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Bill's practice experience encompasses the formation, regulation, and operation of banks and bank holding companies; securities offerings and reporting; mergers and acquisitions; and corporate governance matters pertaining to publicly-held companies. He has been rated by his peers as being "preeminent" in his fields of law. Prior to joining the Firm, Bill served as vice president and general counsel/corporate secretary for one of North Carolina's multi-bank holding companies.


  • 1001 College Court
    P.O. Box 867
    New Bern, NC 28563-0867


  • The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill , J.D., graduated 1975
  • The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, AB, graduated 1972

Bar Admissions

  • North Carolina, 1975


  • * Please see the following websites for an explanation of the membership standards for the following recognitions: - www.bestlawyers.com; businessnc.com/special-sections/legal-elite/; and www.superlawyers.com/north-carolina.
  • American Bar Association - Section: Business Law
  • North Carolina Bankers Association - Member
  • North Carolina Bar Association - Section: Business Law

Court Admissions

  • All state courts in North Carolina

Ward and Smith, P.A.
Headquarters: New Bern, North Carolina

40 The Best Lawyers in America® awards

8 Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in America awards

Best Law Firms Badge Full Firm Profile

Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America® 2023 for work in:

  • Banking and Finance Law
  • Financial Services Regulation Law

Special Focus

  • Banking Operations
  • Corporate Governance
  • COVID-19
  • Mergers & Acquisitions
  • Regulatory
  • Securities


  • "Legal Elite," Business North Carolina, 2014
  • The Best Lawyers in America, 2005-2019

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