William N. Shepherd

  • T 561.650.8338
  • T 202.663.7234

William Shepherd is a trial lawyer in Holland & Knight's West Palm Beach and Washington, D.C., offices. Mr. Shepherd defends individuals and corporations in state and federal government investigations and grand jury investigations. He also assists the general counsel of public and private companies in conducting sensitive internal inquiries. Mr. Shepherd's extensive trial practice background also serves to support his practice in complex civil litigation involving fraud and the False Claims Act. Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Shepherd served, at the appointment of the attorney general, as the statewide prosecutor of Florida and earlier in his career, as a prosecutor in Miami, Florida.

Mr. Shepherd is the former chair of the American Bar Association's 20,000-member Criminal Justice Section, a member of its Global Anti-Corruption Task Force and former division director of its White Collar Crime Division.

As an experienced practitioner in the field, Mr. Shepherd has been called upon by the Chair of the Judiciary Committee to testify before Congress. He has also testified as an expert practitioner before the United States Sentencing Commission. Mr. Shepherd has spoken throughout the United States on a variety of topics in civil and criminal law. He has also spoken to international audiences in the United Kingdom, France and Spain. While in government, Mr. Shepherd was called upon to speak to law enforcement groups and private practice groups.

Mr. Shepherd has handled investigations and cases in state and federal courts throughout the country.

Recent representations as lead counsel include:

  • defending a federal court civil RICO claim against a national industrial product distributor brought by a competitor that was successfully dismissed prior to full discovery commencing
  • defending a multinational company labeled the target of a criminal investigation that resulted in no charges against the company, its officers, or its employees
  • defending a national construction firm that was the subject of an investigation that resulted in no charges against the company, its officers, or its employees
  • defending a private Florida business that had a search warrant executed at its offices and prosecution was later declined
  • defending individual professionals and elected state and federal officials in a variety of sensitive inquiries

Mr. Shepherd also assists multinational companies with compliance programs and training on the risks of increased enforcement by the SEC and the Department of Justice in the area of global corruption and anti-human trafficking supply chain compliance.

Mr. Shepherd has also assisted general counsel of public and private companies when their companies have been the victims of crime through the theft of their trade secrets or computer intrusion and data breach.

As a prosecutor, Mr. Shepherd prosecuted:

  • international art theft cases in conjunction with the FBI and the Art Loss Registry
  • multimillion dollar healthcare fraud cases with HHS-OIG and the FBI against individuals and their corporations
  • securities fraud cases with the SEC against individuals and hedge funds
  • theft of trade secrets from a Department of Defense contractor later sold for use at a facility in the EU
  • an international bank fraud case featured on CNBC American Greed
  • racketeering cases against violent gang members featured on the History Chanel's Gangland
  • a number of cases of public corruption that were the subject of national news attention

While in private practice in Washington, D.C., Mr. Shepherd was asked to co-found and direct a "Scared Straight" compliance training program with the University of Maryland School of Business. The program received national and international media attention and was covered by The International Herald Tribune, The News Hour with Jim Lehrer, This Week, National Public Radio, El Pais and the ABA Journal, among others.

Mr. Shepherd served as a law clerk to United States District Court Judge Stephen N. Limbaugh.

Honors & Awards

  • Most Effective Lawyer Finalist, Criminal Law, Daily Business Review, 2014
  • Who's Who Legal 100: Investigations, 2014, 2015 
  • Fifteenth Circuit Judicial Nominating Commission
  • The International Who’s Who of Investigations Lawyers & Forensic Experts, 2014
  • Top Lawyer, South Florida Legal Guide, 2014, 2015
  • Chambers USA - America's Leading Business Lawyers guide, Litigation: White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations, 2013-2015
  • Florida Super Lawyers magazine, 2012-2014
  • Florida Legal Elite, Florida Trend magazine, 2012
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Peer Review Rated
  • Attorney General's Outstanding Division Director, 2008


  • American Bar Association, Criminal Justice Section, Past Chair, 2011-2013; Member, 1994-Present
  • American Bar Association, House of Delegates, 2009-2012
  • American Bar Association, Global Anti-Corruption Initiatives Task Force, 2010-Present
  • American Bar Association, Litigation Section, 1994-Present
  • Federalist Society, Founding Board Member, Miami Lawyers Chapter, 1997-Present
  • Economic Forum of Palm Beach County, Board of Directors, 2012-Present
  • U.S. Military Academies Nomination Board for Congressman Tom Rooney
  • United States Supreme Court Historical Society, Past State Chair
  • Take Stock in Children, Palm Beach Board Member, 2012-2013