In honor and remembrance for our partner, mentor, and friend W. Gerald Thornton please see his In Memoriam


Diamond View II, Suite 130, 280 South Mangum Street, Durham, NC 27701

(919) 787-8880 Contact


3605 Glenwood Avenue, Suite 500, Raleigh, NC 27612

(919) 787-8880 Contact

William is a partner practicing in the firm’s Litigation section.  He has been with the firm since 1987, and a partner since 1990.  William represents clients in State and Federal trial and Appellate courts, as well as before licensing commissions and other regulatory bodies.


William grew up in Wilson, NC and attended public schools, graduating from Fike High School in 1979. He earned the rank of Eagle Scout and remains an avid outdoorsman, hunter, and fisherman. He attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill from 1979-1983, earning a degree in Journalism. After taking a year off to travel in Alaska and Europe, William returned to UNC to attend Law School and received his J.D. in 1987.

A member of Manning Fulton’s litigation section, William has a diverse litigation practice. He represents small and large businesses, and individuals in a variety of litigation and administrative law matters, including contract disputes, debt collection, employment, real estate, and bankruptcy matters.

He also provides advice to both employers and employees on labor and employment issues and related matters and represents a number of commercial landlords in lease matters and tenant disputes, including eviction and rent collection issues and tenant bankruptcies.

William represents owners, contractors, and subcontractors in construction disputes, contract and lien claims tried in the courts and in arbitration. He has also represented developers, landowners, and title insurance companies in real estate matters involving boundary, title and easement disputes.

In addition, William works with insurance and real estate agents, appraisers and lawyers when professional negligence claims are brought against them. William represents license holders in claims brought by or before various licensing bodies, including the North Carolina Real Estate Commission, State Board of Examiner of Plumbing, Heating and Fire Sprinkler Contractors, Board of Landscape Architects, and Alarm System Licensing Board.

He represents banks and other lenders in establishing receiverships in foreclosures, loan collection and workout, and bankruptcy matters, and has also represented businesses and individuals in property tax appeals.

William serves as a receiver for companies in liquidation. William represents parties in adversary proceedings filed in bankruptcy court, and parties seeking to purchase assets out of the bankruptcy estate.

William is recognized in Business North Carolina magazine’s Legal Elite in the area of Bankruptcy (2010, 2011, 2015) and in Best Lawyers© in the area of Litigation-Construction (2014, 2015). Commercial Litigation and Litigation-Construction (2017).




  • University of North Carolina-J.D.- 1987
  • University of North Carolina, B.A. Journalism

Professional Memberships & Activities

  • North Carolina Bar Association Bankruptcy, Construction Law, Insurance Law, and Litigation section member
  • Wake County Bar Association member
  • Triangle Commercial Association of Realtors Board Member (counsel) 2013-2016
  • AV rating in Martindale-Hubbell
  • Recognized by Best Lawyers in America (since 2014)

Community Engagement

Christ Episcopal Church

  • Member 1992-Present

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