Robert W. Hillman
Professor of Law, Fair Business Practices and Investor Advocacy Chair
B.A. Political Science, California State University, Long Beach 1970
J.D. Duke University 1973
Robert W. Hillman is a leading authority on partnership law and the legal and ethics issues arising from lawyer mobility and law firm breakups. He teaches at the University of California, Davis, where he holds an endowed chair. His treatise, Hillman on Lawyer Mobility (Aspen Publishing), is the definitive work on mobility issues and is cited frequently by state and federal courts. He also is the co-author (with Donald Weidner and Allan Vestal) of The Revised Uniform Partnership Act (West/Thompson Publishing) and the co-author (with Jim Cox and Don Langevoort) of Securities Regulation: Cases and Materials (Aspen), now in its sixth edition.
Professor Hillman’s recent articles include Partners without Partners, The Legal Status of the Single Person Partnership (Fordham Journal of Business and Financial Law, with Donald Weidner), Law Firm Risk Management in an Era of Breakups and Lawyer Mobility (Texas Tech Law review), Client Files and Digital Law Practices: Rethinking Old Concepts in an Era of Lawyer Mobility (Suffolk Law Review, with Allison Rhodes), Client Choice, Contractual Restraints, and the Market for Legal Services (Hofstra Law Review), Closely-Held Firms and the Common Law of Fiduciary Duty: What Explains the Enduring Qualities of a Punctilio? (Tulsa Law Review), Ties that Bind and Restraints on Lawyer Competition: Restrictive Covenants as Conditions to the Payments of Retirement Benefits (Indiana Law Review), Organizational Choices of Professional Services Firms: An Empirical Study (The Business Lawyer), Law, Culture and the Lore of Partnership: Of Entrepreneurs, Accountability, and the Evolving Status of Partners (Wake Forest Law Review), and The Bargain in the Firm: Partnership Law, Corporate Law, and Private Ordering within Closely-Held Business Associations (Illinois Law Review). He has been an Official Advisor to the ALI’s Restatement of Agency (Third) project, and was as adviser to the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Law’s RUPA Drafting Committee. He is a member of the American Law Institute.
Through the International Senior Lawyers Project, Professor Hillman recently has represented the Government of Liberia in its review, renegotiation and implementation of natural resource concession contracts, most notably the country’s iron ore concession with Arcelor-Mittal.
Subject AreasInternational Business Transactions, Securities Regulation, Corporate Governance, Partnership Law, Ethics, Lawyer Mobility
Selected Career Highlights
- Counsel, President of Liberia (negotiation of natural resource concessions)
- Author of Hillman on Lawyer Mobility
- Author of Law Firm Breakups: The Law and Ethics of Grabbing and Leaving
- Co-author, with Cox and Langevoort, of Securities Regulation: Cases and Materials
- Co-author, with Wiedner and Vestal, of The Revised Uniform Partnership Act
- Official Advisor, Drafting Committee to Revise the Uniform Partnership Act, National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws
- Consultant to the World Bank’s Chinese University Development Project
- Advisory Group, American Law Institute's Restatement (Third) of the Law of Agency
- Member, California State Senate's Blue Ribbon Task Force on Shareholder Litigation
In the News
SECURITIES REGULATION: CASES AND MATERIALS, (Aspen, 8th ed. 2017; 7th ed. 2013; 6th ed. 2009; 5th ed. 2006; 4th ed. 2004; 3d ed. 2001; 2d ed. 1997; 1st ed. 1991) (with James Cox and Donald Langevoort) (with teacher’s manuals and annual supplements).
THE REVISED UNIFORM PARTNERSHIP ACT, West) (with Allan Donn and Donald Weidner) (new editions published annually).
HILLMAN ON LAWYER MOBILITY: THE LAW AND ETHICS OF PARTNER WITHDRAWALS AND LAW FIRM BREAKUPS, (Wolters Kluwer, 3d ed. 2018 (with Allison Martin Rhodes); Aspen, 2d ed. 1998; Little Brown, 1st ed. 1994) (with annual supplements).
