Meet Our Professionals

William L. Esser IV


Will Esser focuses his practice primarily on commercial litigation, bankruptcy and creditors’ rights, foreclosures, loan workouts and loan sales. He has successfully represented lenders, loan servicers, landlords, municipal governments, creditors’ committees, receivers and investment companies in federal and state court lawsuits, bankruptcies, arbitrations and restructurings.

Mr. Esser is certified by the NCDRC as a Superior Court mediator. He also serves as a co-chair of Parker Poe’s Financial Services Litigation Team, head of Parker Poe’s North Carolina foreclosure practice and chair of the firm’s Pro Bono Committee.

Mr. Esser is admitted to the United States Supreme Court, the United States Courts of Appeal for the Fourth, Tenth and Eleventh Circuits, as well as the federal district and bankruptcy courts for the Eastern, Middle and Western Districts of North Carolina and the Middle District of Florida.

Prior to joining Parker Poe, Mr. Esser served as a law clerk for the Honorable Paul J. Kelly on the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.

Results By the Numbers

  • 0 Ways we meet client needs
  • 0 Practice Areas included in Chambers 2013: America's Leading Lawyers for Business

Featured Experience

Commercial Litigation

  • Litigating cases involving complex financial instruments (such as interest rate swaps and letters of credit) in both federal court and the North Carolina Business Court
  • Defending financial institutions from borrower/guarantor claims for misrepresentation, fraud, tortious interference with business, negligence, unfair trade practices and related tort actions
  • Litigating breach of contract claims arising from asset purchase agreements, franchise and distributor agreements and all forms of commercial contracts
  • Representing municipal governments in litigation to recover on infrastructure bonds


  • Representing creditors in all areas of bankruptcy practice in Chapter 7, 11, 12, or 13 (such as cash collateral motions, motions for adequate protection/relief from stay and contested confirmation hearings)
  • Representing unsecured creditor committees from committee formation through final distribution under confirmed plans
  • Assisting purchasers in Section 363 asset sales
  • Defending vendors, surety companies and other defendants in preference and avoidance actions

Collections / Loan Workouts / Loan Sales

  • Managing the workout of large loan portfolios for lenders involving hundreds of real property foreclosures/note collection lawsuits
  • Obtaining the appointment of real property receivers over all collateral types (office, multi-family, retail and industrial)
  • Negotiating and litigating title insurance claims and other real property related litigation
  • Assisting with all stages of loan workouts, including forbearance agreements, loan modifications, deeds in lieu, short sales and collection actions
  • Representing buyers and sellers in loan sale transactions, including due diligence and contract negotiation

Representative Matters

  • The Caper Corporation v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., 578 Fed. Appx. 276 (4th Cir. 2014) (affirming dismissal of multiple contract and tort claims against bank related to interest rate swap used to hedge floating rate LIBOR loan)
  • Campbell v. Hanover Insurance Company, 709 F.3d 388 (4th Cir.), cert. denied, 134 S. Ct. 221(2013) (affirming the grant of summary judgment to surety company on trustee’s preference claims arising from surety’s draw on a letter of credit provided by bonded contractor)
  • Harris v. SunTrust Mortgage et. al., 2013 WL 1120846 (M.D.N.C. March 18, 2013) (granting lender’s motion to dismiss claims asserted by borrower, including wrongful foreclosure and violations of TILA, RESPA, HOEPA, FCRA, slander of title and others)
  • LFM Real Estate Ventures, LLC v. SunTrust Bank, 2012 WL 6114242 (W.D.N.C. December 7, 2012) (awarding lender judgment against borrower and guarantors, and dismissing lender liability claims for alleged fraud, predatory lending, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and unfair and deceptive trade practices)
  • In re Versant Properties, 2011 WL 1131057 (W.D.N.C. 2011) (holding that lender, not lien claimants, was entitled to return of excess letter of credit funds drawn by municipal government for subdivision infrastructure)
  • Speedway Motorsports International Limited v. Bronwen Energy Trading, Ltd., 706 S.E.2d. 262 (N.C. Ct. App. 2011) (affirming denial of French bank’s request to change venue to Switzerland based on forum selection clause contained in demand guarantee to collateralize international purchase of petroleum products)

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Honors & Awards

  • Woodward/White’s The Best Lawyers in America in Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law, 2016
  • Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers in Bankruptcy/Restructuring, 2012-2013
  • Business North Carolina magazine’s “Legal Elite” in Business Law, 2012
  • Mecklenburg County Bar Volunteer Lawyer Program Pro Bono Awards, Outstanding Individual Attorney, 2011
  • Belmont Abbey College Alumni Sports Hall of Fame Inductee, Tennis, 2011
  • Recipient of the Belmont Abbey College Brother Gregory Corcoran Distinguished Alumnus of the Year Award, 2010
  • Charlotte Business Journal's 40 Under 40, 2009
  • North Carolina Super Lawyers Rising Star in Business Litigation, 2009
  • Martindale-Hubbell BV® Distinguished™ in Commercial Litigation; Real Estate Foreclosure; Franchise Litigation; Receiverships; Bankruptcy; Civil Fraud; Unfair Competition