William (Bill) Soderstrom, Fox, O’Neill and Shannon, S.C. Shareholder, concentrates his practice in counseling small and medium sized businesses in all aspects of their operations. Bill’s practice regularly involves contract creation and operational issues, negotiations, human resources issues, ownership transitions, acquisitions, divestitures, and financing.
Bill has represented buyer and seller companies in dozens of mergers and acquisitions throughout the United States, aggregating hundreds of millions of dollars. These transactions included acquisitions of publicly held companies in federal bankruptcy courts, and acquisitions resulting from foreclosure and secured lender sales. Bill emphasizes getting the deal done quickly, at a sensible cost, and with minimal disruption.
Bill has also developed and maintains a significant commercial real estate practice, representing companies acquiring finished structures, including factories and apartment complexes, and vacant land for development. Bill frequently provides these services simultaneously with or as a part of his representation of clients in overall business transactions. In his real estate practice, Bill represents developers in implementing business and commercial parks, negotiates with private owners and public entities regarding financing and zoning issues, prepares and implements condominium declarations, negotiates and enforces construction contracts, and obtains Industrial Revenue Bond financing for clients’ projects. As part of his overall business practice, Bill represents companies in obtaining financing from all sources, including banks, insurance companies, and private investors. He assists clients obtain the use of proceeds from bonds issued by governmental units and agencies throughout the United States. He also counsels companies and prepares documentation for multi-million dollar private placements, and represents underwriters in effecting both private placements directed primarily to accredited investors, and IPOs.
Bill represents the presidents and other top level officers of publicly held companies and large privately held companies in employment disputes with their employers, arising from written and oral contracts. Bill prides himself on negotiating significant recoveries, without resorting to litigation unless absolutely necessary.
Bill represents clients based throughout the United States, including their operations in Canada, Europe and Asia. He also represents foreign manufacturers in U.S. and European transactions.
Bill is former Managing Shareholder of the firm.
Bill’s legal career began as the law clerk for presiding Judge Robert Cannon on the newly created Wisconsin Court of Appeals. After a year’s clerkship, Bill accepted an associate position with Fox, O’Neill & Shannon, S.C., where he has practiced ever since. He became a shareholder in 1983 and was sole Managing Shareholder from 2001 to 2017.
Bill was born in Streator, Illinois, the youngest of five children. His father was a lawyer and state representative. His mother was a German and world history high school teacher. In order to help pay for his college expenses at the University of Illinois, Bill worked at various service jobs, as well as two stints as a line worker at the Owens-Illinois glass factory in Streator. During law school, he worked at a number of legal jobs and interned at the Wisconsin Supreme Court with Justice Shirley Abrahamson.
Bill met his future wife, Lorna Granger, at the University of Wisconsin Law School, and they were married a few days after their law school graduation. They have three children, Nathan (1982), Annie (1984), and Lucas (1988).
Bill is active in the community. In addition to civic activities, he has been, at various times, a little league and soccer coach, and a member of the little league board of directors. Bill, a founder and past president of the Shorewood Girls Softball League, and was also instrumental in having girls softball added as a varsity sport at Shorewood High School.
In his spare time, Bill is an avid music enthusiast and plays several instruments, including guitar, trumpet and banjo. He is also a Wisconsin sports fan, and maintains a lifelong interest in history, literature, and travel.