Professional Details

William Finkelstein
Associate Mediator

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122 Ocean Park Boulevard
Suite 509
Santa Monica, CA 90405
Fax: 310-452-5355

Description of Practice

Bill Finkelstein is an experienced mediator of Intellectual Property disputes of all types, particularly those involving trademark issues. With unparalleled real world corporate experience layered on a broad litigation and transactional legal practice, coupled with his expertise in IP, licensing and franchising law, he is uniquely positioned to provide the insights, creativity and practicality needed to efficiently and productively resolve contentious matters in these fields.

Professional Background

From 1973 to 2000, Bill was in-house counsel, including Vice President and Intellectual Property Counsel, of PepsiCo, Inc., one of the preeminent marketing and branding companies in the world focusing on food, beverage, restaurants and sporting goods. Since moving to Los Angeles, he has been a law firm partner and then Senior Counsel for the last ten years at Steptoe & Johnson, a leading national and international law firm, prior to his retirement to focus on mediation full-time. His law firm practice encompassed a wide range of consumer goods and and services and entertainment properties.


Bill is a trained and experienced mediator covering IP, licensing and franchising matters. He was instrumental in establishing the International Trademark Association Mediation Program under the auspices of CPR and has been on its Panel of Neutrals since its inception over 25 years ago. He is the author/editor of "ADR in Trademark and Unfair Competition Disputes, a Practitioner's Guide"and has been a frequent speaker at bar and industry groups on mediation and ADR.


B.A. with Distinction, University of Virginia, 1967; J.D., Boston University School of Law, 1970;
L.L.M. (Masters in Trade Regulation), New York University School of Law, 1978


I do not have a fixed approach or philosophy but prefer to be flexible, employing both facilitative and evaluative techniques as appropriate given the situation and the parties. In my experience, no mediation has ever been the same and I am always prepared to spend as much time as necessary and to do whatever it takes to get the parties to achieve a productive resolution for all of them.


I do not charge for any administrative time nor travel time within California.

Other Information

Bill has served as President of the International Trademark Association and was on its Board of Directors for some twenty years as well as serving as chair of numerous committees. He was a founding member of the Trademark Review Commission, leading to the significant Trademark Law Revision Act. In 2007, he received the prestigious President's Award from INTA signifying exceptional service to the trademark community and impactful contributions to trademark law. He has been very active within the ABA, especially in franchise law area, serving on the Governing Committee of the Forum on Franchising and authoring numerous published materials as well as handling many speaking engagements at conferences and seminars.

Areas of Practice

  • Commercial
  • Contracts
  • Copyright
  • Entertainment
  • Franchise
  • Intellectual Property
  • Partnership
  • Patent
  • Trademark

Professional Services

  • Mediator
  • Mediating Lawyer

References available upon request.

This dispute resolution professional keeps professional liability insurance.