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Bill Fahey - Public Utilities Attorney Michigan

Best Lawyer

William K. Fahey is one of the firm’s founders. Bill is a tough and passionate advocate for his clients. Since 2005, Bill has been honored by the Best Lawyers in America in the areas of Administrative/Regulatory Law, Appellate Practice, Energy Law, Land Use and Zoning Law, Litigation-Land Use and Zoning, Litigation-Municipal, and Municipal Law. Bill has also maintained recognition since 2007 by Michigan Super Lawyers for his work in municipal law, utility law, and appellate law. For more than 30 years, the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory has rated him "AV," the highest rating available.

Since 1977, Bill has worked with more than 140 local governments across Michigan, and has handled every legal issue municipalities are likely to encounter. He is especially passionate about zoning and planning, annexation and detachment, intergovernmental cooperation, and public improvement projects. Bill regularly teaches at state-wide workshops on a wide range of municipal legal issues. He writes and edits a monthly publication, Township Law E-Letter, with a circulation of more than 7,000 local government officials. In 2013, Bill co-authored a chapter in the new Municipal Law treatise published by the Institute of Continuing Legal Education.

Over the last 37 years, Bill has helped resolve every major change and controversy facing natural gas and electric energy companies. He handles litigation and appeals for Michigan’s largest energy and utility companies. Bill is well-experienced in matters before the Michigan Public Services Commission, as well as other Michigan administrative and regulatory agencies. He served on the Council of the State Bar’s Administrative Law Section and twice addressed the State Bar of Michigan on the "State of the Law in Administrative Law.”  The Best Lawyers in America publication named Bill the 2015 Lansing Energy Lawyer of the Year, 2016 and 2018 Lansing Municipal Lawyer of the Year, and 2019 Lansing Administrative/Regulatory Law Lawyer of the Year.

Bill specializes in complex appeals before the Michigan Supreme Court and Michigan Court of Appeals, representing public and private clients in more than 300 such appeals. Judge William Whitbeck, while he was Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals, praised Bill for presenting the best oral argument he has ever heard in that court. Bill co-wrote the chapter on administrative appeals for the Michigan Appellate Handbook, published by the Institute of Continuing Education in 2014.

He frequently works with public and private clients to litigate and resolve zoning disputes and other real estate litigation. Bill also counsels clients in techniques to avoid zoning litigation and to enhance litigation outcomes. He served as an Adjunct Professor of Zoning and Land Use Law at the Thomas M. Cooley Law School and is one of the state’s acknowledged authorities in zoning and planning law.

Bill’s clients have praised his knowledge and abilities and his efforts on their behalf:

"William Fahey has a depth of knowledge and practical advice which has made him a recognized leader in Michigan Land Use Law. Bill has presented numerous seminars I have attended. He presents material in a clear and concise manner. He has a track record of quick and accurate reviews of matters submitted to him." William Woodruff, Planning Director, Union Charter Township.

 “Mr. Fahey has always provided the most expert and exacting advice.  We are very fortunate to have his firm represent us whenever we need legal help or guidance.  I recommend his services to many other Township leaders.” Dan Dysinger, Supervisor, Grant Township

"I have managed and/or testified in dozens of cases at the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) and I have experience with dozens of attorneys. I have worked closely with Bill Fahey, Mark Burzych and Steve Rhodes on numerous cases before the MPSC and they are experts in both the subject matter and the law. I have complete faith in their advice and counsel regarding administrative law.” Kevin O’Neil, Principal Case Manager, DTE Energy

"Bill is accessible and provides prompt responses to requests for documents or legal opinions. We have a high degree of confidence in Bill's legal expertise." Al McFadyen, Retired Executive Director, Delhi Charter Township DDA.

"Bill is a tireless worker with fine skills." James Porter, General Counsel, Oshtemo Charter Township.

"Bill rates a 10 plus in every category. As township supervisor, I have recommended his services to two other townships or government agencies, and they both have hired him for legal counsel." Bob Johnson, Retired Supervisor, Edenville Township.

He is admitted to law practice before all Michigan state courts, the U.S. Supreme Court, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and the U.S. District Courts for the Eastern and Western Districts of Michigan. Bill is a member of the State Bar of Michigan and the Ingham County Bar Association. He is a Life Fellow of the Michigan Bar Foundation and a member (inactive) of the Wisconsin State Bar.

Bill matriculated at the University of California at Berkeley, in 1970, completing his undergraduate degree in 1974 at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, B.A., with distinction. He attended the University of Wisconsin Law School, receiving his J.D. degree in 1977.

He and his wife, Dr. Valerie Johnson, have five children and live in Meridian Township, Michigan. Bill has served his community as President and Board member of the local chapter of Volunteers of America, on the Board of Directors of the United Way, and as Chairman and Board member of the local YMCA. In his free time, he enjoys tennis, biking, running and swimming.


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