Biography Photo of William T Burgess

William T. Burgess

Chairman & Member

Mr. Burgess currently serves as Dickinson Wright’s Chairman. From 2010 through 2018, Mr. Burgess served as Dickinson Wright’s Chief Executive Officer, overseeing all aspects of the Firm’s professional and business operations, strategic planning, client relations and business expansion.

For more than 20 years, served as counsel to secured lenders (including banks, insurance companies, lending syndicates, administrative agents, collateral agents and loan servicers) in all aspects of workouts, restructurings, loan modifications and enforcement of remedies.

Education & Credentials


University of Michigan

A.B., 1981
  • High Honors, High Distinction
  • Phi Beta Kappa

Yale Law School

J.D., 1984

Bar Admission

  • Michigan1984


  • DBusiness Magazine
    • Top Lawyer, Bankruptcy and Creditor/Debtor Rights Law, 2018-2021
  • Best Lawyers in America®
    • Bankruptcy & Creditor-Debtor Rights, Insolvency & Reorganization Law, International Mergers & Acquisitions, Bankruptcy Litigation, 2008-2023
    • Bankruptcy & Creditor Debtor Rights, Insolvency & Reorganization Law, Bankruptcy Litigation, 2024
  • Michigan Super Lawyers®
    • Bankruptcy & Creditor-Debtor Rights Law, Business Litigation, Banking, 2006-2022

Representative Clients

  • Bank of America
  • City of Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan
  • Fifth Third Bank
  • JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A.

Prominent Assignments

Represented automotive manufacturers and Tier 1 suppliers in all aspects of reorganization, turnaround, workout and liquidation cases.

Trial counsel in state and federal court proceedings, including bankruptcy cases and appellate matters, concerning creditor rights and enforcement of remedies.

Extensive experience in purchase and sale of assets with court supervision in bankruptcy or receivership proceedings.

Trial and appellate counsel in matters establishing important precedents on issues of "adequate protection" to secured lenders and enforcement of assignment of rents.

Counsel to governmental economic growth and development agencies in revitalization and turnaround of distressed projects.

Counsel to governmental and quasi-governmental agencies in acquisition of significant properties to be devoted to public use and economic development.

Represented numerous public and private corporations in mergers, acquisitions or reorganizations in the real estate, automotive, food service and public utility industries.

Represented commercial mortgage lenders in underwriting, negotiation and documentation for office, hotel, retail and multi-family residential projects.

Counsel to municipal government on issues of zoning, eminent domain and public contract administration.

Professional Involvement

  • University of Detroit Mercy School of Law, Adjunct Professor of Law 1986-2012 (Commercial Law, Uniform Commercial Code, Payment Systems)
  • City of Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan, City Attorney 1990-present

Community Involvement

  • Leadership Detroit XII, Member
  • Rose Hill Center, Inc., Counsel


  • Law Clerk to Hon. Charles L. Levin, Michigan Supreme Court, 1984-85


  • Co-Author, Strategies for Secured Creditors in Workouts and Foreclosures, ALI-ABA, 2004
  • Contributing Author, Private Equity (History, Governance and Operations), Wiley, 2008
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