Bill Winsten is described by his peers as an “outstanding trial lawyer,” "phenomenally talented," and “effective, smart and innovative,” according to Chambers USA. He successfully employs creative strategies to achieve (or exceed) his clients' goals through trial, motion practice, or settlement in a wide range of cases, including disputes involving the sale of businesses, shareholder disagreements, supply arrangements, lending relationships, real estate development, noncompetes, and constitutional matters.

Bill has numerous trial victories and is often asked to teach trial skills to other lawyers.

Bill is also frequently retained as a mediator to apply his broad experience, common sense, and tenacious approach to help other parties settle their disputes. 

Bill also teaches Evidence as an adjunct professor at Wayne State University Law School and was named to the University's Alumni Wall of Fame in 2024.



Representative Matters

  • Obtained $33 million from a Native American tribe for breaching its agreement to share settlement proceeds from a prior lawsuit that challenged the award of the Detroit casino licenses
  • Obtained jury verdict of $8.6 million for distributor against manufacturer for breach of exclusive distribution arrangement
  • Obtained jury verdict of $5.5 million for automotive supplier against steel mill that breached requirements contract
  • Obtained arbitration award of $4.8 million for breach of purchase agreement
  • Obtained jury verdict of $3.1 million for bank against its borrower's insurer which had denied coverage for arson fire
  • Obtained international arbitration award for venture capital firm for an additional 1,124,791 shares in Swedish public company because it was shortchanged when its debt was converted to equity in connection with the merger of a Dutch company into that Swedish company.

  • Obtained jury verdict at second trial for full policy limits of $1.2 million for fire loss for business owner against insurer which claimed owner was responsible for the fire; the owner, using other counsel, lost the first trial
  • Obtained $1.9 million award at bench trial arising out of dispute between partners in real estate ventures
  • Obtained dismissal on summary judgment of suit by beneficiary against bank trustee for breach of fiduciary duty and conflict of interest arising from bank's loan of $75 million to the corporation it controlled, as trustee, for transactions the beneficiary claimed were imprudent
  • Defended libel suit by public official against newspaper; case dismissed after two-month jury trial
  • Defended breach of fiduciary duty claim by corporation against its former CEO arising from CEO's alleged theft of corporate opportunity and establishment of competing business; after trial, CEO used profits from his new business to acquire his former employer
  • Successfully defended beneficiary at jury trial against trustee's claim she should return $5 million the trustee mistakenly distributed to her from a trust
  • Successfully defended at arbitration anchor tenant's $2.1 million lost profits claim against shopping center owner and obtained dismissal and award of attorneys' fees
  • Obtained dismissal on summary judgment of suit by disappointed bidder for City of Detroit cable TV franchise which claimed that First Amendment required the grant of multiple franchises
  • Successfully defeated lawsuit brought by 5-Hour Energy against its former bottler to enforce a noncompete and confidentiality agreement
  • Successfully defended on appeal the retroactive Michigan Nonrecourse Mortgage Loan Act against the lender’s assertion that it was an unconstitutional impairment of contract

Academic Appointments

  • Wayne State University Law School, Adjunct Professor, teaching Evidence
  • Wayne State University Law School, Guest Lecturer, pre-trial advocacy class
  • Institute of Continuing Legal Education, Instructor
    • Annual Deposition Workshop
    • Rules of evidence
  • Federal Bar Association, Instructor, trial advocacy program
  • National Institute of Trial Advocacy, Instructor, expert witness program
  • University of Michigan Law School, Guest Lecturer, advanced corporate law seminar on litigation between shareholders in closely held corporations
  • University of Detroit Mercy Law School, Guest Instructor, trial skills




Court Admissions



  • Listed in Chambers USA, 2012-2024
    • Recognized in General Commercial Litigation in Michigan; Chambers USA states: 
      • "[Bill] has great organization and very strong persuasive skills. He is efficient, smart and sharp."
      • "[Bill’s] goal is to achieve a favorable and practical resolution for his client, through the strong advocation of their legal position."
      • "[Bill] offers extensive experience in commercial disputes, regularly acting for clients in trials and appeals. He is also adept at handling class actions." He is described as "a very fine lawyer."
      • "A source praises [Bill] as a lawyer who is “smart, thoughtful and sees all the angles in a case. He comes up with a solid approach to address things and is a pleasure to work with.” He handles a wide range of trials and is also experienced representing clients in appeals." 
      • "[Bill] is recognized for his expertise in high-stakes commercial litigation, and is frequently called upon to act for clients on matters involving shareholder disputes, lending relationships and real estate developments."
      • "[Bill] represents businesses in high-stakes commercial disputes, including matters relating to the sale of businesses, shareholder disagreements and real estate developments. One client refers to him as 'the best negotiator I have ever met.'"
      • "[Bill] regularly represents clients in disputes relating to business sales, loan agreements and shareholder matters. One client reports that 'he thinks very clearly and analytically and can really get right to the bottom line.'"
      • "[Bill] has been providing counsel in sophisticated commercial litigation matters for over three decades. He is famed for his advocacy skills at trial and often appears as a mediator in multiparty settlements."
      • "[Bill] is a trial attorney who also has experience in arbitrations. He has a fine track record for his counsel in high-value business disputes." 
      • "[Bill] focuses his practice on class actions, securities and corporate governance litigation. He recently represented Cherryland Mall in commercial mortgage-backed securities loan litigation, and is described as 'effective, smart and innovative.'"
      • "[Bill] is described by his peers as 'phenomenally talented.' He litigates a broad range of issues, with a focus on contractual disputes and breach of fiduciary duty claims."
      • "[Bill] is considered an 'outstanding trial lawyer' who is 'always very well prepared, smart and hardworking.' He is known for handling a diverse range of cases relating to the automotive, banking and real estate sectors."
  • Class of 2024 Alumni Wall Of Fame inductee, Wayne State University Law School
  • The Best Lawyers in America, 2005-2024
    • Recognized in practice areas of:
      • Appellate Law
      • Bet-the-Company Litigation
      • Commercial Litigation
    • Detroit Bet-the-Company Litigation "Lawyer of the Year," 2020 
  • Business Today, 2023
    • Recognized as one of the Top 10 Powerhouse Litigators Dominating Michigan’s General Commercial Litigation Scene
  • Michigan Super Lawyers, 2006-2023
    • Recognized as one of the Top 100 Super Lawyers, 2007-2012, 2014-2016, 2019-2023
  • Law Bulletin Media
    • Leading Lawyers, Civil Appellate Law, 2017, 2023-2024
    • Leading Lawyers, Commercial Litigation, 2017, 2023-2024
  • DBusiness, Top Lawyers, 2010-2016
  • Pro Bono Attorney of the Year Award, Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association, 1998 and 2007
  • Distinguished Alumni Award, Wayne State University Law School, 2004 

Professional & Community Involvement

  • Historical Society for the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
    • President, 1998-2000
    • Trustee, 1994-present
  • Wayne State University Law School
    • Board of Visitors
      • Chair, 2008-2010
      • Executive Board Member, 2002-present
    • Alumni Association
      • President, 1997-1998
  • State Bar of Michigan
    • Pro Bono Involvement Committee
      • Chair, 1991-1996
  • American Inns of Court
    • Master of the Bench

News & Insights


Press Releases


Wayne State University Law School, Alumni Wall of Fame

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