Council Emeritus
Life Member

William M. Burke

Costa Mesa, CA
Shearman & Sterling LLP (Retired)
California State University
Stanford Law School

William M. Burke is a retired partner in the law firm of Shearman & Sterling, where he practiced in the fields of international finance, restructuring and bankruptcy, and structured finance. He also was a senior advisor in the finance and bankruptcy department of Sheppard Mullin, Richter & Hampton.

He was elected to the ALI in 1985 and was elected to the Council in 1989. He took Emeritus status in 2012. On his website., he documents his mountain climbing, including several summits of Mount Everest.

Mr. Burke was previously an Adviser on the UCC Article 3 Drafting Committee; the UCC Article 5 Drafting Committee; the UCC Articles 3, 4, & 4A - Current Payment Methods project; and the Principles of the Law of Software Contracts project. He previously chaired the UCC Article 9 Drafting Committee of ALI and the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws.

He has been active in bar association matters, having chaired the Uniform Commercial Code and Commercial Financial Services Committees of the ABA Business Law Section. He was Chair of the Business Law Section of the California State Bar Association, and received that Section’s 2003 Lifetime Achievement Award.

A former member of the California Commission on Uniform State Laws, Mr. Burke is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation and a member of the American College of Bankruptcy and the American College of Commercial Finance Lawyers, which awarded him its Homer Kripke Achievement Award.

EDUCATION: California State University at Northridge, B.A.; Stanford Law School, J.D.  

 William M. Burke Image
Areas of Expertise
Leasing (Contracts Law)
Real Estate Law (Real Property)
Acquisitions (Mergers)
Banking Law
Bankruptcy Law
Finance (Banking Law)