HILLMAN ON LAWYER MOBILITY: THE LAW AND ETHICS OF PARTNER WITHDRAWALS AND LAW FIRM BREAKUPS, (Chinese edition, 2004).
AGENCY AND PARTNERSHIP LAW (Edward Elgar Publishing 2018) (co-edited with Mark Loewenstein).
RESEARCH HANDBOOK ON PARTNERSHIPS, LLCS AND ALTERNATIVE FORMS OF BUSINESS ORGANIZATIONS (Edward Elgar Publishing 2015) (co-edited with Mark Loewenstein).
GENERAL AND LIMITED LIABILITY PARTNERSHIPS UNDER THE REVISED UNIFORM PARTNERSHIP ACT, (West 1996) (with Allan Vestal and Donald Weidner).
CALIFORNIA SUPPLEMENT, GENERAL AND LIMITED LIABILITY PARTNERSHIPS UNDER THE REVISED UNIFORM PARTNERSHIP ACT, (West 1997) (with Allan Vestal and Donald Weidner).
LAW FIRM BREAKUPS: THE LAW AND ETHICS OF GRABBING AND LEAVING, (Little, Brown & Co. 1990) (with annual supplements).
Law Firms and Their Partners Revisited: Reflections on Three Decades of Lawyer Mobility, 96 TEXAS LAW REVIEW 787 (2018).
Donald Weidner and the Modern Law of Partnerships, 43 FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY LAW REVIEW 1111 (2016).
Changing Firms? Transparency and Caution Can Smooth the Process, THE RECORDER (July 15, 2014).
Organizational Choices of Law Firms (with Allison Rhodes and Peter Tran), 16 BUSINESS ENTITIES 16 (July/August 2014).
Partners without Partners, The Legal Status of the Single Person Partnership (with Donald Weidner), (XVII FORDHAM JOURNAL OF BUSINESS AND FINANCIAL LAW 451 (2012)).
The Fiduciary Perspective for New Partners, AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION'S THE YOUNG LAWYER (March, 2011).
Law Firm Risk Management in an Era of Breakups and Lawyer Mobility: Limitations and Opportunities, (in progress, for TEXAS TECH LAW REVIEW Symposium) (2010).
Client Files and Digital Law Practices: Rethinking Old Concepts in an Era of Lawyer Mobility, (with Allison Rhodes) (43 SUFFOLK UNIVERSITY LAW REVIEW 897 (2010)).
Client Choice, Contractual Restraints, and the Market for Legal Services, 36 HOFSTRA LAW REVIEW 65 (2008).
Whatever Happened to the Market for Partners' Desks? The Milberg Indictment as an Inquiry Into Accountability, 2 JOURNAL OF BUSINESS & TECHNOLOGY LAW 415 (2007).
Closely-Held Firms and the Common Law of Fiduciary Duty: What Explains the Enduring Qualities of a Punctilio?, 41 TULSA LAW REVIEW 441 (2006).
The Bargain in the Firm: Partnership Law, Corporate Law and Private Ordering within Closely Held Business Associations, 2005 UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS LAW REVIEW 171.
Ties that Bind and Restraints on Lawyer Competition: Restrictive Covenants as Conditions to Payments of Retirement Benefits, 39 INDIANA LAW REVIEW 1 (2005).
Law, Culture and the Lore of Partnership: Of Entrepreneurs, Accountability, and the Evolving Status of Partners, 40 WAKE FOREST LAW REVIEW 793 (2005).
Law, Corporate Law and Private Ordering within Closely-Held Business Associations, forthcoming in the ILLINOIS LAW REVIEW.
Organizational Choices of Professional Service Firms: An Empirical Study, 58 THE BUSINESS LAWYER 1387 (August, 2003)).
