Photo of William V. McRae, III

William V. McRae, III

Of Counsel


Wake Forest School of Law, J.D., 1982

Duke University, M.B.A., 1977

University of Southern California, B.S., with honors, 1975


Wake Forest Law Review

Bar Admissions



Bill McRae has practiced law in Atlanta for over 25 years, conducting a diverse transactional practice focused on franchising, business transactions and estate planning. Bill represents both franchisors and franchisees, and particularly enjoys assisting startup franchisors with the launch of new business brands.

As an adjunct to his franchising practice, Bill provides sophisticated estate planning and asset protection counseling to business owners and high net worth families. He has also closed a wide variety of commercial real estate, leasing, financing and syndication matters for franchisors, franchisees, developers, broker-dealers and lenders.

Significant Matters

  • Recently assisted a startup franchisor with the successful launch of its fast-casual restaurant concept, managing all facets of the legal work from design and creation of organizational structure, to preparation of FTC-mandated disclosure documents, conversion of non-franchisee units, handling of trademark issues, and addressing state franchise registration and business opportunity law issues. The client is now actively marketing the sale of franchises in a number of states.
  • Orchestrated the sale of bankrupt commercial real estate companies by repositioning a distressed 770-acre industrial real estate asset and facilitating its development as a mixed-use project with hotel, convention center, retail, marina and golf components. Client successfully sold the companies for millions of dollars over projection.

Articles, Seminars & Presentations

  • How Franchising Works – Franchising Times (September, 2011)
  • Use of “Use” Clauses in Commercial Real Estate Leases – Franchising Business & Law Alert, November, 2010
  • Defending the Realm – Asset Protection Planning in Georgia” - Speech presented at the CHWW&M Tax Forum, Atlanta, GA (June, 2003)
  • Like-Kind Exchanges: Some, Liked by the IRS, Kind to the Taxpayer” – Speech presented at the CHWW&M Annual Tax Forum, Atlanta, GA (December, 2002)
  • Advanced Wealth Planning” – Seminar presented for the National Business Institute (October, 2002)

Professional Affiliations

  • Member, Urban Land Institute, ULI Smart Growth Committee