William R. Rakes

William R. Rakes: Attorney with Gentry Locke Attorneys AV stamp icon
  • Senior Counsel at Gentry Locke Attorneys
  • SunTrust Plaza, 10 Franklin Road SE, Suite 900, Roanoke, VA 24011
    View William R. Rakes's office location
  • Bill Rakes
  • Peer Reviews
    5.0/5.0
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Biography

William Rakes is Senior Counsel with Gentry Locke. During Bill’s more than 50 years of service at Gentry Locke, with more than 20 serving as Managing Partner, the firm grew from nine attorneys to its current scale of more than fifty-five. Bill’s practice largely consists of advising banks and other financial entities on governance, regulatory and securities matters, and handling commercial litigation matters for a wide range of businesses. Bill is a fellow in The American College of Trial Lawyers and in The American Academy of Appellate Lawyers. He has served as President of the Virginia State Bar and on the Board of Governors of the American Bar Association. Bill is consistently noted as a Virginia Super Lawyer in Business Litigation and is recognized among the Best Lawyers in America in several categories, including Antitrust Law, Appellate Practice, Banking and Finance Law, Bet-the-Company Litigation, Commercial Litigation, Corporate Law, Financial Services Regulation Law, Litigation - Banking and Finance, and Litigation - Mergers and Acquisitions.

A quick handshake

Had you not chosen law, what career might you have pursued?

I considered nothing but law. I was on the high school debate team; I liked speaking; I watched Perry Mason; and the man I most admired in our community (aside from my father) was a lawyer. All of this had a great influence on my career choice.

You take great pride in the work you do. Tell us what this firm means to you.

We are a law firm made up of real people with a strong diversity of services. One thing we all focus on is being a great law firm that puts our clients at the forefront. I take enormous pride and pleasure in the quality of the lawyers and the reputation the firm has earned.

What advice do you share with new lawyers joining the firm?

There is no substitute for thorough preparation.

What is the most important step in your morning routine that you try to never skip?

I may skip a lot of things, including breakfast on occasion, but I never skip putting on a necktie.

Awards

•Inaugural recipient of the William R. Rakes Leadership in Education Award established by The Section on the Education of Lawyers in Virginia of the Virginia State Bar (2012)
•Listed as a Local Litigation Star by Benchmark Appellate (2012-2013)
•Recipient, Frank W. “Bo” Rogers, Jr. Lifetime Achievement Award, Roanoke Bar Association (2010)
•Named by The Best Lawyers in America as “Roanoke Lawyer of the Year - Banking” (2009, 2013), “Roanoke Lawyer of the Year - Appellate” (2014), and “Roanoke Lawyer of the Year - Bet-the-Company Litigation” (2014); repeatedly listed with The Best Lawyers in America in Antitrust Law (2003-2019), Appellate Practice (2011-2019), Banking and Finance Law (2011-2019), Bet-the-Company Litigation (2010-2019), Commercial Litigation (1993-2019), Corporate Law (2006-2019), Financial Services Regulation Law (2011-2019), Banking & Finance Litigation (2011-2019), and Mergers & Acquisitions Litigation (2011-2019), also listed in Best Lawyers in America - Business Edition (2016)
•Named a Top Rated Lawyer for Commercial Litigation, Business & Commercial, Appellate law by American Lawyer Media (2013)
•Designated one of the “FrontList 2008 Best of Business” by Valley Business Front magazine
•Named “Leader in the Law” by Virginia Lawyers Weekly (2007)
•Named to Virginia Super Lawyers in the area of Business Litigation (2007-2018), included in Super Lawyers Corporate Counsel edition (2010) and Super Lawyers Business Edition US in the area of Business Litigation (2012-2014)
•Designated as one of the Legal Elite in the Civil Litigation field by Virginia Business magazine
•Named a “Legal Eagle” for Antitrust Law, Bet-the-Company Litigation, Commercial Litigation, Corporate Law, Litigation - Banking & Finance, and Litigation - Mergers & Acquisitions by Virginia Living magazine (2012)

Published Work

Twenty Years of Change, But Many Issues Remain, Virginia Lawyer, October 2012
The Care and Feeding of Directors in Uncertain Times: What Directors Expect from their Bank Management; Virginia Association of Community Banks, September 2008
Law Schools Must Act on Commitment to Diversity; ABA Student Lawyer, May 2007
Multidisciplinary Practice: A Paradigm Shift from Client Protection; Virginia Lawyer, April 2002
Mediation of the Business Divorce; Virginia Lawyer, July 1997
Conclaves on Legal Education: Catalyst for Improvement of the Profession; 72 Notre Dame Law Review 1119, 1997
Ethics and Professionalism: Starting in the Law Schools; Virginia Lawyer, October 1996
Family Feuds, Shareholder Oppression and Judicial Remedies, Virginia State Bar (2014)
•Many articles on the legal profession and professionalism published mostly in Virginia Lawyer

library

•21 Gentry Locke Attorneys Named to 2019 Best Lawyers in America

News

Aug 2018
•28 Gentry Locke Attorneys Named 2018 Virginia Super Lawyers or Rising Stars

News

Apr 2018
•22 Gentry Locke Attorneys Named to 2018 Best Lawyers in America

News

Aug 2017
•28 Gentry Locke Attorneys Named 2017 Virginia Super Lawyers or Rising Stars

