William J. Kelly

Attorney in New York, NY

Bill Kelly provides comprehensive legal services to accountants and related financial professionals, including brokers and business managers. In addition to defending accounting firms in malpractice and other litigation, Bill provides advice and representation in connection with risk management, government investigations, commercial negotiations, and partnership and practice issues.

Among his current engagements, Bill is representing accounting firms in several malpractice actions arising from the Chinese reverse merger phenomenon in which entities formed through the merger of Chinese companies into U.S. companies and traded on U.S. stock exchanges have been found to be fraudulent. Bill also has defended clients in RICO, breach of contract and general business disputes and has counseled accounting firms and individual accountants in connection with civil and criminal governmental investigations.

With an in-depth understanding of the services accountants provide as well as how they conduct their practice, Bill translates this knowledge into effective presentations to judges and juries. He appreciates the issues of most importance to accountants and recognizes what they need from their legal counsel in order to keep their practice moving forward in the face of litigation or investigation.

Areas of Focus


Among his many successful results for clients, Bill negotiated a "no pay" settlement concerning an accountant's alleged malpractice involving a closely held mining company; he secured a "no pay" settlement of claims against a financial adviser to an investment brokerage firm in connection with the firm's bankruptcy; and he has secured dismissals of a variety of claims against accounting firm clients. Several of Bill's favorable decisions have received front page coverage in the New York Law Journal.

In addition to malpractice actions, Bill has successfully defended a major accounting firm involved with auditing government subsidized housing developments against civil Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act issues and fraud claims. He also has argued and won appeals involving claims against accountants and other professionals.

Bill's full-service practice includes assisting accountant client in responding to inquiries and subpoenas issued by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), Financial Institutions Regulatory Authority (FINRA), and other governmental and quasi-governmental agencies in connection with both civil and criminal investigations at the state and federal level.

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Areas of Law

  • Accountants
  • e-Discovery


Experience & Credentials



Admission Details

Admitted in 2001, New York
2002, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York
2006, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York
2009, U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit

Law School Attended

St. John's University School of Law
Class of 2000
cum laude

University Attended

Binghamton University
Class of 1997

Contact Information






Send email to William J. Kelly

Office Information
William J. Kelly
 150 East 42nd Street,
New York, NY 10017-5639

Maintains an office in multiple locations

Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker LLP (New York, New York)

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