William M. Hake


Peer Rating
AV® Preeminent

Client Rating

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Experience & Credentials Ratings & Reviews

Practice Areas

  • Class Action Defense
  • Construction
  • Directors & Officers Liability
  • Product Liability
  • Professional Liability & Services
  • Toxic Tort
  • General Liability & Casualty
  • Accountants
Contact InfoTelephone: 415.625.9251
Fax: 415.434.1370
University San Jose State University, B.S., 1980
Law SchoolUniversity of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law, J.D., 1983
Admitted1983, California; U.S. District Court, Central, Eastern, Northern, and Southern Districts of California; U.S. District Court, Southern District of Texas; U.S. District Court, District of Hawaii; U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois; U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit; California State Supreme Court

Memberships & Affiliations

Association of Defense Counsel of Northern and Southern California
San Francisco County Bar Association
Los Angeles County Bar Association
Sonoma County Bar Association


Bill Hake is the regional managing partner of the San Francisco office. He is a litigation attorney with national trial counsel, mediation and litigation management experience. His practice is primarily in litigation, including toxic tort defense, product liability, construction defects, unfair competition, intellectual property, director and officer defense, legal malpractice defense and medical malpractice defense. Bill has handled cases in state and federal courts throughout California and in Texas, Maryland, Hawaii and Colorado.

Bill's defense work with local firms before he founded Hake Law in 2011 offers a strategic advantage to Wilson Elser's litigation clients. Bill spent 14 years as lead trial counsel at a firm in San Francisco and Los Angeles, and six years as a trial attorney and partner at another San Francisco firm. In addition, he served in the role of prosecutor as an assistant district attorney for the city and county of San Francisco.

For more than 25 years, Bill has taught and lectured at Harvard University School of Law and Stanford University School of Law on trial advocacy for the National Institute of Trial Advocacy. In addition, he has lectured on trial practice, evidence, civil litigation and mediation for the California State Bar Continuing Education Program and for the University of San Francisco School of Law. Bill also taught alternative dispute resolution and mediation for the U.S. Department of Justice and in the federal practice program for the federal court in Northern California.

Awards & Distinctions

AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell


California Court of Appeal Overturns Nonsuit Granted in Household Exposure Asbestos Case Where Trial Court's Decision Was Based on Campbell v. Ford Motor Co.

Duty of Care to Third Party for Exposure to Asbestos

June 3, 2014

In weighing the foreseeability of harm as a significant factor, the California Court of Appeal found that there is a high degree of foreseeability of harm from take-home asbestos exposure to those whose contact with an employer's workers “is not merely incidental, such as members of their household or long-term occupants of the residence.”


Cross-Examination of Expert Witnesses

Speaking Engagements

June 1-7, 2015

National Institute for Trial Advocacy at Georgetown University Law Center

Roundtable on Developing Curriculum and Programs

Speaking Engagements

November 20, 2014

University of California, Irvine School of Law

Building Trial Skills: DC

Speaking Engagements

June 2-8, 2014

National Institute for Trial Advocacy


Hake Law Attorneys Join National Law Firm Wilson Elser

April 1, 2014


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Office Information

William M. Hake

525 Market Street, 17th Floor
San FranciscoCA 94105-2725


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