The Property Wars of Law Firms: Of Client Lists, Trade Secrets, and the Fiduciary Duties of Law Partners, 30 FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY LAW REVIEW 767 (2003).
Law Firms as Revolving Doors: The Hidden Costs of Lawyer Mobility, 91 KENTUCKY LAW JOURNAL 299 (2002-03)).
Professional Partnerships, Competition, and the Evolution of Firm Culture: The Case of Law Firms, 26 JOURNAL OF CORP. LAW 1061 (2001).
Business Partners as Fiduciaries: Reflections on the Limitations of Theory, 22 CARDOZO L. REV. 51 (2000).
Basic Principles of U.S. Securities Laws, in Collection of Essays and Articles from the Training Workshop of the Standardization and Development of Securities Markets (Shanghai Joint Publishing Co. 2000).
The Impact of Partnership Law on the Legal Profession, 67 FORD. L. REV. 393 (1998).
Loyalty in the Firm: A Statement of General Principles Applicable to Partners Withdrawing from Law Firms, 55 WASH & LEE L. REV. 997 (1998).
Limited Liability in Historical Perspective, 54 WASH. & LEE L. REV. 613 (1997).
New Forms and New Balances: Managing the External Relations of the Unincorporated Firm, 54 WASH & LEE L. REV. 615 (1997) (symposium introduction).
Terminating Law Partners Can Be a Risky Venture, NAT’L L. J., Nov. 10, 1997, at D1.
RUPA and Former Partners: Cutting the Gordian Knot with Continuing Partnership Entities, 58 LAW AND CONTEMPORARY PROBLEMS 7 (1995).
The Law Firm as Jurassic Park: Comments on Howard v. Babcock, 27 U.C.DAVIS L. REV. 533 (1994).
Cross-Border Investment, Conflict of Laws, and the Privatization of Securities Law, 55 LAW AND CONTEMPORARY PROBLEMS 331 (1992).
Limited Liability and the Externalization of Risk: A Comment on the Death of Partnership, 70 WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY LAW QUARTERLY 477 (1992).
The Truth about Law Firm Divorces, 17 LITIGATION 26 (Spring, 1991) (with Jacob Stein).
Law Firms and their Partners: The Law and Ethics of Grabbing and Leaving, 67 TEXAS LAW REVIEW 1 (1988).
Private Ordering Within Partnerships, 41 UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI LAW REVIEW 425 (1987).
China Trade and Investment, in CURRENT LEGAL ASPECTS OF DOING BUSINESS IN THE PACIFIC BASIN 155 (American Bar Association 1987) (with Sherrill Babcock).
Bringing Managers to Book, 19 U.C. DAVIS LAW REVIEW 253 (1986).
Indissoluble Partnerships, 37 UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA LAW REVIEW 691 (1985).
Providing Effective Legal Representation in International Business Transactions, 19 THE INTERNATIONAL LAWYER 3 (1985).
Power Shared and Power Denied: A Look at Participatory Rights in the Management of General Partnerships, 1984 UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS LAW REVIEW 865.
Misconduct as a Basis for Excluding or Expelling a Partner: Effecting Commercial Divorce and Securing Custody of the Business, 78 NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY LAW REVIEW 527 (1983).
The Dissatisfied Participant in the Solvent Business Venture: A Consideration of the Relative Permanence of Partnerships and Close Corporations, 67 MINNESOTA LAW REVIEW 1 (1982).
Defined Contribution Plans after ERISA, 1977 MAJOR TAX PLANNING 527.
The Unseen Revolution: How Pension Fund Socialism Came to America, 50 SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA LAW REVIEW 593 (1977) (book review).
The Determination Letter Under ERISA, THE PRACTICAL LAWYER (December, 1976).
Lead Author, International Senior Lawyers' Project Report on the Mittal Iron Ore Concession in Liberia, 2006
Lead Author, International Senior Lawyers' Project Report on the Firestone Rubber Concession in Liberia, 2006