Bill Callahan joined Gentry Locke’s Business Litigation group in 2019 to further his distinguished, 25-year career in business law and litigation. Bill assists businesses, financial institutions, and investment firms with insolvency matters. He is highly skilled in bankruptcy litigation and in formulating effective strategies for avoiding future problems. Bill represents financial institutions outside of bankruptcy proceedings in a wide variety of matters, including foreclosures, collection proceedings, and the development of non-judicial liquidation strategies. He has been recognized as one of the Best Lawyers in America since 2010 and has been recognized as a Virginia Super Lawyer since 2012. Bill has served as an Adjunct Professor at Washington and Lee University School of Law and is a regular lecturer at continuing legal education seminars.
Workout time, 6 days a week
Age started playing guitar
Books read in a year
Years I want to be married to my wife
How did you come to choose Bankruptcy law as your practice?
While I was in law school, I got a summer job at a firm that focuses on bankruptcy law. I loved it, and I still do. It’s a problem-solving, code-based practice rather than one based upon common law. It requires me to think creatively, and its local bar is so collegial that it’s a pleasure to be up against almost anybody in this district.
What is your philosophy in your representation of creditors?
The first step is to find out what their goal is. I need to be sure I am doing what they need. It’s helpful to know what kind of resources they are prepared to devote to achieving their goals. Sometimes they are trying to realize what their rights are under loan documents. The end goal is always a full recovery for the client. It’s not always possible, but I do my utmost to ensure there is a next-best solution if the main goal is not achievable. Avoiding litigation is also an important goal. If litigation can’t be avoided, it can often be minimized.
You don't represent individuals in bankruptcy, but you do help them as a trustee. How does that differ?
I serve as Chapter 7 Trustee for the Western District of Virginia. In that process I review and interview about 60-80 individuals every month who have filed for bankruptcy. I ensure that their statements are correct, I look for abuses, and I look for assets to liquidate. People who are down on their luck are human beings who deserve respect. I end every interview with a handshake and wish them good luck.
- Washington and Lee University School of Law, J.D. magna cum laude, 1994
- University of Virginia, B.A. with honors, 1975
- Has represented constituents in bankruptcy matters, Chapter 11 debtors, creditors both secured and unsecured, and official committees of creditors
- Has represented a wide range of businesses and property in liquidation proceedings, including a grocery store chain, two heavy equipment contractors, a plywood manufacturing plant, numerous coal mining operators, a textile manufacturer, a metal machining facility and vast amounts of real estate, both residential and commercial, in an amount totaling well in excess of ten million dollars
- Appears before the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Virginia and the Eastern District of Virginia, the Western District of North Carolina, and the District of Delaware; is admitted to and appears before the United States District Courts for the Eastern and Western Districts of Virginia, and the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of New York
- Member, Panel of Chapter 7 Trustee for the Western District of Virginia
- Member, American Bar Association
- Member, Roanoke Bar Association
- Member, Board of Directors, Roanoke chapter of the Federal Bar Association (2016-Present)
- Member, American Bankruptcy Institute
- Listed among The Best Lawyers in America® in the fields of Bankruptcy and Creditor-Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law, and Litigation – Bankruptcy (2010–2019)
- Recognized as a Virginia Super Lawyer for Bankruptcy: Business (2012–2018)
- Order of the Coif, Washington and Lee University School of Law (1994)
- Co-author, “Ethics Violations, Fraud, and Crime” chapter, Bankruptcy Practice in Virginia, Virginia CLE (2017).