Bill is the chair of the firm’s Construction Practice Group. He has taken over 100 cases to verdict. Over the last 30 years, Bill has obtained defense verdicts from New York to California. He has been admitted in multiple jurisdictions at client request on specific large exposures. He often parachutes into matters as trial counsel. His practice involves defending primarily construction companies and product manufacturers, with a focus on bicycle component manufacturers. He represented the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey in high-profile damage trials in 2009. These arose from the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center. Bill’s experience extends to counseling clients on risk avoidance. His vast experience with construction losses cause clients to seek his counsel in contract formation and insurance procurement. In this regard, Bill also practice within the firm’s Insurance Solutions group.
Bill is an accomplished appellate lawyer. He has prevailed in two of the United States’ most esteemed venues: the New York Court of Appeals and the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. Bill has successfully represented general contractors, prime contractors, sub-contractors, sub-sub-contractors, construction managers, owners, developers, architects and engineers in matters ranging from small payment disputes to multi-million dollar litigation at all levels of the State trial courts as well as is Federal Court.
Bill is ranked as AV Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell. He has received several other top rankings as an insurance lawyer. Bill presents regularly for the New York State Bar Association and the American Bar Association. He is in an elite group of practitioners who act faculty for the Judicial Institute. This group gives instruction and trial guidance for newly elected Supreme Court judges. He is often sought as a counselor and instructor in China and Asia for companies assessing U.S. product liability exposure.
Bill understands what it is like to be a client, and he is a voice within the firm that ensures clients are heard. At the onset of his career, he acted as Managing Attorney in New York City for Transamerica Insurance Company and Royal Sun-Alliance. This experience gives Bill a holistic view of litigation. He visualizes the needed result from both insurer and insured perspective and implements a strategy to achieve that outcome.
Bill enjoys time with his grandchildren, traveling to Asia, and yoga. He has previously served his community as a board member of his local school board. Bill previously ran for the U.S. House of Representatives.
Brooklyn Law School, Brooklyn, New York, J.D., 1977
University of Notre Dame, B.B.A., Finance, 1974
AV Preeminent Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Rating
Top Rated Lawyer in Insurance Law, American Lawyer Media and Martindale-Hubbell, 2013
Super Lawyers Corporate Counsel Edition
New York Metro Super Lawyers 2008-2011, 2013-2016, 2020-2023
Official Citation of Recognition for Service to the Town of Greenwich, General Assembly, State of Connecticut, November, 2011
Town of Greenwich Proclamation of William G. Kelly Day, Dec. 20, 2011
Commencement Honoree, Pace University School of Law, 1999
American Bar Association:
Vice Chair, Cyber Security Committee;
Past Chair, Trial Techniques Committee;
Past Chair, International Committee;
Editorial Board, The Brief; Cyber Task Force
New York State Bar Association
Trial Lawyers Section
Department of Labor OSHA-10 Construction Training
Insurance Federation of New York (IFNY)
International Association of Defense Counsel (IADC)
Gomes v. State of New York, 272 AD2d 440
Bill secured the dismissal of a Labor Law 240 claim on grounds of sole proximate cause. The case was cited by New York’s highest court in a seminal case (Blake v Neighborhood) as one of only three successful trial verdicts utilizing this defense.
Piacquadio v Recine, 84 NY2d 967
Bill set legal precedent for slip and fall cases in New York when he obtained a reversal of the intermediate appellate court by New York’s highest court. This case has been cited as precedent over 800 times in subsequent court decisions.
Perri v. Gibert, 14 AD2d 681
This case established key principles on application of common law indemnity. It has been subsequently cited as precedent 300 times.
Lanoue v. Cervelo and Gigantex, Superior Court of Mass
Bill obtained dismissal of a Taiwanese bicycle manufacturer on jurisdictional grounds. The plaintiff alleged wrongful death action.
Higgins v. West 50th, 94 AD2d 522
The appellate court upheld a jury verdict secured by Bill that found no liability for the client contractor. In the same matter, the owner was held responsible for a several million-dollar amount attributable to a traumatic brain injury.
