Experience Qualification Path
Category 2: American Arbitration Association
Mediation Locations
United States - WI
Mediation languages
English
Current position and background
Bill Levit is a principal of Levit ADR LLC. Previously he was the senior member of Godfrey & Kahn's Litigation Practice Group located in its Milwaukee office. His practice was quite diverse with substantial experience in all kinds of complex litigation including antitrust, securities, distributor relations, franchising, licensing, unfair competition, insurance insolvency, insurance regulation, and coverage disputes, professional liability, intellectual property, shareholder disputes, corporate governance counseling, Native American Law, and ADR. He formerly chaired the Firm's Litigation Practice Group, was a member of the Firm's Board of Directors, served for twenty-five years as the Firm's Loss Prevention Partner and Claims Counsel and chaired its International Practice Group.

Before joining Godfrey & Kahn, he was General Counsel of a Fortune 250 multinational manufacturing company headquartered in Milwaukee, a Litigation Partner in the Los Angeles office of Hughes Hubbard & Reed, a Davis Polk & Wardwell Associate and a U.S. Foreign Service Officer.

Bill has prosecuted and defended corporate and commercial cases in Federal and state courts around the United States, in tribal courts and before a wide variety of domestic and international arbitral tribunals. He has acted as counsel in international arbitrations in The Hague, Paris, London, Toronto, Zurich, Vienna and New York City.

For over 35 years, Bill has served as sole, chair or panel arbitrator in well over 100 commercial, corporate, intellectual property, licensing, franchising, professional liability, insurance, reinsurance, antitrust and securities arbitrations under the CPR International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution, American Arbitration Association, International Centre for Dispute Resolution, ICC, New York Stock Exchange, NASD and various other international and ad hoc rules including UNCITRAL. He serves as a General Panelist as well as a member of the CPR's Franchise, General Counsel, Healthcare and Life Sciences, Challenge, Special Arbitrator and Insurance Panels. He is on FedArb's Panel of Commercial Neutrals. In addition, he is on the Commercial; Large, Complex Case; M&A; Joint Venture; Employment; International and Mediation Panels of the American Arbitration Association. From 1984 to 1988 Bill was a Substitute Arbitrator on the Iran-U.S. Claims Tribunal at The Hague. He is a Fellow of and Chartered Arbitrator for the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (London) and a Fellow of the College of Commercial Arbitrators.

Listed in current edition of The Best Lawyers in America (Arbitration, International Arbitration, Mediation, Commerical Litigation and Intellectual Property Litigation and through 2014 in Chambers and Partners Directory of America's Leading Lawyers for Business (most recently as Senior Statesman - Commercial Litigation).
Main mediation practice areas
Mergers & Acquisitions; Shareholder Disputes; Securities; Franchise & Distribution; Antitrust; Corporate and Commercial; Insurance & Reinsurrance; Employment; Licensing; Software; International Business; Professional Liability and Native American Law.
Mediation experience
He has mediated numerous matters including a multi-hundred million dollar take or pay contract dispute; medical equipment manufacturer-supplier disputes; software disputes; close corporation shareholder disputes; allocation of D&O insurance proceeds; a dispute between a large corporation and a major D&O insurer over coverage; dealer termination disputes; a multi-party condemnation case; accounting and legal malpractice; asbestos claims; and various types of employment, franchisor-franchisee and product distribution disputes.
Description of mediation style
I am dogged in my approach to mediation. I put a very high premium on keeping dialogue going with the parties, even if on the day(s) of the mediation no settlement has been reached. I normally start out in a facilitative role but if the parties are not making significant progress, I become more evaluative.
Code of professional conduct
IMI Code of Professional Conduct
Complaint process
IMI Professional Conduct Assessment Process
Professional indemnity insurance
Underwriters at Lloyd's, London ($2 million)
Feedback Digest
Reviewer: STAFF AAA/ICDR ( imireviewer@adr.org )
Latest Update: 2017-05-16 22:11:07

This Feedback Digest is based on 12 Feedbacks from 11 mediations, initially submitted in April 2010.

Parties and counsel who have used William Levit would overwhelmingly use his services again and would, without hesitation, recommend him to others. Typical of the comments reflecting Mr. Levit’s acceptability are: (i) Bill did a good job at understanding both sides; (ii) Mr. Levit’s greatest asset is his intelligence; (iii) Bill Levit is particularly knowledgeable in cases involving franchise disputes; (iv) Bill works hard – he is relentless, very smart and capable; (v) Bill did a great job – he is smart, patient and diligent, and he worked very hard to try and get the case settled; (vii) Mr. Levit is extremely knowledgeable, practical and an outstanding deal-maker. He made a difficult deal happen, and that’s what I’m looking for in a mediator; (viii) Bill worked tirelessly and did not give up on the parties – he is an excellent mediator; and (ix) Bill is an outstanding mediator, blending a deep litigation expertise and commend of the subject-matter with superlative deal-making skill. His common sense and practical approach to mediation has been extremely effective every time we have engaged his services.

