William Kraus, Butzel Long Photo

William J. Kraus is a Shareholder practicing in Butzel’s Ann Arbor office.  Mr. Kraus represents individuals and businesses involved in governmental and regulatory investigations, US state and federal litigation, and alternative dispute resolution. He concentrates his practice on disputes relating to the financial industry, with a particular focus on legal and regulatory issues related to digital assets (e.g., Bitcoin) and blockchain technology.

Overview

William J. Kraus is a Shareholder practicing in Butzel’s Ann Arbor office and is the head of the Digital Asset and Blockchain Specialty Team.  Mr. Kraus represents individuals and businesses involved in governmental and regulatory investigations, US state and federal litigation, and alternative dispute resolution related to the financial industry.  Since 2017, William has focused his practice on legal and regulatory issues surrounding digital assets (e.g., Bitcoin).  Among other matters, William has advised digital asset exchanges and issuers, retail and institutional investors, developers, and non-digital asset businesses, on state and federal regulatory inquiries and settlements, class action litigation related to alleged manipulation of the digital asset market, business disputes related to the digital asset industry, regulatory issues arising from business integration of digital assets and blockchain technology, and the tracing and legal recovery of stolen digital assets.  Beyond digital assets, William has significant experience resolving investor disputes and investigations regarding alleged misconduct by registered representatives (e.g., market manipulation, fraud, and violation of FINRA rules), as well as managing internal investigations and complex commercial litigation. 

Through his practice, William has represented parties before the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), US Department of Justice (DOJ), Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), National Futures Association (NFA), CME Group Market Regulation, and various state agencies (e.g., New York State Attorney General, Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation, and Illinois Securities Department).  Additionally, William assists clients with all aspects of litigation in state and federal forums, and has experience practicing before the Northern and Southern District of Illinois and Circuit Court of Cook County; Southern District of New York; Eastern District of Michigan; the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation; Courts of Appeals for the Second, Seventh, and Ninth Circuits; and the US Supreme Court. He also has a successful record of resolving disputes before the American Arbitration Association and JAMS, as well as before NFA and FINRA hearing panels.

Prior to joining Butzel, William was an attorney in the Chicago office of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP, where he focused on financial litigation and enforcement actions.  He is a graduate of the University of Michigan Law School (J.D., 2009) and the University of Michigan (B.A., 2005).  While attending law school, William was selected by a faculty panel for placement at an NGO in Geneva, Switzerland, where he worked to further the participation of developing nations in the World Trade Organization through litigation and dispute settlement training. William has also represented numerous pro bono clients in litigation related to fair housing and civil rights, while advancing policy through his work with the Shriver Center on Poverty Law and Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (which recognized him as “not only a skilled attorney, but a valued ally in affirmatively furthering fair housing and increasing awareness of fair housing rights and responsibilities.”).

Speaking Engagements

  • Blockchain: What is it and how is it used and regulated? Federal Communications Bar Association, May 2020
  • Cryptocurrency and Evolving Regulations, University of Michigan Law School Privacy Law and Technology Association, October 2020
  • Butzel Long & GABC Cybersecurity, Cryptocurrency, and Trade Secrets Webinar, March 2021
  • Is Bitcoin illegal? Also, what’s a Bitcoin?: An Introduction to Digital Assets and Law, Blockchain @ Butzel, March 2021
  • Cybersecurity, Cryptocurrency and Trade Secrets: Protection, Legal Issues, and Business Applications, German American Business Council of Michigan, March 2021
  • From Orange Groves to Blockchain: Financial Regulation of Digital Assets, Blockchain @ Butzel, April 2021
  • Blockchain Take the Wheel: Potential Applications for Blockchain in the Automotive Industry, Blockchain @ Butzel, April 2021
  • The Dark Side of Crypto: Navigating Cybersecurity Incidents and Ransom Demands, Blockchain @ Butzel, May 2021
  • Bitcoin, Blockchain and Business: An Introduction for Small Businesses, (Small Business Association of Michigan, May 2021
  • So You Want To Buy A Blockchain Company: Considerations for Corporate Transactions, Blockchain @ Butzel, June 2021
  • High-Value International Recoveries (Cryptocurrency), OffshoreAlerts vGlobal Conference, December 2021
  • Introduction to Cryptocurrency and Business, We Mean Business Virtual Conference, February 2022
  • Legal Contributor – The Gentlemen of Crypto

Credentials

Education

University of Michigan Law School, 2009, J.D.

University of Michigan, 2005, B.A.

Admissions

Memberships

  • American Bar Association

Awards & Recognitions

Awards & Recognitions

DBusiness Top Lawyers in Metro Detroit, Litigation - Commercial, 2022

News & Events

Alerts & Publications

Client Alerts

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