William Gutierrez


Gutierrez Marca LLP
465 California Street, 5th Floor
San Francisco, California 94104
Direct: 415.231.6162
Mobile: 650.888.9410
Fax: 415.231.6164
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Key Areas

  • Business formation, capitalization and governance
  • Mergers/Acquisitions and Joint Venture agreements
  • Buy-Sell agreements
  • NDAs, website policies and insertion orders
  • Master service agreements/licensing agreements
  • Distribution/re-seller/marketing contracts
  • Co-location/channel partner/commission contracts
  • Corporate, partnership and limited liability company transactions and disputes
  • Employment Law
  • Discrimination and Harassment
  • Competition and Trade Secret Law
  • Wage and Hour
  • Business litigation

William F. Gutierrez

Rated by Super Lawyers

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With 30 years of experience, Bill is an accomplished trial attorney and litigator, who also advises and represents businesses and entrepreneurs throughout all phases of the business lifecycle. A successful trial lawyer with several multi-million dollar verdicts in business disputes, Bill offers his clients unique perspectives developed through hard-fought battles in the courtroom. Whether negotiating strategic alliances or structuring complex business arrangements to monetize or protect core company assets, Bill draws upon his experience litigating the nuances of contracts and laws applicable to business entities to help clients mitigate risk and focus on essential deal terms. Bill also uses his business counselling and transactional experience to help resolve complex partnership, contractual and commercial disputes before they ever go to trial.

Bill offers business counselling and transactional representation to clients in a broad range of industries, including venture capital, consumer products, medical, software development, print media, advertising, data centre operations, cloud computing and e-commerce. Having served as in-house counsel for an international venture capital fund, and as acting outside general counsel for a variety of companies, Bill understands the concerns of business owners and senior management and tailors his advice to help his clients find practical solutions consistent with their business objectives.

From 2014 to 2019, Bill has been recognized as a Northern California Super Lawyer in the areas of business and business litigation. Super Lawyers is a rating service of lawyers who are recognized through peer evaluation and independent research as having attained a high-degree of professional achievement. The Super Lawyers list includes no more than 5 per cent of eligible lawyers each year.

Business and Employment Litigation

Bill’s litigation practice focuses on cases dealing with breach of fiduciary obligations, including those owed by managers, general partners, trustees, directors, officers and controlling owners, conflicts among business owners, unfair competition, commercial disputes and business torts arising from change in control transactions and fraud. Bill has a track record of obtaining very favourable results in a wide variety of cases:

      • As lead counsel in a two-week trial, proved the existence of an oral real estate syndication partnership under California law and partner’s breach of fiduciary duties in misappropriating opportunity to co-sponsor a data centre syndication, resulting in a multi-million dollar judgment, including punitive damages.
      • After several weeks of a combined bench and jury trial, proved that the manager and controlling member of a Delaware limited liability company breached fiduciary duties in amending the governing LLC agreement to a terminate member who had objected to manager’s self-enrichment in restructuring. Secured judgment for damages and fees of over $2 million.
      • As lead counsel in a multi-week trial, secured a judgment against a partner for fraud and misuse of partnership assets, resulting in a multi-million dollar judgment, including punitive damages.
      • Procured executive a multi-million dollar settlement for wrongful termination after reporting corporate financial misconduct.
      • Defended a trustee against claims that trustee had engaged in financial misconduct and self-dealing concerning the trust’s interests in a family limited partnership and multiple properties. The claimant had previously sued the trustee and threatened to continue to sue the trustee. Proposed and structured a complex settlement structure fully unwinding the business relationships between the litigants, bringing a final end to years of litigation.
      • Prevailed in a week-long arbitration on behalf of a defendant accused of materially breaching contract, and prevailed on cross-complaint for wrongful termination of contract resulting in a substantial six-figure award to client.
      • Obtained complete dismissal of a defamation suit by prevailing on a special motion to strike under California’s anti-SLAPP statute, extending anti-SLAPP law to reports of misconduct to industry contacts.
      • In a breach of contract case, procured a multi-million dollar settlement on behalf of third party beneficiary.
      • Procured a large settlement for software reseller against former partners who had misappropriated trade secrets, and had used secrets to compete against the former business.
      • Obtained seven-figure judgment against contractor for fraudulent billing practices and construction delays over several projects.
      • Obtained dismissal of multi-million dollar claims for construction delays and alleged non-payment for additional work.
      • Obtained dismissal of wrongful termination and discrimination claims for a national security services company.

Representative Work

      • Represent International Finance Corporation division of World Bank in international investments, including performing due diligence, and negotiating and drafting investment documents.
      • Represented cloud services business in acquisition of industry news portal and content.
      • Established national and international distribution network for luxury products manufacturer.
      • Prepared comprehensive hosted and professional services contracts for SaaS provider of enterprise software in the cloud space.
      • Prepared Master Services Agreement and template work orders for enterprise software re-seller/developer.
      • Prepared service and agency contracts for web-based print media brokerage firm.
      • Obtained large pre-litigation settlement of claims for wrongful “hacking” of computer database and misappropriation of trade secret for software developer.
      • Obtained multi-million dollar verdict in complex breach of joint venture trial, including punitive damages.

Academic Credentials

      • J.D., cum laude, University of San Francisco School of Law
      • Moot Court Honors
      • B.A., Social Science, University of California, Berkeley

Professional Affiliations

      • State Bar of California
      • American Bar Association
      • San Mateo County Bar Association
      • San Francisco Bar Association, Diversity Task Force
      • Former California Licensed Real Estate Broker

Civic and Charitable

      • Peninsula Pop Warner | Board Member, 2002 – 2003
      • West Bay Rams Pop Warner | President, 2002 – 2003
      • San Mateo Union High School District | Booster President, 2004 – 2007


    • Product Liability Theories in the United States, Lloyd’s of London Press, 1992.
    • Chpt. 17, Eighteen Chapters on American Law, Co-author, Yuan-Liou Publ. Co., Taiwan, 1995.
    • Recent Developments in Aviation Law, Co-author, SMU Law Journal, 1995.