Mr. Levit’s mediation skills and abilities are rated as highly effective. Typical of feedback received in this regard are: (i) Mr. Levit was intelligent and had the ability to grasp the issues and recommend creative solutions. He was hard-headed and tough in pushing parties to reach a solution and recognize the weaknesses in their respective positions; (ii) Bill did a good job presenting the benefits of settlement to the parties. He had the skill to be impartial and objective; (iii) Mr. Levit’s sense of urgency made a decisive difference in the outcome; (iv) Mr. Levit was able to provide a realistic assessment to our client of the strengths and weaknesses of the case. He remained engaged throughout the mediation and even offered to continue to assist with negotiations; (v) He was relentless in attempting to get it done – he pressed the lawyers and clients to keep discussions moving; (vi) Mr. Levit has a great deal of experience as a mediator and it shows. He worked very hard and was very responsive to both sides; (vii) He gained the respect of my clients, who were sophisticated business people. He can probe for answers in a non-threatening way and can get both sides to see possible solutions. He was also very prepared and worked very hard; (viii) Mr. Levit came prepared, having fully mastered the mediation materials and we did not waste time getting him up to speed. He possessed the ability to provide a credible, reasoned evaluation of the parties’ claims, and explain convincingly why; (ix) He helped settle a very complex case involving parties who had been unable to agree to many points; and (x) Bill’s ability to assess the strengths and weaknesses of each side’s positions quickly and accurately, to offer credible evaluations of strategy and the likelihood that arguments will prevail, and a thorough understanding of the probable course of litigation, backed by a lengthy and impressive litigation career made a decisive difference in the outcome.


Mr. Levit is also highly regarded for his ability to effect a positive outcome. For example, one provider of feedback noted that the all-day mediation directly resulted in the settlement of the dispute. At times the parties looked like they wouldn’t settle and Bill did a good job by staying patient and involved. In other feedback it was noted that after a one day mediation he continued to work with the parties by phone and email in an effort to get the case resolved. In another matter it was also noted that Bill was dedicated to seeing the case through to a resolution and kept working after the parties had given up hope. The matter ended up with a resolution and the parties would not have got there without him. In one feedback, counsel indicated that Bill should be considered for all mediations, and should always be at the top of the list.

Costs were widely reported as reasonable in the context of the value of the disputes mediated by Mr. Levit, and in general a very high degree of satisfaction was reported.

No reportable negative comments have been received since Mr. Levit’s designation as an IMI Certified Mediator.

Professional affiliations
American Law Institute; Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, London (Fellow (FCIArb) and Chartered Arbitrator); College of Commercial Arbitrators (Fellow); Association of the Bar of the City of New York; Seventh Circuit Bar Association (Past President); State Bar of California (active); State Bar of New York (active); State Bar of Wisconsin (active; Fee Arbitration Committee, Past Chair); Milwaukee Bar Association (Fee Arbitration Committee, Past Chair); American Society of Corporate Secretaries (Wisconsin Chapter, Past President); American Bar Foundation (Fellow); Wisconsin Law Foundation (Fellow); State of Wisconsin Investment Board (Trustee May 2003-September 2015); Chair (2000-2006) Board of Administrative Oversight of the Supreme Court of Wisconsin Office of Lawyer Regulation.
Fee rate
$525 Per Hour
Study and travel time charged at the hourly rate plus out-of-pocket costs and disbursements. No cancellation charge. Willing to travel both domestically and internationally.
Contact details for references/recommendations
William F. Lee, william.lee@wilmerhale.com, (617) 526-6556
Ryan M. Billings, rbillings@kmksc.com, (414) 962-5110
W. Allen Woolley, allenwoolley@lockelord.com, (312) 201-2676
Trent Johnson, tjohnson@foley.com, (414) 319-7103
Daniel M. Janssen, daniel.janssen@quarles.com, (414) 277-5733
Ian A. J. Pitz, iapitz@michaelbest.com, (608) 257-3501
Laura Brenner, lbrenner@reinhartlaw.com, (414) 298-1000
Alistair Dawson, adawson@beckredden.com, (713) 951-6225
Timothy J. Chorvat, tchorvat@jenner.com, (312) 222-9350
Matthew B. Mock, mmock@schiffhardin.com, (312) 258-5513
Mediation education and training
Has attended and completed hundreds of hours of arbitrator and mediator training including AAA Advanced Mediator Training, 2010; CPR Advanced Mediator Training, 2009; and ADR Associates Mediator Training, 2003.
Mediation publications
"Introduction to ADR," chapter in Winning Legal Strategies for Alternative Dispute Resolution, Aspatore Books, 2005

 

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