Bill W. Merten

Chicago, IL

Bill W. Merten is the chair of Winston & Strawn LLP’s Employ-ee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) Practice. He advises corporations, shareholders, directors, and vari-ous professionals regarding the use of ESOPs and ESOP-related strate-gies in a wide variety of transactions including, management buyouts, ownership succession transactions, private equity transactions, going-private transactions, ESOP company sales, and mergers and acquisitions.
Bill focuses his practice on business succession planning and executive compensation. He has been recognized by leading publications such as Martindale-Hubbell, American Lawyer Media, Super Lawyers, The Legal 500, and Leading Lawyers Network.


Wayne State University, JD, 1980
New York University, LLM, 1981
Michigan State University, BA, 1977

Honors & Awards
· Rated AV Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell® for the past 15 years, the highest rating in legal ability and ethical standards
· Top rated Midwest lawyer by America Lawyer Media (2010-2019)
· Top attorney in Illinois by Chicago Magazine Super Lawyer for the past eight years
· Super Lawyers Business Edition (2013-2019)
· The Legal 500 2013
· Leading Lawyers Network

Bill currently serves on the Administration Advisory Committee of the ESOP Association. He previously served as an executive compensation professor for DePaul University’s Masters of Law in Taxation program and a qualified plan professor for DePaul’s Masters of Science in Taxation program.