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William E. Burton III

William E. Burton III


T (336) 378-5421
F (336) 378-5400

Will Burton maintains a diverse national business, administrative and litigation practice focusing primarily on alcoholic beverage matters, environmental, and occupational safety and health issues, and creditor's rights.

Mr. Burton counsels alcoholic beverage suppliers on a wide variety of alcoholic beverage compliance and business issues arising under the laws of state alcoholic beverage control agencies and the federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB). His practice covers all facets of alcoholic beverage regulation, including licensing, trade practices, advertising and promotions, state and federal excise tax, and manufacturing.

His environmental counseling and litigation practice focuses on issues of compliance and strategic planning; auditing; corporate and real estate transactions including the sale, purchase and redevelopment of brownfields properties; negotiation of environmental insurance policies; administrative practice and OSHA/ workplace-safety matters, including process-safety management requirements. Mr. Burton has significant experience in regulatory compliance issues, including solid and hazardous waste management, siting of solid waste management facilities, permitting, wetland/stream permitting and mitigation, remediation of contaminated properties, compliance with OSHA standards and radiation safety. His litigation experience includes defending industry against citizen suits brought under various environmental statutes and challenges to the siting and permitting of highly regulated facilities such as municipal solid waste landfills, significant cost-recovery actions at Superfund sites throughout the United States, underground storage tank actions and state and federal environmental and OSHA enforcement actions, including citations involving serious injuries and fatalities in the workplace.

In his bankruptcy/creditor's rights practice, Mr. Burton regularly represents creditors in significant Chapter 11 proceedings, automatic stay litigation, preference/fraudulent conveyance actions, and adversary proceedings.

  • Business North Carolina's Legal Elite, Environmental Law (2005, 2007-2009, 2011, 2012), Bankruptcy (2009-2010, 2014-2016)
  • Selected as 2016 Outside Counsel of the Year by a large national brewer
Thought Leadership


November 22, 2011
  • North Carolina State University, B.S.B.A., magna cum laude, 1990
  • Wake Forest University School of Law, J.D., 1993
  • District of Columbia, 1994
  • North Carolina, 1993
  • Guilford County Bar Association
  • North Carolina Bar Association

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