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William F. Atkin
Image for William F. Atkin

International Fellow

As Associate General Counsel – International for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Bill Atkin is generally responsible for the delivery of legal services in connection with the international activities of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Baker & McKenzie, 1979 to 1996

Partner, Baker & McKenzie, Moscow, 1992 to 1996 (Managing Partner of Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kyiv and Almaty offices); San Francisco, 1987 to 1992 (Managing Partner of San Francisco and Palo Alto Offices, 1990 to 1992); Taipei, 1984 to 1987 (Managing Partner); Associate: San Francisco, 1982 to 1984; Caracas, Venezuela, 1980 to 1982; Chicago, 1979 to 1980. Member of Firm’s Policy Committee (1993 to 1996); Member of Firm’s Professional Development Committee (1988 to 1992). Engaged in multinational corporate legal work and U.S. customs matters. Practice involved rendering advice on the laws of foreign jurisdictions relevant to transnational commercial investment and financial transactions which encompass, the following substantive areas: foreign investment, technology transfers and licensing, labor law, tax, antitrust, financing and banking, customs, secured transactions, corporate, joint ventures, exchange controls and distributorships (particular focus on Asia and Latin America). Firm Related Positions: Member of Baker & McKenzie Policy Committee, 1992 to 1996; Member of Baker & McKenzie North American Regional Council, 1988 to 1992; Member of Professional Development Committee, 1988-1992; Member of Baker & McKenzie Quality Audit Team, 1995 to 1996.

Moscow International University, 1993

Adjunct Professor of Law; taught course on international business transactions.

United States Deparment of Justice, 1976-1979

Trial attorney, United States Department of Justice, Civil Division, New York, New York, 1976-79. Hired under Attorney General’s Honors Program. Full litigation responsibility: pleadings, motions, depositions, discovery, trials and appellate argument in field of international trade and commercial law. Major responsibility in several antidumping actions and American Selling Price cases. Extensive experience with classifications and valuation matters in U.S. customs law. Significant contact with the Department of Treasury and the International Trade Commission. Attorney General’s Trial Advocacy Institute, 1978.

United States Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit

Law Clerk, The Honorable David T. Lewis, then Chief Judge, Tenth Circuit, United States Court of Appeals, Salt Lake City, Utah 1975-76.

Admitted to Practice

California Supreme Court, 1983; Illinois Supreme Court, 1979; Arizona Supreme Court, 1975; United States Courts of Appeals, Ninth and Tenth Circuits, 1976; United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (formerly the United States Court of Customs and Patent Appeals), 1977; and United States Court of International Trade (formerly the United States Customs Court), 1976.


LL.M., Columbia University School of Law, 1979 (emphasis on international and comparative law).

J.D., Arizona State University College of Law, 1975 (magna cum laude)

B.A., Brigham Young University, 1972 (cum laude)

Other Activities

Chair, International Board of the J. Reuben Clark Law Society, 2001 - to date; Member of International Board, 2000-2001.

Member, Executive Advisory Board, BYU International Center for Law and Religion Studies, 2001 to date

Member, Board of Directors, BYU Alumni Association, 2001/2002.

First Vice President and Founding Member of the Board of Directors, American Chamber of Commerce, Moscow, Russia, 1993 to 1996.

Member, Executive Committee, USA-ROC Economic Council (chaired by David M. Kennedy), 1988 to 1991.

Member, Advisory Committee, Orientation in American Law Program, University of California (Davis and Berkeley), 1989 to 1996.

Member, Executive Committee, BYU Law School Board of Visitors, 1988 to 1991 (Chairman, 1990-1991).

President, BYU International Society, 1988 to 1992; member Executive Committee, 1992 to date.

Member, International Committee, California Chamber of Commerce, 1991 to 1992.

Commissioner, Commission on Foreign Legal Consultants, State Bar of California, 1991 to 1992.

Member (1988-1991), Advisor (1991-1995) and Secretary (1990-1991), Executive Committee, International Law Section, California State Bar.

Troop Committee Chairman, Troop 500, Moscow, Russia, 1992 to 1993; Commissioner, Mt. Diablo Council, Boy Scouts of America, 1989 to 1992; Troop Committee Chairman, Troop 886, Danville, California, 1988 to 1990; Scout Master, Taipei, Taiwan, 1985 to 1988.


Author, "The Recent Liberalization of Exchange Controls and Its Legal Impact on Doing Business in Taiwan," 1988 BYU Law Review, 591-618 (1988).

Author, "The Proposed Andean Court of Justice: A Comparative Analysis," LL.M. Thesis, Columbia University, 1979 (unpublished).

Co-Author with John F. McKenzie, "Licensing Computer Software in Latin America: The Impact of the Technology Transfer Laws," 1984 The Computer Lawyer, No. 11, 22-31.

Co-Author with Sergio A. Leiseca, "Security Interests Under the Laws of Venezuela: An Introductory Guide," 17 The International Lawyer 625-645 (1983).

Co-Author with Dale B. Furnish, "The Andean Group’s Program for Industrial Development of the Metalworking Sector: Integration With Due and Deliberate SPID," 1975 Lawyer of the Americas 2961.

Author, "A Return to Normalcy: The Elimination of Three-Judge Courts in the 1964 and 1965 Civil Rights Acts," 1974 Arizona State Law Journal 321.


Spanish (fluent); Russian (intermediate)