William P Mayer

William P. Mayer

Retired Partner
William P. Mayer
+1 617 570 1534

Bill Mayer is a retired partner and former member of Goodwin’s Financial Industry group. He served as corporate and regulatory counsel for financial institutions and financial institution holding companies, ranging from global and larger U.S. banking organizations to regional and community banks. As outside general counsel, he advised banking organizations and their boards of directors on a broad array of corporate, regulatory, governance and transactional matters. Mr. Mayer also participated in missions for USAID, the World Bank and the IMF to address financial sector issues in Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Latin America.

A former chair of Goodwin’s Pro Bono Committee for 10 years, Mr. Mayer maintained an active pro bono practice, serving as a member of the board of KickStart International, a nonprofit devoted to designing and marketing appropriate technology to African farmers, and chairman of the board of RefugePoint, a nonprofit organization founded to protect and develop solutions for refugees worldwide. He served on the board of The Chocorua Lake (NH) Conservancy. In addition, Mr. Mayer also served as counsel and board advisor to a number of other nonprofit organizations.

With more than 40 years’ experience in the financial services industry, Mr. Mayer was repeatedly listed in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, where clients and peers have lauded him for being “very effective at dealing with a board or with executive management” and noted that he “resolves problems in a sensible way and takes a balanced approach.”


Mr. Mayer handled a wide variety of transactions for Goodwin’s banking and financial services clients, including mergers, acquisitions, public and private offerings of debt and equity securities, stock conversions, bank and holding company formations, and other reorganizations of financial institutions and holding companies. He also advised foreign and U.S. clients on bank regulatory matters involving the Federal Reserve Board, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Comptroller of the Currency, and other state and federal regulatory agencies.

Mr. Mayer advised a wide range of financial institution clients on capital and other compliance matters arising under the Dodd-Frank Act, the Basel Accords and other regulations, and has counseled institutional and other investors with respect to transactions involving banks and bank holding companies. Mr. Mayer also advised other business clients, nonprofits and individuals on a wide range of corporate, corporate governance and other legal matters. His work included representing and/or advising:

  • Boston Private Financial Holdings in connection with a variety of corporate governance and securities law matters
  • Brookline Bancorp on a number of M&A transactions including its acquisition of Bancorp Rhode Island, Inc. and First Ipswich Bancorp
  • Camden National Corporation in connection with the expansion of its Maine-Based banking franchise, through its acquisitions of SBM Financial, Inc.
  • Eastern Bank Corporation in connection with its acquisitions of Centrix Bank & Trust in Manchester, New Hampshire, and Campello Bancorp, a troubled financial institution in Brockton, Massachusetts
  • HarborOne Credit Union with respect to its conversion to a Massachusetts chartered cooperative bank, the first such transaction in the Commonwealth, as well as its formation of a mutual holding company and initial public offering
  • Merchants Bancshares, Inc. of Burlington, Vermont, in connection with its pending merger with Community Bank System, Inc.
  • Northeast Bancorp in connection with its restructuring and recapitalization by private equity and other investors as well as its follow-on public offering of common stock
  • Randolph Bancorp in connection with its initial public offering and related acquisition of First Eastern Bankshares Corporation, Inc. in Boston, Massachusetts
  • The Savings Bank Life Insurance Company of Massachusetts in connection with its conversion from a stock to a mutual form of organization, the first such transaction of its kind

Professional Activities

Mr. Mayer served on the banking law committees of the Boston and American Bar Associations, and was a member of state banker associations in Massachusetts, Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York and California.

Professional Experience

Mr. Mayer taught bank and bank holding company mergers and acquisitions at Boston University School of Law, and served on the Board of Advisors for its Center for Finance, Law & Policy. Following law school graduation, Mr. Mayer served as law clerk for the Honorable William H. Timbers, U.S. States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.




University of Virginia School of Law

Master of Science1974

University of Dar es Salaam

Artium Baccalaureus1973

Dartmouth College

(summa cum laude)


U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, Honorable William H. Timbers



  • Massachusetts
  • District of Columbia


  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia

Recognition & Awards

Mr. Mayer was nationally ranked in Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business for his financial institutions M&A work. He was also ranked in U.S. News-Best Lawyers, which selected him as Boston’s banking and finance “Lawyer of the Year” (2016). While in law school, Mr. Mayer was an editor of the Virginia Law Review.


Mr. Mayer lectured on banking and financial service topics to legal and banking industry groups and was regularly called upon by the media for industry commentary. He is the founder of Goodwin's Banking Symposium, an annual summit focusing on the strategic challenges faced by community banks.