Symonds v 1114 Avenues of America, 7 Misc.3d 1008
Bill forestalled a finding of absolute liability under New York Labor Law. He accomplished this by using an OSHA expert and toxicologist to establish proof of alcohol use and impaired balance by the plaintiff.
HSBC v. Taher, 104 AD2d 815
Bill represented a bank’s counsel relative to sanctions imposed by the trial court of a foreclosure action. After review of the record, the Appellate Division reversed and dismissed the sanctions.
Hudgins v. City of New York, 4 Misc.3d 1023
In a construction matter where summary judgment on liability was granted and exposure on damages was millions of dollars, Bill obtained full common law indemnification against the third-party defendant.
Guest lecturer, Engineering and Law Program, Manhattan College, February 2017
Judge, American Mock Trial Association, Yale University, December 2016
Board of Directors, Greenwich Audubon, Greenwich, CT, 2015-2018
President, Rocky Point Club, Old Greenwich, CT, 2015-2018
Member, Board of Estimate & Taxation, Greenwich, CT, 2007-2011
Member, Board of Education, Greenwich, CT, 1999-2007
Democratic Candidate – U.S. House of Representatives, 1988
Chair, “Labor Law Claims, Coverage and Litigation,” New York State Bar Association CLE, New York, NY, December 16, 2016
Co-presenter, “Cyber Security Issues and Product Liability in the United States,” Cunningham Lindsay Annual Forum, Taipei, Taiwan, October 2016
Judge, American Mock Trial Association, Yale University, December 2016
Presenter, “Product Liability Litigation in the United States,” East China University of Political Science and Law, Shanghai, China, November 2015
Presenter, “Product Liability Litigation in the United States,” Starr Insurance, Shanghai, China, November 2015
Presenter, “Product Liability in the U.S.,” Huatai Insurance Company, Beijing, China, October 2013
Presenter, “Product Liability in the U.S.,” Marsh China (Qingdao, Guangzhou), October 2013
Presenter, “Product Liability in the U.S.,” Soochow University, Taipei, Taiwan, October 2013
Presenter, Risk Management Conference, Syracuse, New York, June 18, 2013
Presenter, “Product Liability Law in the U.S.,” People’s Insurance Company of China, Shanghai, China, May 2013
Presenter, “Product Liability Law in the U.S.,” Cunningham Lindsey Hong Kong (Taiwan Branch) and Cunningham Lindsey China Co., Ltd. (Shanghai), October 2012
Presenter, “Dean’s Roundtable: Products Liability Trials,” Brooklyn Law School; April 2012
Presenter, “United States Product Liability in Court – A Workshop Obtained from Reality,” Zurich S.p.A., Milan, Italy, April 2005
Panelist, “Masters of the Courtroom: A Display of Innovative and Proven Trial Techniques,” American Bar Association, TIPS Section, Phoenix, Arizona, March 2008
Presenter, “Anatomy of a Jury Trial: Direct Examinations,” Boston University School of Law, February 2009
Moderator, New York State Bar Association “Practical Skills,” May 2008
Presenter, “Can the Commercial General Liability Policy Survive?” New York State Bar Association, June 2008
Judge, American Mock Trial Association, Yale University, December 2008
Faculty, Transitional Training, Criminal Term Judges, Judicial Institute, April 2004
Faculty, Mock Settlement Conference, Principal Court Attorneys, Judicial Institute, January 2004
Faculty, New Judges’ Orientation Program, Judicial Institute, December 2003
Author, “China” Chapter in “Construction and Infrastructure Disputes: A Global Handbook,” Globe Law and Business, September 2013
Author, “Construction Site Personal Injury Litigation, New York Labor Law,” New York State Bar Association 2010
Author, “Pitfalls of Kinney and the Anti-Subrogation Doctrine,” New York Law Journal, May 22, 1996
Author, “Liability for Recurring Conditions in Slip and Fall Cases New York Law Journal,” New York Law Journal, May 24, 1995,
Author, “Court Reaffirms Principles Applicable to Slip and Fall,” New York Law Journal, February 3, 1995
Author, “Authenticating Internet Website Postings and Other Electronic Evidence”, PROOF Magazine, American Bar Association, 2008