Photo of William M. Harstad
Partner / Honolulu

William M. Harstad


William Harstad is the Chair and Partner in the firm's Litigation and Alternative Dispute Resolution practice group. He has experience in numerous arbitrations and litigations, with amounts in dispute ranging from the tens of thousands of dollars to hundreds of millions of dollars.  Mr. Harstad has also represented both secured and unsecured creditors in bankruptcy proceedings on both the East Coast and in Hawai`i, including in various adversary proceedings.

Mr. Harstad's litigation experience is broad and varied. In addition to Fortune 500 companies in multi-million dollar lawsuits, he has represented and counseled smaller businesses and individuals in a wide range of legal issues, ranging from partnership dissolutions to state and federal regulatory proceedings. In addition, Mr. Harstad has experience representing creditors, including financial institutions, insurance companies and corporations, in bankruptcy proceedings ranging from multi-billion dollar Chapter 11 cases to individual Chapter 7 cases. Mr. Harstad also has experience coordinating and compelling discovery, including "e-discovery," in a number of matters, including both federal and state litigations and arbitrations under AAA and ARIAS guidelines.

Some examples of his work include: representation of the commercial general liability insurer of a large chemical company in coverage disputes concerning multi-million dollar asbestos and environmental claims; representation of a medical equipment manufacturer in core proceedings and litigation arising from the Chapter 11 filing of a major healthcare finance company; representation of ceding insurers and reinsurers in various disputes, including issues arising under the Federal Arbitration Act; representation of a partner in a medical practice in arbitration involving dissolution of partnership and partition and distribution of partnership assets; representation of landowner in lawsuit concerning dispute over purchase agreement; and defense of employer against claims brought by former executive; representations of contractors in payment and construction defect cases.

Mr. Harstad was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawai`i. He received his B.A. from Grinnell College, and his J.D. from Washington University in St. Louis, where he was a recipient of the Scholar in Law Award and Managing Editor of the Washington University Law Quarterly (now Washington University Law Review). Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Harstad was an associate in the litigation department at Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP in New York City.


  • Selected by attorney peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America 2023 for Commercial Litigation, Litigation - Construction, and Litigation - Real Estate, listed since 2018
  • Selected by attorney peers for inclusion in Super Lawyers 2017, 2015 and 2014 —Rising Stars for Bankruptcy & Creditor / Debtor Rights

Affiliations Listing

  • American Bar Association

  • Hawaii State Bar Association