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Managing Partner

William R. Terpening

For over two decades, Will Terpening has fought tirelessly, thoughtfully, and effectively for his clients in white-collar criminal cases; in complicated business litigation matters; and for executives, professionals, and corporations in times of intense crisis. Will is a member of a dying breed – the litigator who loves the courtroom and who still spends a substantial amount of time there and who values substance over appearance. He is a Board Certified Specialist in Federal Criminal Law. Clients value him not only for his hard-working approach to trial work – they also depend on his skill as a writer, negotiator, counselor, and problem solver. He is the go-to lawyer for unique disputes and clients in the midst of any kind of criminal, civil, or regulatory crisis situation – the more unusual and complicated the problem, the better.

More About Will

He is particularly experienced in federal court, having clerked, at the start of his legal career from 2001 to 2002, for Judge Graham C. Mullen, United States District Court for the Western District of North Carolina, and focused his practice on federal litigation. He regularly handles high-stakes federal criminal and civil trials and appeals, IRS/tax controversies, SEC/securities fraud matters, and government and internal investigations. In addition, he applies the experience he has gained from helping clients through emergencies to counseling companies, executives, and professionals regarding compliance and general business planning so that they can proactively avoid disruptive problems.

After a recent trial, one client remarked to Will: “I could never have stood up to those guys without you.” This kind of feedback matters the most to Will, and he is fortunate to hear some variation of it from clients regularly. Will became a lawyer to fight for the underdog, protect rights, and ensure a fair fight where he comprehensively, accurately, and effectively presents clients’ positions. It is what he lives to do.

Will Terpening founded Terpening Law after a successful term as managing partner of a large national firm’s Charlotte office. He wanted to provide top-quality legal services at more reasonable rates and closer and more constant attention to clients and develop a law firm that blended extreme perfectionism and professionalism with a more “human” approach to the practice of law.


Will is licensed in North Carolina and Georgia, and practices nationally.


He obtained a B.A. from Brown University, magna cum laude, and with high honors in English and American Literature, has an M.A. in English from Duke, and obtained his Juris Doctor from Duke.

Will’s Take on Writing

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