Bill Lockyer is a member of the firm Brown Rudnick's Government Law and Strategies team in the Orange County office. His high octane representation of health care, energy, insurance and financial service businesses benefits those caught in the “Bermuda Triangle” of government, law and politics. He is noted for complex conflict resolution.
Bill is a widely admired California politician who has never lost an election. He most recently served as the 32nd State Treasurer of California, elected in 2006 and re-elected in 2010. He also has served as California Attorney General. Prior to that, he served over twenty-five years in the California State Legislature, more than half that time in the State Senate, where, for the last four years of his tenure, he was chosen by his peers to be President Pro Tempore, the most powerful position of the upper legislative house.
Early in his legislative career, Bill wrote the first legislation to provide state funding for emergency oil spill decontamination. Another environmental accomplishment was his 1987 bill to create the Bay Trail, a 500 mile long hiking and bicycle path that circles the San Francisco and San Pablo Bays. Some of his other notable accomplishments include his sponsorship of the State's first "hate crimes" legislation, which later, as Attorney General, he was responsible for enforcing. He is also known for California's 1987 tort reform "napkin deal" where he mediated the conflicting views of numerous stakeholders and interest groups, resulting in sweeping changes in California's civil liability laws (this meeting of the minds was held at a restaurant and Bill scribbled the terms of the "pact" on a cloth napkin, and so ended a political war). Abolishing California’s inventory tax, judicial branch reforms and the “4 hour delivery” law resulted from his efforts.
Bill was elected Attorney General in 1998. The California Department of Justice, for which he was responsible, then consisted of over 5,000 employees, of which 1,200
were attorneys handling a caseload of 100,000 lawsuits. One of his many contributions in his role as Attorney General was to radically restructure and reinvigorate his Department with high tech efficiencies to better support the needs of local law enforcement. During this time, he also steered the Department to new legal activism in the areas of civil rights and anti-trust enforcement and consumer and environmental protection. In 2001, he began the expansion of the state DNA labs to eliminate the backlog of unanalyzed blood samples (over 200,000 samples) leading to “cold-hit” identifications of 20/day rather than 1/year. In response to the California Energy Crisis in the summer of 2000, Bill created an Energy Task Force to investigate alleged price gouging by power companies. This probe led to approximately five billion dollars in settlements by Enron and other energy corporations for “gaming” the State’s deregulated energy market. Bill is considered to by one of the most effective Attorneys General in California history. In 2003 he was chosen as President of the National Association of Attorneys General.
Over the course of eight years as State Treasurer, Bill has managed the State's multi-billion dollar Pooled Money Investment Account (PMIA). During the 2007- 2009, that fund did not lose a penny of principal. Bill also protected taxpayers from high-interest rates by reforming the way credit rating agencies grade bonds issued by states and local governments; led the successful effort to keep corruption out of public pension funds and ensure investment decisions serve workers and taxpayers first and foremost; sold more bonds than any Treasurer in California history to finance critical infrastructure projects; expanded access to health care for Californians who depend on rural clinics by increasing the availability of low-cost loans to build facilities and buy equipment; and helped families cope with rising college costs by expanding ScholarShare, California's "529" college savings program. As State Treasurer, Bill also served on the governing boards of the nation's two largest public pension funds - the California Public Employees' Retirement System and the California State Teachers' Retirement System.