Court Admissions
  • All Federal Courts in Nevada & California
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • J.D., University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law, 1976
  • B.S., University of Nevada, Reno, 1973
Court Admissions
  • All Federal Courts in Nevada & California
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • J.D., University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law, 1976
  • B.S., University of Nevada, Reno, 1973

Professional Background

William Magrath is Co-Chair of the Complex & Commercial Litigation Group with McDonald Carano. For more than 35 years, he has focused on complex construction, business, contract, and commercial litigation. His first-chair courtroom experience before juries, judges, and arbitrators and his devotion to advocacy have resulted in honors from national organizations and leadership positions in bar associations and community groups.

Mr. Magrath has represented a wide range of clients, including publicly traded corporations, national and regional companies, the Nevada System of Higher Education, national and local construction firms, hotel casinos in Nevada, and individuals and families. He has served as a special counsel appointed by the Nevada Attorney General to lead a team of lawyers representing the Nevada System of Higher Education in a multi-faceted seven-year federal civil rights lawsuit, which was successfully concluded with an award of $1.1 million in attorneys’ fees to NSHE, the denial of all appeals, and a petition for certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court. Reported cases include his successful federal injunction request on behalf of a contractor against the Nevada Public Works Board prohibiting further construction of a $28 million prison project. This resulted in new standards for Nevada public works bidding practices in Nevada. From 2010 to 2014, Mr. Magrath was one of several McDonald Carano attorneys representing a general contractor in a $500 million litigation related to the construction of Las Vegas’ 76-acre CityCenter urban complex and the Harmon Hotel.

He also has expertise in estate and trust litigation with recent trials resolving disputes over fiduciary duties, fraud, unjust enrichment, neglect, and exploitation of older and vulnerable persons.

William has received accolades from many respected industry publications, such as The Best Lawyers in America©, Martindale-Hubbell, Mountain States Super Lawyers, and Nevada’s Legal Elite. He also served as president of the Washoe County Bar Association and as president and master emeritus of the Bruce R. Thompson Inn of the American Inns of Court.

Before joining the firm in 1980, William served as a deputy district attorney in Washoe County, where he successfully prosecuted multiple criminal jury trials, including murder. He began his legal career in 1976 as a law clerk to the Honorable William N. Forman of Nevada’s Second Judicial District Court. He is licensed to practice in Nevada, California, and the United States Supreme Court. William is also an owner of a building materials business and property management partnership in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Areas of Experience

Mr. Magrath regularly appears before the state and federal courts in Nevada and California, representing clients in administrative matters and on appeal before the Nevada Supreme Court, and before various state and local governmental agencies and boards.

Awards and Recognition

  • Martindale-Hubbell AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated
  • The Best Lawyers in America© – Bet-the-Company Litigation, Commercial Litigation, Construction Law, Construction Litigation, Trusts and Estates Litigation (2012-2021)
  • The Best Lawyers in America© “Lawyer of the Year” – Construction Law (2021, 2019, 2015, 2012)
  • The Best Lawyers in America© “Lawyer of the Year” – Bet-the-Company Litigation (2020, 2018, 2016, 2013)
  • Super Lawyers Magazine “Mountain States Super Lawyer” – Business Litigation, Construction Litigation, Estate and Trust Litigation (2013-2017)
  • Nevada Business Magazine, “Legal Elite” (2012, 2013)

Community Engagement

  • Past President and Director, Washoe County Bar Association
  • Past President and Master Emeritus, Bruce R. Thompson Inn of the American Inns of Court
  • Past President and Director, Volunteer Lawyers of Washoe County
  • Past President and Trustee, Washoe County Access to Justice Foundation
  • Association of Defense Counsel of Northern Nevada and California Defense Research Institute
  • Past Member, University of Nevada Alumni Council
  • Past President and Director, Caughlin Ranch Homeowners Association (21 years)

Attorney News

Five McDonald Carano Attorneys Receive “Lawyer of the Year Award” from Best Lawyers in America

McDonald Carano proudly announces that five of our attorneys received the prestigious “Lawyer of the Year” award in their geographic region and specialty area of practice from The Best Lawyers…

38 McDonald Carano Attorneys Named to Best Lawyers in America 2021

August 20, 2020 – McDonald Carano LLP is pleased to announce that 38 of our attorneys have been selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America…

McDonald Carano Attorneys Recognized in Best Lawyers Awards

Las Vegas, Nevada, August 15, 2019 – McDonald Carano LLP is pleased to announce new recognition in the 2020 edition of The Best Lawyers in America©. McDonald Carano attorneys recognized…

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