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William E. Hughes,
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William E. Hughes


555 East Wells Street
Suite 1900
Milwaukee, WI 53202-3819
Phone: (414) 978-5301

Labor & Employment PDF
Bill Hughes is a shareholder of Whyte Hirschboeck Dudek S.C. and is the leader of the firm's Human Resources Law Practice Group. Bill has more than 20 years of experience representing employers, including advising and defending employers in connection with employment discrimination matters, terminations, retaliation claims, sexual harassment claims, allegations of failure to accommodate a disability, wage claims, and alleged violations of many other employment related statutes. Bill also has extensive experience in drafting, negotiating, arbitrating and litigating executive employment agreements, severance agreements, noncompetition and confidentiality agreements and other agreements providing for the protection of employers’ customer relationships, confidential information and intellectual property. Prior to joining the Firm, Bill was an attorney for the U.S. Air Force and is a retired Lieutenant Colonel from the U.S. Air Force Reserves.


  • George Washington University, LL.M., Government Procurement, with highest honors
  • Marquette University Law School, J.D., magna cum laude
  • U.S. Air Force Academy, B.S., distinguished graduate


  • Wisconsin
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Wisconsin
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Armed Forces
  • U.S. Court of Federal Claims

Awards & Distinctions

  • Selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® in Employment Law - Management (2014-2016)
  • Martindale-Hubbell® AV® Preeminent™
  • Wisconsin Procurement Institute Mentoring Award (2010) - for dedication and commitment to the development of the federal contracting community
  • U.S. Air Force Meritorious Service Medal

Representative Work

  • Advised clients regarding employment practices, including the implementation of programs and procedures to minimize the risk of liability from employee claims.
  • Developed a comprehensive company-wide program for the protection of corporate assets and drafted executive noncompetition and confidentiality agreements for use by an employer with world-wide operations.
  • Represented clients in proceedings before the Equal Rights Division, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and other administrative agencies, as well as in state and federal courts.
  • Obtained summary dismissal for an employer in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin in a case involving a disability discrimination claim.
  • Successfully defended an employer in a fully litigated case before the Wisconsin Equal Rights Division and Labor and Industry Review Commission involving claims of disability discrimination and failure to accommodate a disability.
  • Prevailed on client’s behalf in a lengthy arbitration proceeding involving extensive claims of breach of contract, misappropriation of trade secrets, improper competition and misuse of confidential information.
  • Obtained dismissal on behalf of an employer in Milwaukee County Circuit Court of a competitor’s claim of tortious interference with an employment contract.
  • Assisted an employer in a significant on-going downsizing action affecting numerous employees without encountering any employment-related claims.

Professional Associations

Community Involvement

Teaching Positions

  • Adjunct Professor: "Legal Aspects of Engineering," University of Wisconsin School of Engineering, 2011 Fall semester

Articles and Presentations

  • Veterans Verification and Teaming Arrangements – A Legal Perspective, presenter, B2Gconnect seminar – Doing Business with the Department of Veterans Affairs, November 14, 2012
  • Labor Law, presenter, Safety Connections, Inc. Executive Roundtable, July 24, 2012
  • Capitalizing on the Rule of Two and Other Set-Aside Business Strategies, presenter, National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA) 9th National Small Business Conference, June 21, 2012
  • Demystifying the FAR: What is the FAR and Where to Find It, presenter, B2Gconnect 2012, May 30, 2012
  • Budgets, Priorities and Politics; Impacts of the Decisions Mad in Washington on Federal Contractors: Current Challenges, presenter, Federal Procurement Seminar, March 27, 2012
  • Indiscreet: Protecting Confidentiality and Other Ethical Issues When Corporate Employees Won't Back Down, presenter, 2012 Labor & Employment Practice Group International Client Seminar, March 10, 2012
  • Impact of Budget Decreases on Federal Contracts; Teaming Agreements, presenter, Wisconsin Procurement Institute's B2Gconnect and National Contract Management Association (NCMA) Federal Contractor Update, December 8, 2011
  • Ethics in Federal Contracting - Essential or Eyewash, presenter, Wisconsin Procurement Institute's B2Gconnect 2011 Conference, June 29, 2011
  • Deadliest Catch: Avoiding the Hook of Arrest/Conviction Record Discrimination Claims; America's Next Greatest Basis for Discrimination-Appearance, presenter, WHD Annual HR Law Conference, October 25, 2011 (Milwaukee); April 17, 2012
  • Breaking Down the Barriers to Global Trade: International Contracts - Avoiding Pitfalls and Protecting Your Interests , presenter, Go Global IV Conference, April 12, 2011
  • International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), presenter, Marinette Marine Corporation's Small Business Industry Day, February 8, 2011
  • Immigration: What is the Status?, presenter, ALFA International's Labor & Employment Seminar, November 10, 2010
  • 23 Initiatives/Guidance for Obtaining Greater Efficiency and Productivity in Defense Spending, presenter, Federal Contractor Update Seminar, November 10, 2010
  • A Bird's Eye View: Answers to the Most Frequently Asked Employment Law Questions, presenter, WHD Annual Human Resources Law Conference, November 10, 2010 (Milwaukee), April 6, 2011 (Madison)
  • Executive Employment and Noncompetition Agreements, presenter, DBM Senior Forum, May 11, 2010
  • ITAR, Commercial & Defense, presenter, 201 Go Global III Conference, April 21, 2010
  • Contract Disputes; Contractor Update: Negotiations, FOIA, and Payment to Subcontractors (Privity of Contract), presenter, 4th Annual B2Gconnect Conference, April 7, 2010
  • Contractor Ethics and FOIA, presenter, 201 Society for Military Engineers (SAME) Expo, March 11, 2010

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