News

Apr 2017
•Twenty-Two Gentry Locke Attorneys Named to The Best Lawyers in America

News

Oct 2016
•Supreme Court of Virginia Chief Justice Lemons Receives 2016 William R. Rakes Leadership in Education Award

News

Jul 2016
•Twenty-six Gentry Locke Attorneys Named 2016 Virginia Super Lawyers

News

Apr 2016
•Fourteen Gentry Locke Attorneys Named to “Best Lawyers in America Business Edition/Winter 2016” by Best Lawyers

News

Jan 2016
•23 Gentry Locke Attorneys Named to 2016 “Best Lawyers in America”

News

Aug 2015
•28 Gentry Locke Attorneys Named 2015 Virginia Super Lawyers

News

Apr 2015
•13 Gentry Locke Attorneys Featured in 2014 Super Lawyers US Business Edition

News

Nov 2014
•Twenty-One Gentry Locke Attorneys Earn Best Lawyers Designations and One Lawyer of the Year

News

Aug 2014
•Ten Recurring Themes and Techniques in Defending Breach of Contract Cases

Articles

Jun 2014
•27 Gentry Locke Attorneys Named to Lists of 2014 Virginia Super Lawyers and Rising Stars

News

Jun 2014
•Thirteen Gentry Locke Attorneys Named to Super Lawyers Business Edition US

News

Nov 2013
•Twenty-two Attorneys named to 2014 Best Lawyers in America list; Firm Ranked in Tier 1 for Best Law Firms

News

Aug 2013
•Twenty-five Gentry Locke Attorneys Named to Virginia Super Lawyers for 2013

News

Jun 2013
•2013 Top Rated Lawyers at Gentry Locke

News

Oct 2012
•Three Gentry Locke Attorneys Named 2013 Roanoke Lawyer of the Year

News

Oct 2012
•Super Lawyers Business Edition US Lists Thirteen Gentry Locke Attorneys

News

Sep 2012
•Twenty-four Gentry Locke Attorneys Named Best Lawyers

News

Sep 2012
•Twenty-four Gentry Locke Attorneys Named to Virginia Super Lawyers for 2012

News

Jun 2012
•Gentry Locke Attorneys Listed in 37 Legal Eagle Categories

News

Apr 2012
•Gentry Locke Involved with First Significant E-Discovery Decision in Western Virginia

Articles

Feb 2007

Virginia Law Foundation

Areas of Practice (27)

  • Banking
  • Appellate
  • Business Litigation
  • Business & Corporate
  • Trusts
  • Estates & Related Litigation
  • Regulatory Compliance & Enforcement
  • Banking & Lender Liability
  • Administrative & Regulatory Disputes
  • Director & Officer Liability
  • Shareholder Disputes
  • Securities Litigation
  • Executive & Professional Contracts
  • Securities
  • Antitrust
  • Commercial Torts
  • Consumer Protection
  • I.P. & Technology Litigation
  • Unfair Business Competition & Trade Secrets
  • Counseling & Training
  • Employment & Non-Compete Agreements
  • State Law Claims (Contracts/Torts)
  • Termination Issues (RIFs/WARN/Releases)
  • Trade Secret and Non-Compete Disputes
  • Estate Planning
  • Commercial Insurance Claims
  • Fiduciary & Estate Litigation

Education & Credentials

Contact Information:
540-983-9374  Phone
540-983-9400  Fax
www.gentrylocke.com/rakes
Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 40013, Roanoke, VA 24011
University Attended:
University of Virginia, B.A., 1960
Law School Attended:
University of Virginia School of Law, LL.B., 1963
Year of First Admission:
1963
Admission:
1963, Virginia
Memberships:

Affiliations

•Chair, Section of Legal Education and Admission to the Bar, American Bar Association (2006-07)
•Board of Governors, American Bar Association (1998-2001)
•Co-founder and President, Ted Dalton American Inn of Court (2005-07)
•Co-founder, Chairman of the Board and General Counsel, Hometown Bank (2004-)
•Chair, American National Lawyers Insurance Reciprocal (ANLIR) (1996-98); Board (1993-2001)
•President, Virginia State Bar (1992-93)
•President, Roanoke Bar Association (1977-78)
•Chair, Legal Education Conclave Planning Committee, Virginia State Bar (1991-92)
•Chair, Special Committee to Study Lawyer Financial Responsibility, Virginia State Bar (1986-88)
•Board of Directors, Colonial-American Bankshares Corporation (1980-1991)
•Chair, Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board (1983-84)
•Chair, Sixth District Disciplinary Committee, Virginia State Bar (1974-75)
•fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers
•fellow, American Academy of Appellate Lawyers
•fellow, American Bar Foundation
•fellow, Virginia Law Foundation

ISLN:
901740753
Payment Information:
  • Credit cards accepted
  • Accepts Visa and MasterCard
  • Fixed Hourly Rates
  • Fixed Fees Available

Peer Reviews

  • 5.0/5.0
  • High ethical standing icon
  • A Martindale-Hubbell Peer Rating reflects a combination of achieving a Very High General Ethical Standards rating and a Legal Ability numerical rating.

*Peer Reviews provided before April 15, 2008 are not displayed.

Roanoke, Virginia

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