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Bill Hanigan


Bill Hanigan is a shareholder of the Davis Brown Law Firm and Chair of the Agribusiness and Cooperatives and Renewable Energy departments. He is also former Chair of the Business Division. He has a general practice in, but not limited to, the areas of business organizations and transactions, agribusiness and cooperatives, renewable fuels, debt restructuring, corporate reorganization, mergers & acquisitions, finance and securities.


Bill advises agricultural processors and supply chain participants about business development, financing, regulation and reporting issues related to their industries.


He has effectively negotiated financing, construction, management, marketing and other commercial contracts to ensure organizations meet their short and long-term financial targets. In addition, he helps clients buy and sell important business assets.

Dispute Resolution

Bill’s practice includes business litigation and arbitration. He represents clients in state and federal courts and in arbitration proceedings. His assistance to clients with disputes against the state and federal government include contract disputes and constitutional claims involving the Equal Protection Clause, the Commerce Clause, and the Takings Clause.


Bill leads the firm’s renewable energy team and currently acts as general counsel to biofuels manufacturing companies with more than 600 million gallons per year of biofuels and biodiesel production. As part of his extensive range of legal experience, Bill has closed financing transactions with the banks that have financed the majority of corn ethanol and biodiesel facilities in operation in the United States.

Additional experience includes:

  • Advised biotech company regarding deferred compensation and stock options
  • Advised various commodity processors and cooperatives regarding the effects of new Internal Revenue Code § 199A and its repeal
  • Represented the buyer of a biodiesel producer in California
  • Advised a livestock processor regarding the enforceability of production contracts
  • Represented the sellers of a majority interest in a fuel ethanol plant
  • Represented a coalition of Iowa ethanol companies in a multimillion dollar tax refund case
  • Led the legal team acquiring a 55 mgpy ethanol manufacturing plant in Minnesota
  • Provided legal services to 35 operating ethanol and biodiesel manufacturing companies in the United States
  • Advised a producer cooperative regarding the protection of its investment in a start-up technology company
  • Represented a manufacturing company in its arbitration with a vendor
  • Provided advice and analysis to a joint venture between a manufacturer and a food products technology company
  • Represented a privately owned soybean technology and processing company in its reorganization and refinancing
  • Represented a joint venture between two Fortune 100 companies in their commercialization of new biofuel technology
  • Represented a custom beef producer in its contract negotiation with a beef marketing company

Bill is currently representing a group of Iowa landowners in their fight against Dakota Access, the company which has forcibly taken part of their land through eminent domain in order to lay pipeline. On Wednesday, September 12, Bill presented his oral arguments before the Iowa Supreme Court.