William S. Rutchow

Shareholder || Nashville

William (“Bill”) Rutchow joined the firm in 1988.  After several years in the Greenville, South Carolina office, he moved to the Nashville office in 1995.  He is currently a Shareholder in the Nashville office. Bill currently concentrates his practice in three areas: Workplace Safety and Health, Unfair Competition/Trade Secrets, and Employment Litigation. Bill also has experience in commercial litigation, personal injury litigation, and NLRB proceedings.

Workplace Safety and Health – Bill has extensive experience in crisis management for clients involved in workplace accidents resulting in fatalities, injuries, and/or significant property damage. Bill represents clients in proceedings before OSHA, CSB and state OSHA plans.

Unfair Competition/Trade Secret Litigation – Bill has represented clients in unfair competition disputes including matters involving breach of contract, fraud, deceptive trade practices, violation of restrictive covenants and misappropriation of trade secrets.

Employment Litigation – Bill has successfully defended employers in employment litigation throughout his career both in proceedings before administrative agencies such as the EEOC and DOL and before state and federal courts. He has tried cases involving Title VII, ADEA, ADA, Tennessee Human Rights Act, retaliatory discharge, whistleblower, FLSA and breach of employment contracts.

Bill is a member of the firm’s Ethics Committee, the Unfair Competition and Trade Secrets Practice Group, the Workplace Safety Practice Group, the Traditional Labor Law Practice Group and the Litigation Practice Group. He is a frequent author and speaker on employment-related topics.

Learn more about William S. Rutchow
  • Obtained court order of specific performance against client’s former employee compelling former employee to comply with non-competition, non-solicitation and non-disclosure provisions of employment agreement.
  • Defense verdict for major clothing retailer in race discrimination and retaliation trial in Tennessee federal court.
  • Defense verdict for major retailer in personal injury jury trial in Tennessee federal court.
  • Successfully represented major manufacturer before TN-OSHA, EPA and CSB in multiple fatality accident case.
  • Obtained state court injunction enjoining former employee of client and competitor from violating non-solicitation covenant and compelling return of trade secret information.
  • Successfully represented clients in OSHA, TOSHA and KY-OSH contested cases.


  • J.D., University of Michigan Law School, 1988
  • B.S., magna cum laude, Miami University, (Oxford, Ohio), 1985

Admittance to Practice

  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Ohio
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Eighth and Eleventh Circuits
  • U.S. District Court, District of South Carolina
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern, Middle and Western Districts of Tennessee
  • U.S. District Court, Northern and Southern Districts of Ohio

Professional Activities

  • Tennessee Bar Association
  • South Carolina Bar Association
  • Nashville Bar Association
  • Ohio Bar Association
  • American Bar Association (Labor and Employment Section)


  • American Chamber of Commerce Webinar - "What Employers Can Expect in the #MeToo Era of Sexual Harassment Awareness" - April 25, 2018
  • Ogletree Deakins Briefing - "Workplace Safety and Substance Abuse" - Nashville - October 2016
  • December 2014 - Tennessee Bar Journal - "Tennessee Uniform Trade Secrets Act: Employer Protection of Confidential Business Information in Tennessee"
  • 2007 - 2018 - American Chamber of Commerce - Editor - "Model Policies and Forms for Tennessee Employers"
  • Best Lawyers Award Badge
  • Best Lawyers in America (2018-present)
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent
  • Mid-South Super Lawyers

Insights by William S. Rutchow