William “Billy” Gaudet joined Adams and Reese as a clerk in 1979 and became an Associate in 1982. Now a Partner who leads the complex/class action practice across all offices, Billy often acts as an advisor or mentor on litigation and strategic issues to other lawyers in the firm.
He was involved in opening the Houston office and served on the committee that oversaw expansion to Birmingham and Nashville. Starting his career in maritime law on behalf of the oil and gas industry, Billy now has a diverse complex/class action litigation practice that includes consumer fraud claims, securities, health care, environmental claims, federal discrimination claims, ERISA, commercial disputes, civil RICO and fiduciary breaches.
Billy is listed in Louisiana Super Lawyers® - Business Litigation. He serves as the Chair of the Class Actions/Complex Litigation Committee of the New Orleans Bar Association.
His significant contributions include:
- Acting as lead trial counsel in local, state and federal courts in the southeastern United States and beyond. His roles have covered all aspects of class action and complex litigation, from negotiating class action settlements to acting as national coordinating counsel and trial counsel.
- Representing many Fortune 500 companies in a variety of class actions, serving on defendant liaison committees and heading up the defense group trial team.
- Litigating many oil and gas property and production issues at the trial court and appellate court levels.
- Litigating and trying commercial disputes.
- Representing retail distributor in nationwide class action settlement and litigating in nationwide class action cases, alleging antitrust violations.
Billy has been a member of the firm’s Executive Committee and currently serves as one of the firm’s Litigation Practice Group Leaders.
In the community, he has served as President of the Executive Board of Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Southeast Louisiana.
He appreciates the human impact of the teaching profession perhaps more so than the practice of law because both of his parents were career teachers. In his free time, Billy enjoys sports (he played both collegiate and professional baseball), music and seeing his children happy.