. Bill has represented businesses and their owners in shareholder disputes, collection actions involving customers or vendors, commercial lease disputes, dissolutions, receiverships, asset sales, debt negotiations, loan workouts, and bankruptcy cases. Bill also has experience with issues involving tax liability, construction liens, zoning, and insurance coverage.
Bill also assists clients with matters arising from a complete breakdown of a business relationship. When a business fails, the owners, vendors, and customers are left picking up the pieces. Contracts are breached, and assets are liquidated and transferred. Lawsuits are filed against owners and vendors to recover funds paid out prior to the business’ failure. In these cases, Bill advises clients on how to limit liability and pursue outstanding claims while assets still exist to pay them. Bill also represents clients in defense of lawsuits seeking recovery of transfers made by the failed business.
Oftentimes, the failure of a business will result in allegations of misconduct against or among the business’ owners and employees. In those cases, business owners and employees can be sued for diversion of corporate assets, breach of fiduciary duties, and fraud. Bill represents clients in the investigation, prosecution, and defense of such actions on behalf of his clients.
Bill’s approach is respected throughout the legal community. He has been named to the Michigan “Rising Star” list by Super Lawyers, a division of Thomson Reuters, in bankruptcy practice from 2013-2018, was recognized as a 2018 “Top Lawyer” in commercial litigation by DBusiness magazine, and was named to Michigan Lawyers Weekly‘s “Up & Coming Lawyers” in 2017.
Bill is an active thought leader and has recently given two presentations addressing bankruptcy and restructuring issues:
- Presentation for the Debtor-Creditor Rights Section of the Detroit Bar Association: “Alternatives for Distressed Companies”
- Presentation for the Consumer Bankruptcy Association: “Evidentiary Issues in Bankruptcy Proceedings”
- Turnaround Management Association
- Former Board Member, Kiwanis Club of Warren
- Member of the Detroit Bar Association
- Debtor-Creditor Rights Section of the Detroit Bar Association
- Member of the American Bankruptcy Institute (“ABI”)
Bar and Court Admissions
- United Stated District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
- United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan
- Law Clerk for the Honorable Robert N. Opel, II, Bankruptcy Judge, Middle District of Pennsylvania
- Emory University School of Law, J.D.
- Notes and Comments Editor for the Emory Bankruptcy Developments Journal
- Wayne State University, B.A.
Insights & News
January 11, 2019
October 29, 2018
Attorneys William Blasses and James DeLine Prevail at Trial on a Claim of Non-dischargeability on Behalf of a Creditor
September 20, 2018
September 11, 2018
September 7, 2018
August 17, 2018
July 11, 2018
The Detroit Bar Association welcomes slate of 2018-19 officers, including Joanne Swanson, president-elect
June 24, 2018
March 29, 2018
February 26, 2018
February 20, 2018
January 26, 2018
January 18, 2018
January 15, 2018
December 18, 2017
Kerr Russell team makes holiday donations to Capuchin Soup Kitchen, Wigs 4 Kids, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Ann Arbor, and Children's Hospital of Michigan
December 7, 2017
November 30, 2017
November 30, 2017
November 16, 2017
November 3, 2017
November 1, 2017
Kerr Russell ranked in the 2018 U.S. News - Best Lawyers® "Best Law Firms" list nationally in 1 practice area and regionally in 17 practice areas
October 10, 2017
September 12, 2017
August 10, 2017
November 1, 2016
September 20, 2016
Daniel Beyer and William Blasses successfully defend steel mill owner and operator from employee lawsuit
Prevailed at trial on a claim of non-dischargeability on behalf of a creditor who was owed over $370,000. Following a four-day trial in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Michigan the court issued a landmark 71-page opinion and judgment concluding that Kerr Russell had proven that the bankruptcy debtor made false statements under oath with actual fraudulent intent.
Represented a multinational corporation in pursuing collection of a civil judgment against former employees that had misappropriated corporate assets and then declared bankruptcy to avoid repaying their former employer. Bill was able to assist the client in excluding the judgment from the former employees’ bankruptcy discharges and recovering more than $375,000.00 from the employees.
Represented one of the largest construction lien claimants in a receivership proceeding concerning a failed construction project valued at around $60-70 million. Following significant litigation involving the receiver, the construction lender, and the developer, including a bankruptcy case filed by the developer, the client was able to recover seventy-three (73%) of the value of their lien and obtain a release of all counterclaims that could be asserted against it.
Represented a business owner and his business entities with respect to more than $1.5 million in claims for fraud, unauthorized transfers, conversion, successor liability, substantive consolidation, and shareholder oppression, asserted by a chapter 7 trustee. Following vigorous litigation, the bankruptcy court approved a settlement releasing the claims for $50,000.00.