William J. Kelly

William J. Kelly (New York, New York)

William J. Kelly

Attorney in New York, NY
Bill Kelly focuses his practice on financial professionals, providing comprehensive legal services in connection with risk management, government investigations, commercial negotiations, and partnership and practice issues. He has experience with all types of claims brought against accounting firms as well as financial planners, investment advisers, broker-dealers and registered representatives. Bill counsels and defends his clients in state, FINRA and SEC regulatory and enforcement actions.

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

Areas of Focus

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.

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 firms 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.


Risk Management for Accountants

Speaking Engagements

June 25, 2015

Scaling New Heights: Risk Management for Accountants

The Good the Bad & The Ugly: Your Tax Practice, Professional Standards & Trouble

Speaking Engagements

February 2012

Lakeland Bank

Additional Events

“Managing Risk in Providing Services to High Net Worth Clients,” Broad Financial, Tarrytown, NY, February 2012.
“Ethics of Accounting Profession,” ADP and Chase Bank, New Hyde Park, NY, December 2011.
“Risk Management in a Litigious World,” New Jersey Society of CPAs, Mahwah, NJ, November 2011.
“Fraud Claims Against Accountants: An Overview,” Goshen, NY, November 2011.
“Ethics of the Accounting Profession,” Nassau Suffolk Chapter of The National Conference of Certified Public Accountant (CPA) Practitioners, Plainview, NY, August 2011.


Kelly and Larkin Prevail in Second Circuit Appeal; Complaint Accuses Auditors of Disregarding “Red Flags” for Fraudulent Financial Statements

April 7, 2015

Securities Regulation Daily Covers Accountant's Team's Successful Motion to Dismiss

August 5, 2014

Accountants Team Scores Victory in Defending Securities Fraud Claim Involving China-Based Company

August 9, 2013

Wilson Elser Names 13 New Partners in New York

April 12, 2011

Wilson Elser has announced the promotion of 13 attorneys in New York to partner.

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Areas of Law

Areas of Law
  • Appellate
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Commercial Contracts & Agreements
  • Data Privacy & Security
  • Government Investigations
  • Securities
  • Securities Industry Professionals

Experience & Credentials

Firm Details
Admission Details
Admitted in New York
U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit
U.S. District Court, Eastern and Southern Districts of New York
Law School Attended
St. John's University School of Law
Class of 2000
cum laude
University Attended
Binghamton University
Class of 1997

Community Contributions

Community Contributions
Articles Blogs Q&A

Contact Information

Contact Information
Firm Address
Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker LLP
150 East 42nd Street,
New York, NY 10017-5639
Office Information
Office Information
William J. Kelly
Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker LLP
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)