William J. Trunk

Partner
Photo of William J. Trunk
Fax: 202.775.4510

Education:

J.D., summa cum laude, Boston College School of Law, 2008

Order of the Coif

Boston College Law Review

Dean Dennis A. Dooley Award for Outstanding Scholarship Average

Graduate Student Association Graduate Achievement Award

B.A., summa cum laude, State University of New York at Albany, 2005

James Unger Memorial Undergraduate Award for Outstanding Research Paper

Bar Admissions:

District of Columbia

New York

William J. Trunk is a trial and appellate litigator. He has litigated matters in state and federal courts, including the United States Supreme Court, on a wide range of subjects–including corporate bankruptcy, directors’ duties, putative class actions, administrative law, and constitutional interpretation.

Bill has substantial experience representing hedge funds and other special-situation investors in bankruptcy and related litigation, particularly in the distressed-debt space. He represented holders of defaulted bonds in years-long litigation against the Republic of Argentina, culminating in a $4.6 billion settlement. He is currently representing a hedge fund in bet-the-company litigation against a telecommunications company arising from an alleged default of the company’s bond indenture.

Bill also routinely represents companies and their boards of directors against derivative lawsuits, breach of fiduciary claims, and related matters. For example, Bill recently represented the former independent directors of a Guernsey-based fund sponsored by The Carlyle Group, successfully defending his clients against a $2 billion lawsuit brought by the fund’s liquidators.

Bill also maintains an active appellate practice. He briefed and argued the Fourth Circuit criminal appeal of Jeffrey Sterling, a former CIA agent who was convicted under the Espionage Act for leaking classified material to a New York Times reporter. And he represented amici on the winning sides in two landmark Supreme Court decisions: Murphy v. NCAA, 138 S. Ct. 1461 (2018), overturning the decades-old federal ban on state-authorized sports betting, and National Labor Relations Board v. Noel Canning, 134 S. Ct. 2550 (2014), clarifying the scope of the President’s recess-appointments power.

Before joining Robbins Russell, Bill clerked for the Honorable Richard C. Wesley on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. He received his law degree from Boston College Law School, where he was ranked second in his graduating class.

Professional Activities, Publications, and Honors

  • Named in Benchmark Litigation’s “40 & Under Hot List” (2018)

  • Named a “Rising Star” in Super Lawyers (2017, 2018)

  • Just ‘Because’: A Higher Burden for Proving Retaliation Claims Under the False Claims Act, Federal Contracts Report (Sept. 9, 2014)

  • Note, The Scourge of Contextualism: Ceremonial Deism and the Establishment Clause, 49 B.C.L. Rev. 571 (2008)

  • Tried a complex bondholder dispute arising from exchange offers and consent solicitations launched by Windstream Services.

  • Defending Community Health Systems and its directors and officers against federal and state securities-fraud claims arising from 2016 spinoff transaction.

  • Briefed and argued Fourth Circuit criminal appeal of Jeffrey A. Sterling, convicted under Espionage Act for leaking classified material to a New York Times reporter.

  • Defended former independent directors of Carlyle Capital Corporation in multi-jurisdictional litigation brought by liquidating trustee seeking nearly $2 billion in damages. Won a complete victory exonerating clients after a five-month trial.

  • Successfully obtained summary judgment for international engineering firm defending against False Claim Act retaliation claim.

  • Represented significant bondholders in dispute with Republic of Argentina over defaulted sovereign debt, culminating in multibillion-dollar settlement.

  • Represented on appeal The Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of TOUSA, Inc., securing affirmance of $500 million judgment awarded by Bankruptcy Court.

  • On behalf of large multinational renewable power company, briefed and won Second Circuit appeal defending series of administrative rulings by Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

  • Drafted Supreme Court amicus briefs for trade association on winning side of National Labor Relations Board v. Noel Canning, 134 S. Ct. 2550, relating to the scope of the President’s recess appointment power.

About

William J. Trunk is a trial and appellate litigator. He has litigated matters in state and federal courts, including the United States Supreme Court, on a wide range of subjects–including corporate bankruptcy, directors’ duties, putative class actions, administrative law, and constitutional interpretation.

Bill has substantial experience representing hedge funds and other special-situation investors in bankruptcy and related litigation, particularly in the distressed-debt space. He represented holders of defaulted bonds in years-long litigation against the Republic of Argentina, culminating in a $4.6 billion settlement. He is currently representing a hedge fund in bet-the-company litigation against a telecommunications company arising from an alleged default of the company’s bond indenture.

Bill also routinely represents companies and their boards of directors against derivative lawsuits, breach of fiduciary claims, and related matters. For example, Bill recently represented the former independent directors of a Guernsey-based fund sponsored by The Carlyle Group, successfully defending his clients against a $2 billion lawsuit brought by the fund’s liquidators.

Bill also maintains an active appellate practice. He briefed and argued the Fourth Circuit criminal appeal of Jeffrey Sterling, a former CIA agent who was convicted under the Espionage Act for leaking classified material to a New York Times reporter. And he represented amici on the winning sides in two landmark Supreme Court decisions: Murphy v. NCAA, 138 S. Ct. 1461 (2018), overturning the decades-old federal ban on state-authorized sports betting, and National Labor Relations Board v. Noel Canning, 134 S. Ct. 2550 (2014), clarifying the scope of the President’s recess-appointments power.

Before joining Robbins Russell, Bill clerked for the Honorable Richard C. Wesley on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. He received his law degree from Boston College Law School, where he was ranked second in his graduating class.

Professional Activities, Publications, and Honors

  • Named in Benchmark Litigation’s “40 & Under Hot List” (2018)

  • Named a “Rising Star” in Super Lawyers (2017, 2018)

  • Just ‘Because’: A Higher Burden for Proving Retaliation Claims Under the False Claims Act, Federal Contracts Report (Sept. 9, 2014)

  • Note, The Scourge of Contextualism: Ceremonial Deism and the Establishment Clause, 49 B.C.L. Rev. 571 (2008)

Representative Matters
  • Tried a complex bondholder dispute arising from exchange offers and consent solicitations launched by Windstream Services.

  • Defending Community Health Systems and its directors and officers against federal and state securities-fraud claims arising from 2016 spinoff transaction.

  • Briefed and argued Fourth Circuit criminal appeal of Jeffrey A. Sterling, convicted under Espionage Act for leaking classified material to a New York Times reporter.

  • Defended former independent directors of Carlyle Capital Corporation in multi-jurisdictional litigation brought by liquidating trustee seeking nearly $2 billion in damages. Won a complete victory exonerating clients after a five-month trial.

  • Successfully obtained summary judgment for international engineering firm defending against False Claim Act retaliation claim.

  • Represented significant bondholders in dispute with Republic of Argentina over defaulted sovereign debt, culminating in multibillion-dollar settlement.

  • Represented on appeal The Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of TOUSA, Inc., securing affirmance of $500 million judgment awarded by Bankruptcy Court.

  • On behalf of large multinational renewable power company, briefed and won Second Circuit appeal defending series of administrative rulings by Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

  • Drafted Supreme Court amicus briefs for trade association on winning side of National Labor Relations Board v. Noel Canning, 134 S. Ct. 2550, relating to the scope of the President’s recess appointment power.