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Backets Bio

William J. Bethune

Senior Counsel
(703) 934-1193


William J. Bethune joined McCandlish & Lillard, P.C. as Senior Counsel on January 1, 2009.  Before joining the firm, he was Of Counsel in the Washington, DC and Tysons Corner offices of Pepper Hamilton LLP. Bill handles transactions and counsels clients offering a wide variety of professional services in the biotechnology, life settlement, government contracting, information technology, and continuing medical education industries, among others.  In his career, Bill has handled litigation and arbitration involving a wide range of business torts including computer trespass, misappropriation of trade secrets, diversion of corporate opportunities, breach of covenants not to compete, interference with contract, and breach of fiduciary duty. Bill has represented creditors in bankruptcy contested matters and adversary proceedings involving objections to claims and priority and dischargeability of claims.  In his work with clients, Bill has delivered legal solutions to retain, deploy, compensate, and support key personnel; to acquire and protect intellectual property rights; and to safely hire, evaluate, and discharge employees.  His work with clients has included designing and implementing plans for ownership succession; selling, acquiring and protecting assets; and establishing and disposing of control and minority interests in businesses.

In recent years, Bill has been heavily involved in litigating and arbitrating limited liability company member disputes arising under both Virginia and the District of Columbia law and involving prosecuting and defending claims of breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, minority member oppression, and statutory dissociation.


  • J.D., University of Wisconsin, 1969
  • A.B., Princeton University, 1966


  • Virginia
  • District of Columbia
  • Maryland

Affiliations & Activities

Bill is a member of the steering committee of CXO Forum,, a group of business owners and executives who meet regularly to discuss business topics and solutions, update management skills, and develop best practices. A resident of Loudoun County, Bill served as general counsel of the Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce from 2000 through 2006.  He was a co-founder and served on the board of directors of Loudoun First Responders Foundation, a public charity that supports Loudoun County’s first responders and the public outreach activities of the county’s public safety agencies.  Under Bill’s leadership, Loudoun First Responders Foundation partnered with state and county bar associations in 2008 to bring the Wills for Heroes program to Loudoun County.

Publications & Presentations

Bill has served on the faculty of Virginia Law Foundation and Fairfax Bar Association CLE courses on employment law and workplace security; he was a frequent commentator on employment issues in the Washington Post column “On The Job;” he was an adjunct professor at George Mason University Law School, where he taught “Unincorporated Business Entities.”   He was a contributing author of Employer’s Survival Guide:  Maryland, Virginia, Washington, DC Edition, a practical employer-focused compendium of best workplace practices, policies and guidelines which was website published by Employers InfoNet, LLC.

Disputes Between Members of an LLC. Bill and Bethany R. Benes presented a one-hour CLE on September 25, 2017 sponsored by Lawline and entitled, Disputes Between Members of an LLC: “Divorcing” from Your Business Partner in Virginia.  The course focused on the alternative strategies of judicial expulsion of the problem member or dissolution of the business, including the pros and cons of each alternative and elements and defense strategies common to both.

Social Media: How Big of a Board Issue? September 13, 2017. Bill participated in a panel discussion at Wilmer Hale, LLP sponsored by the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) Capital Area Chapter.

Best Practices Involving the Use of Social Media, March 9, 2017. Bill and Vanya Bilyeu presented a practical guide to CXO Forum that included recommendations of what to do and what not to do, as well as tips for establishing a Communications/Social Media Policy.

Misclassification of Employees vs. Contractors, February 9, 2017 presentation to CXO Forum.

ABCs of Business Formation and Dissolution, February 26, 2015 presentation to Virginia Women Attorneys Association, Northern Virginia Chapter.  Click here to see the program flyer for further details.

Business Failures:  Lessons Learned – How to Avoid Common Situations Leading to Partner and Shareholder Disputes, January 8, 2015 presentation to CXO Forum.  Click here to see the program flyer for further details.

Non-Disclosure & Teaming Agreements, part of the portfolio series entitled “Smart Contracting in the Current Government Contracts Environment,” presented at the June 23, 2014 Armed Forces Communications & Electronics Association (AFCEA), Northern Virginia Chapter.  Click here to see PowerPoint for further details.

Tax Laws for Small Business, May 9, 2013 presentation to CXO Forum.  Click here to see the program flyer for further details.

Social Media in the Workplace, March 8, 2012 presentation to the CXO Forum.  Click here to see the program flyer for further details.

ABCs of Employment, November 10, 2011 presentation to CXO Forum.  Click here to see the program.

Distinctions & Honors

  • Bill was elected to Virginia Business Magazine’s Legal Elite for Business Law in 2009 – 2013.
  • AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated attorney, the highest rating from Martindale-Hubbell®.