585-473-3100 585-473-3100
Home / Attorney Profiles / J. William Ernstrom

J. William Ernstrom

Of Counsel

(585) 473-3100 (Ext. 100)

William Ernstrom, Of Counsel, is a founding partner of the law firm of Ernstrom & Dreste, LLP. For over 40 years, he has focused his career on the construction and surety industries. He has extensive trial and appellate experience in state and federal courts in New York State and in many other states, and has represented contractors, design-builders, construction managers, private and municipal owners and sureties.

Bill is Vice President, Legal, for the Walsh Group, the largest heavy civil contractor in the United States and is the eleventh largest contractor in the Country according to the 2017 ENR Top 400 listing. He was formerly the General Counsel of Alberici Corporation. He has acted as Counsel to the Contract Documents Program of the Associated General Contractors of America and has been an Instructor for Harvard University, Graduate School of Design, “Design/Build – An Integrated Method of Construction Delivery” as well as former project counsel for the Dallas Fort Worth International Airport $3,000,000,000 expansion program. He is the only attorney ever selected to be a member of the Consulting Constructors’ Council of America. He is a member of the National Construction Dispute Resolution Council for the American Arbitration Association.

In 1998, Bill was selected by the AGC as “Chairman of the Year” for his work in representing contractors’ interests in contract documents. He has been awarded the AGC President’s Coin for exemplifying skill, responsibility and integrity as well as unlimited motivation on behalf of the Association. At International Risk Management Institute’s 2003 Construction Risk Conference in Chicago, the Institute presented Mr. Ernstrom with the Words of Wisdom (WOW) award, which recognizes substantial contributions made to the construction and insurance industries.

Bill was the co-editor of the “AGC Contractor Documents Handbook”. He has authored numerous articles on surety and construction law topics. Among others, he has written about construction management and the AIA A201 General Conditions for the Wiley Construction Law Update, as well as design-build for the Aspen Construction Law Update. He played a key role in organizing and drafting the new ConsensusDocs family of documents, the first set of contracts to be written by owners, designers, contractors, subcontractors, sureties and surety bond producers. He has previously lectured throughout the country for the Associated General Contractors, the ABA’s Forum on the Construction Industry, the National Association of Surety Bond Producers, and the Construction Financial Management Association. Bill is a member of the American Bar Association, Forum on the Construction Industry.

Bill Ernstrom graduated with honors from Hamilton College and received his Juris Doctor, with honors, from Cornell Law School.