William C. MacLeod


Phone number
(202) 342-8811
Phone number
(312) 857-7070

Bill MacLeod chairs the firm’s Antitrust and Competition and co-chairs the Consumer Financial Protection practice groups. A past chair of the Antitrust Section of the American Bar Association, Bill is a former bureau director at the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and taskforce member of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). He offers his clients decades of experience in competition law, trade regulation, advertising, privacy and security issues. Bill represents some of the most prominent drivers of innovation and industry today, from new ventures to multi-national corporations.

In mergers and acquisitions, Bill has obtained FTC and Department of Justice clearance of numerous deals in a range of industries, including medical devices, grocery products, wine making, defense contracting and steel manufacturing. Bill also has helped clients protect themselves from hostile takeovers, and served as special counsel for a government investigation of one of the world’s largest and most complex manufacturing industry mergers.

In litigation, Bill and his teams obtained one of the largest judgments ever awarded in an advertising and antitrust case, defended a major marketer in the FTC’s first trial under the modern unfairness doctrine, resolved the FTC’s first preliminary injunction action in an ad-substantiation case, handled investigations of privacy and data security practices, and obtained dismissal of a multi-district price-fixing allegations.

In addition, Bill counsels and defends companies and trade associations on pricing, advertising, distribution and competitor relations. In his work with trade associations and their members, he has challenged anticompetitive and onerous regulations and advocated sensible policies on competition, finance, technology, health, privacy, and data security. He also represents companies in advertising, antitrust and intellectual property disputes before the state and federal courts, the FTC and the National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus.

Bill has been awarded many best lawyer honors including Washington, D.C. Advertising Lawyer of the Year” by Best Lawyers®. Bill has served as a member of the Taskforce on Federal Consumer Financial Law at CFPB, as director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, and as advisor to the Assistant Attorney General, Antitrust Division, Department of Justice. While at the FTC, he served as the U.S. delegate to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, where agency heads of Europe, Australia and Japan develop policies for financial regulations, product safety and international advertising. He is now a taskforce vice chair of Business at OECD (BIAC).

The tough tasks require legal, commercial, political and personal tools. We use them all to get the job done.”

Chair, Antitrust Section, American Bar Association, 2016-17.

Named 2013 D.C. Advertising Lawyer of the Year” by Best Lawyers®.

The Best Lawyers in America© (Woodword/White, Inc.), Advertising Law, Antitrust Law and Antitrust Litigation, 2007-2021, 2023-2024.

Selected among the 500 Leading Litigators in America by Lawdragon, 2023-2024.

Recommended in The Legal 500 U.S. for his work in the Data Protection & Privacy area, 2011-2012 and in Marketing & Advertising area, 2013.

Recognized as a leading attorney in the Antitrust Litigation practice area by Washington D.C. Super Lawyers, 2011-2020.

Recognized as one of 114 attorneys nationwide who set the standard for superior client service and exemplary legal representation in the BTI Consulting’s annual survey of Fortune 1000 companies, 2008.

American Bar Association, Antitrust Section, chair, 2016-2017

American Bar Association, Antitrust Section, vice-chair, 2014-2015

American Bar Association, Antitrust Section, program officer, 2014

American Bar Association House of Delegates, section delegate, 2013

American Bar Association, consumer protection officer, 2011-2012

2020 Presidential Transition Task Force, Antitrust Section, American Bar Association, co-chair

International Chamber of Commerce, Competition and Consumer Policy Commissions, (U.S. Antitrust Modernization Task Force chair)

United States Council for International Business (USCIB), Competition and Consumer Policy Committees

Business at OECD, Business and Industry Advisory Committee (BIAC) to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Consumer Policy Task Force, vice chair

Ripon College, Ripon, Wisc., trustee