William R. Van Buren III

    Office: Norfolk
    Admissions: Virginia


    Bill is Chairman of Kaufman & Canoles and is recognized as a leading lawyer in the areas of mergers and acquisitions, corporate and health care law. He is known for his ability to create unique solutions that facilitate rather than hinder the process. Having grown up in a family business, Bill knows first-hand the challenges of running a company. His expertise as a business advisor comes not only from his legal background but also from his personal experience.

    Bill’s commercial law practice includes corporate law, mergers and acquisitions, banking and finance, capital formation, contract negotiation and health care. His extensive mergers and acquisitions experience involves the full range of M&A transactions including public company mergers, private company acquisitions and dispositions, and strategic investments. In his health care practice, Bill brings together physicians and other health care providers, enabling them to compete in a constantly evolving industry. He enjoys the challenge of crafting a transaction in which everyone involved is satisfied. Because every deal is different, Bill always looks for an innovative approach.

    Bill is a past President of The Virginia Bar Association and the Virginia Law Foundation, and he serves on numerous boards in the community. He earned his law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law and his undergraduate business degree from the College of William & Mary. He was inducted into the 2002 class of Fellows of The Virginia Law Foundation and has been repeatedly recognized in Best Lawyers in America, Chambers USA, Virginia Super Lawyers, and Virginia Business Magazine’s Legal Elite.

    Representative Matters

    Commercial and Mergers & Acquisitions

    • Represented seller of a privately held government contractor in its sale to a public company in a transaction valued in excess of $200,000,000
    • Served as borrower counsel in $165,000,000 high-yield debt financing
    • Represented multiple buyers and sellers of major automobile dealerships, including Toyota, BMW, Chevrolet, Honda and Nissan franchises
    • Served as Virginia counsel to large international hedge fund in proxy contest involving a Fortune 500 company
    • Represented management team of a direct marketing company in connection with $12,000,000 leveraged buy-out from the bankruptcy estate of its parent company and in connection with multiple follow-on acquisitions and divestitures
    • Counseled numerous Boards of Directors on corporate governance matters and shareholder disputes, including service as an expert witness on customary board protocols in two major Virginia cases involving shareholder oppression claims

    Health Care and Senior Housing

    • Facilitated and closed a number of major medical group integrations including Urology of Virginia, PLLC, Northern Virginia Urology, PLLC and New Jersey Urology, PLLC
    • Coordinated the organization and financing of $100,000,000 plus continuing care retirement community project and its subsequent $200,000,000 financing and expansion
    • Represented shareholders of a large medical group in connection with a private equity backed acquisition of nonclinical assets in a transaction valued in excess of $200,000,000

    Recognition & Honors

    • 150 Influential Leaders in Business in Coastal Virginia; CoVaBIZ Magazine, 2024
    • Best Lawyers in America, 1996–2024
    • Top Lawyers; CoVaBIZ, 2017-2020, 2022-2024
    • Virginia 500 – The Power List: Law, Virginia Business Magazine, 2020-2023; Emeritus List, 2024
    • 100 Influential Leaders in Business in Coastal Virginia; CoVaBIZ Magazine, 2023
    • America’s Leading Business Lawyers; Chambers USA; Corporate/Mergers & Acquisitions Law, 2007–2013, 2017-2023
    • Virginia Super Lawyers; Law & Politics, 2007–2015, 2020-2022
    • Go To Lawyer – Business Law; Virginia Lawyers Weekly, 2020
    • Norfolk Health Care Law “Lawyer of the Year”; Best Lawyers in America, 2014
    • William B. Spong, Jr. Professionalism Award; Virginia Bar Association, 2010
    • Virginia Super Lawyers, Corporate Counsel Edition, Law & Politics, 2009
    • Virginia’s Legal Elite; Virginia Business Magazine, 2004–2023
    • The Power List; Inside Business, 2013–2015, 2018-2023
    • Leader in the Law; Virginia Lawyers Weekly, 2007
    • Fellow of the Virginia Law Foundation Class of 2002
    • AV® Rated; Martindale-Hubbell


    • American Bar Association
    • The Virginia Bar Association; Past President, 2006; Commission on Professionalism, Founding Member; Committee on Special Issues of National & State Importance, 2016 – Present; Governance Committee, 2011-2015; Young Lawyers Section, Past Chairman, 1991
    • American Health Lawyers Association
    • Virginia Law Foundation; Past President
    • EVMS Medical Group; Board of Directors
    • Cancer Care Foundation of Tidewater; Board of Directors
    • Fort Norfolk Retirement Community, Inc.; Executive Committee, Board Member; Chairman, Board of Directors, 2010-2013
    • Virginia Symphony Orchestra; Board of Directors
    • Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges; Executive Committee; Board of Trustees, Chairman; Nominating Committee, Chairman
    • Hampton Roads Executive Roundtable; Executive Committee; Governance Committee, Chair
    • Truist Bank; Hampton Roads Regional Advisory Board
    • Norfolk Academy; Board of Trustees, 2011- Present; President, Board of Trustees, 2011-2014
    • Priority Toyota Charity Bowl; Board of Directors
    • LifeNet Chairman’s Cup; Executive Committee
    • Hampton Roads Economic Vision; Member


    • College of William & Mary; B.B.A., 1978
    • University of Virginia School of Law; J.D., 1981
    • TerraLex Harvard Law School Executive Leadership Program; 2018

    Press & Publications