William Keane

William (Bill) Keane is a 25-year partner at Farella Braun + Martell LLP in San Francisco.  He concentrates his litigation practice on white collar criminal defense, corporate internal investigations, and related matters. He is a Fellow and Regent of the American College of Trial Lawyers and is a former Assistant U.S. Attorney.

Bill has over 30 years of experience in every aspect of jury trials, administrative hearings, parallel criminal-civil proceedings, and pre-charge investigations by numerous enforcement and regulatory agencies, including U.S. Attorney’s Offices, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., and the California State Attorney General’s Office. Allegations involving his corporate and individual clients span a vast range of subject matters, including securities and accounting fraud, trade secret theft, digital currency, antitrust, cybersecurity, FCPA violations, Medicare fraud, banking violations, environmental law charges, violation of pharmaceutical distribution regulations, numerous forms of tax violations, mail, wire and computer fraud, government false claims, and export and money laundering violations. He also has an extensive track record in leading internal corporate investigations involving accounting, fraud, FCPA, trade secrets, and senior-executive employment issues. One particular specialty is defending attorneys and accountants.

Bill also leads an active civil practice covering many of the same subject areas, in addition to complex business disputes and intellectual property matters.

Prior to joining Farella, Bill was an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Criminal Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California. This experience provided him with an invaluable and thorough grounding in two essential capabilities for trial attorneys, particularly those involved in criminal prosecutions: extensive courtroom experience, and a deep understanding of how prosecutors think and work.

Bill is a Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America. He is ranked In Chambers USA in the Litigation: White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations – California section (2021-2022), named in The Best Lawyers in America in the White Collar Criminal Defense category (2012-2023), Benchmark Litigation (2011-2020), and Northern California Super Lawyers (2006-2022).

For the Northern District of California, Bill served twice on the court-appointed U.S. Magistrate Judge Selection Committee, was a court-appointed Lawyer Representative to the Judicial Conference, and was appointed four times as C.J.A. counsel for indigent defendants. He has taught federal criminal law and procedure, and legal writing at U.C. Hastings and trial advocacy at Stanford.

He has appeared on San Francisco Bay Area TV news programs on KTVU Channel 2, NBC-11 and KRON4, and NBC’s Today Show as legal analyst for the BALCO steroid case U.S. v. Barry Bonds, and offered expert commentary on the Roger Clemens trial and Lance Armstrong investigation. Bill was the legal and courtroom advisor for the independent movie “The Skeptic.”

Bill received his B.A. degree in Political Science from U.C. Berkeley in 1982, and his J.D., cum laude, from U.C. Law S.F. in 1986.  In law school, Bill was editor-in-chief of the Hastings Law Journal. He was at the time the third TPF Fellow-Elect in a row to serve in the Journal’s EIC role, following in the footsteps of John Shordike and Annemarie Hassett.  Upon graduation from law school, Bill served as a law clerk to the Honorable Eugene F. Lynch, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California.



Class of 1986

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