It’s not whether you get knocked down. It’s whether you get up.
Vince Lombardi


William "Buddy" Rowell

A multi-faceted litigator, Buddy has a track record of resolving complex business and real estate issues. He has over 25 years of experience representing an array of businesses and public entities, including developers, property owners, major retailers, universities, school districts, and utilities. He serves as the firm’s Northern California Managing Partner, and previously served as Wendel’s Chair of Litigation.

Buddy brings significant industry experience to the firm’s well-established real estate, environmental, and construction practices. He handles a wide range of litigated matters, including business and partnership disputes, premise and product liability, and construction defect, with a substantial expertise in real estate, catastrophic injury, and errors and omissions cases.

Buddy is known for being pragmatic, but also for fighting doggedly for his clients when the situation calls for it. This combination of traits may be due to the fact that he is the sixth of seven children and had to be both conciliatory and fiercely determined from a young age to navigate the dynamics of such a large family.

He is a member of the Public Agency Risk Management Association (PARMA), the Claims & Litigation Management Alliance, and the Defense Research Institute.

Married for over 25 years, he and his wife Alicia have three children, all of whom are currently in college or graduate school. In his spare time, Buddy likes to travel, play golf, and spend time with family. He also coaches high school freshman football, serving as offensive coordinator. Ask him about his offense only if you have a long time to talk.


  • J.D., magna cum laude, University of San Francisco School of Law,  McAuliffe Honor Society
  • B.A., University of California, Berkeley


Experienced, forward-thinking advocates who go beyond the expected for clients in dispute prevention and resolution.

Our construction attorneys have substantial experience with the diverse and often complex aspects of the construction business.

Our real estate practice is one of the largest in the American West, including Arizona, California, Colorado and Nevada with experience in all aspects of the real estate development process, from due diligence, acquisition and finance, through land use permitting and entitlements, to leasing and sale.

Our professional liability practice group offers service and experience in all aspects of professional liability, including conflict avoidance through counseling, dispute resolution through mediation and arbitration, representation in actual or threatened litigation, and representation in professional licensing and disciplinary proceedings. 


  • Public Agency
  • Real Estate Litigation

Articles and Presentations

  • Interview, “Top Lawyers: William “Buddy” Rowell of Fennemore Wendel on the 5 Things You Need to Become a Top Lawyer in Your Specific Field of Law,” Medium Authority Magazine, January 2023


  • Member, Alameda County Bar Association
  • Member, Public Agency Risk Management Alliance
  • Member, Claims & Litigation Management Alliance
  • Northern California ReLiEF Defense Panel, ReLiEF


  • California
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Central District of California
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of California