William E. Dorris
Retired Partner

1100 Peachtree Street NE Suite 2800, Atlanta, GA USA 30309


Bill Dorris is the firm’s former Chair. Mr. Dorris has represented a variety of players in the construction industry on many major projects throughout the country. His clients have included a city expanding its airport, a public owner building a new convention center, a design builder of federal penitentiaries, a construction manager on a sophisticated research laboratory, a developer/operator of composting plants for large municipalities, a large mechanical contractor on a flue gas de-sulfurization project, and contractors on hospital projects throughout the United States.

Though much of his practice is now focused on assisting clients in avoiding construction disputes or resolving them through mediation or other alternative dispute resolution methods, Mr. Dorris has been extensively involved in trials, arbitrations, and administrative proceedings. Most recently, he has been co-counsel for a class of 500,000 Native Americans against the federal government regarding management of their trust lands and assets for which a settlement agreement of $3.4 billion has been reached.

Mr. Dorris was recognized in The Best Lawyers in America® for Construction Law in 2024 and the 17 years immediately preceding. He is listed in the 2024 and the 14 years immediately preceding editions of Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business for Construction Law and he is listed in the 2021, 2022, 2023, 2024 and the 2019 and eight years immediately preceding editions as #1 in the area of Construction Law. Mr. Dorris was recognized in the prestigious 2009, 2021, 2022 and 2023 Legal 500 US in the area of Construction Law, in The International Who's Who of Business Lawyers repeatedly for Construction, and in The International Who's Who of Construction Lawyers for 2010. He was also named a Georgia "Super Lawyer" in the area of Construction Litigation in 2009 and most recently in 2023 and the nine years immediately preceding and in the area of Construction/Surety in 2013 and the four years immediately preceding by Super Lawyers magazine. Mr. Dorris was selected as a “Construction Law Trailblazer” in 2021 by the National Law Journal. He is AV® rated by Martindale-Hubbell.*


Represented the general contractor on a new $70 million hospital wing for the Department of Veterans Affairs in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Following a trial on the contractor’s claims to the VA Board of Contract Appeals, the contractor was awarded time extensions for the entire period of delay (260 days) and additional compensation for extended overhead and the resulting inefficiencies. Following an appeal to the Federal Circuit, the parties settled the claims for approximately $3.1 million. P.J. Dick, Inc., VABCA Nos. 5597, et al., 2001-2 BCA 31,647; affirmed in part, reversed in part, 324 F.3d 1364 (Fed. Cir. 2003).

Defended more than $45 million asserted by six trade contractors against Hardin/Russell/Mitchell in a year-long arbitration arising out of the $100 million expansion of the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta. The trade contractors were awarded less than the undisputed trade contract balance.

Drafted and negotiated design/build agreements on behalf of P.J. Dick Incorporated for the construction of three campus-style correctional facilities in Kentucky and West Virginia. Total construction cost was approximately $400 million.

Represented a German mother who sought the return of her two children to Germany pursuant to the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. The children's father had wrongfully retained the children in Georgia after agreed-upon summer visitation. Kilpatrick Townsend lawyers filed suit in the Northern District of Georgia seeking their return. The parties settled the matter on the morning of trial, and the children returned to Germany with their mother shortly thereafter.

Represented the City of Atlanta by providing its Law Department with on-going legal counsel for its planned $6 billion, 10-12 year facility expansion of the world's busiest airport, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, including the construction of a fifth runway, a consolidated car rental facility and a new international terminal.

Served as class counsel for plaintiff class of 500,000 individual Indians against the Department of Interior and Treasury Department arising out of the government management of their trust lands and assets in a prolonged lawsuit culminating in a $3.4 billion settlement agreement. Served as lead counsel for numerous tribes suing the United States for mismanagement of tribal trust funds and natural resources.

Represented Kajima International Inc. concerning the potential risks associated with the acquisition of another major U.S. general contractor on its on-going and completed projects.


University of Kentucky B.A. (1976) high distinction

University of Kentucky J.D. (1979)

high distinction


Georgia (1979)

Kentucky (1979)

Professional & Community Activities

American Bar Association, Member

Kentucky Bar Association, Member

State Bar of Georgia, Member

Kentucky Law Journal, Past Member

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