William S. Norton

Bill Norton litigates securities fraud, corporate governance, False Claims Act, SEC whistleblower and other complex class action and commercial litigation.


Bill has represented public retirement systems, union pension funds, investment companies, banks and other institutional and individual investors before federal, state and appellate courts throughout the country. He also has experience representing whistleblowers who report violations of the law to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission under the Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Program, as well as in qui tam litigation brought under the False Claims Act.

Federal Securities Fraud Litigation

Bill is a member of the litigation teams representing institutional investors as lead counsel in litigation involving Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Qualcomm Inc., and Riot Blockchain, Inc. He also played a key role in the following cases:

  • In re SCANA Corporation Securities Litigation (Liaison Counsel in action resulting in $192.5 million recovery*)
  • Bennett v. Sprint Nextel Corp. ($131 million recovery*)
  • City of Brockton Retirement System v. Avon Products, Inc. ($62 million recovery*)
  • Hill v. State Street Corporation ($60 million recovery*)
  • City of Sterling Heights General Employees’ Retirement System v. Hospira, Inc. ($60 million recovery*)
  • In re Hewlett-Packard Company Securities Litigation ($57 million recovery*)
  • In re Medtronic, Inc. Securities Litigation ($43 million recovery*)
  • Hatamian v. Advanced Micro Devices ($29.5 million recovery*)
  • Ross v. Career Education Corporation ($27.5 million recovery*)
  • In re Synovus Financial Corp. ($11.75 million recovery*)

Shareholder Derivative Litigation

Bill was a member of the teams that litigated the following cases:

  • Manville Personal Injury Settlement Trust v. Gemunder ($16.7 million payment to the company and significant corporate governance reforms*)
  • In re Walgreen Co. Derivative Litigation (corporate governance reforms ensuring compliance with Controlled Substances Act*)

Merger and Acquisition Litigation

Bill has represented institutional shareholders in litigation concerning corporate mergers and acquisitions, including the following cases:

  • In re Allion Healthcare, Inc. Shareholders Litigation ($4 million payment to shareholders*)
  • In re RehabCare Group, Inc., Shareholders Litigation ($2.5 million payment, modification of merger agreement, and additional disclosures to shareholders*)
  • In re Atheros Communications Shareholder Litigation (preliminary injunction delaying shareholder vote and requiring additional disclosures to shareholders in $3.1 billion merger*)
  • Maric Capital Master Fund, Ltd. v. PLATO Learning, Inc. (preliminary injunction requiring additional disclosures to shareholders in $143 million private-equity buyout*)
  • In re The Shaw Group Shareholders Litigation (class-wide, opt-in appraisal right and additional disclosures to shareholders in $3 billion merger*) 

Other Securities, Consumer Fraud and Commercial Litigation

Bill has also represented clients in a wide variety of securities, consumer fraud, and commercial litigation, including the following cases:  

  • Class action on behalf of satellite retailers against EchoStar Corporation, resulting in settlement valued at approximately $83 million*
  • Class action on behalf of bondholders concerning alleged Ponzi scheme, resulting in $7.8 million recovery*
  • Class action against DirecTV regarding early cancellation fees
  • Litigation on behalf of a German bank concerning investments in mortgage-backed collateralized debt obligations
  • Federal and state lawsuits regarding variable life insurance investments funneled to the Madoff Ponzi scheme
  • Litigation on behalf of real-estate investors regarding luxury real estate development

Prior to joining Motley Rice, Bill practiced securities and commercial litigation in the New York office of an international law firm. While attending law school, Bill served as an Editor of the Boston University Law Review and was a G. Joseph Tauro Distinguished Scholar. He served as a law clerk in the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts, represented asylum seekers at Greater Boston Legal Services, and studied law at the University of Oxford. Prior to law school, Bill worked for the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of South Carolina and with the Neighborhood Legal Assistance Program of Charleston. Bill is recognized as an AV®-rated attorney by Martindale-Hubbell®.

* Please remember that every case is different. Any result we achieve for one client in one matter does not necessarily indicate similar results can be obtained for other clients.

Open Bio


J.D., Boston University School of Law, 2004

B.A./B.S. magna cum laude, University of South Carolina, 2001


American Bar Association

Federal Bar Association

American Association for Justice

New York State Bar Association

South Carolina Bar Association

Charleston County Bar Association

Licensed In

  • Massachusetts
  • New York
  • South Carolina

Admitted to Practice Before

U.S. Supreme Court

U.S. Court of Appeals for the First, Second, Third and Fourth Circuits

U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado, Northern District of Illinois, District of Massachusetts, District of South Carolina and the Eastern and Southern Districts of New York

Awards and Accolades

2013–2019 South Carolina Super Lawyers Rising Stars list
Securities litigation; Class action/mass torts: plaintiff; General litigation

2019 Lawdragon 500 Plaintiff Financial Lawyers