Bill Hutton is one of the nation's leading authorities on the tax and financial aspects of land conservation transactions, and is widely recognized as an expert in nonprofit and tax law. He acts as counsel to both national conservation organizations and to local and regional land trusts. He also advises individuals and corporations on the full range of income and estate tax consequences of conservation transactions, as well as on the tax and legal issues that confront nonprofit charitable organizations and their directors.
Bill has advised in conservation easement transactions in California (including representation of the Irvine Company and the Hearst Corporation), Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, New Hampshire, New York (Suffolk County), North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Wyoming, and Vermont.
Bill's representative conservation easement transaction clients have included The Energy Foundation, The Conservation Fund, The Garden Conservancy, The Hearst Corporation, Clarence E. Heller Charitable Foundation, Maui Coastal Land Trust, Marin Agricultural Land Trust, Montana Land Reliance, Pacific Forest Trust, Peconic Land Trust, Rocky Mountain Institute, Tides Foundation, and The Trust for Public Land.
In addition to his work for the firm's clients, Bill is a professor of law emeritus at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco, where he still teaches on a part-time basis. He has previously served as a member of the tax faculty at New York University School of Law and as a visiting professor at the University of Virginia and Stanford University law schools.
Bill is a contributing author to for the firm’s Law on Purpose blog, which provides insights into the emerging space of social enterprise and impact investing.
Honors & Awards
- Pacific Forest Trust Sequoia Award, for achievements representing national conservation organizations and local and regional land trusts (2013)
- Best Lawyers' San Francisco Lawyer of the Year: Tax Law (2010), continually listed in The Best Lawyers in America in the Tax Law category
- California Council of Land Trusts Poppy Award for service to California’s conservation community (2005)
- American Bar Association's Section of Business Law Outstanding Academic Nonprofit Attorney Award (2002)
- Taxation Section of California State Bar Association V. Judson Klein Award for outstanding service to the profession and to the public (1991)
- Listed annually as a Super Lawyer in Northern California
Publications & Speaking Engagements
Bill has lectured at virtually every major national tax conference and has taught summer courses to attorneys at the Internal Revenue Service, the Justice Department and the U.S. Treasury.
Bill was a founding board member of Conservation International and has served on the boards of The Forest Trust, CoEvolution Institute, Schools of the Sacred Heart, and Community Action for Legal Services. He presently serves on the Board of Directors of Ecotrust. Bill is a past chair of the California State Bar Taxation Section.
Bill graduated summa cum laude from Dartmouth College (1961) and earned his law degree from the University of Michigan School of Law (1964) and his LL.M. in taxation from New York University (1965).