William F. Knowles

Of Counsel

Seattle

(206) 224-1289

(206) 819-4160

(206) 621-8783

Recent News:

More Than 200 Cozen O’Connor Attorneys Named Best Lawyers and Ones to Watch

210 Cozen O’Connor lawyers from 24 of the firm’s nationwide offices for inclusion in the 2023 edition of The Best Lawyers in America.

Bill Knowles focuses his practice on insurance coverage and commercial litigation matters.

Bill advises his clients concerning insurance coverage for a variety of claims, including construction defect, environmental and general liability. He has served in an advisory capacity while claims are pending and represents clients both before and after litigation with the insurer ensues.  In addition, he has extensive experience litigating and trying cases to verdict, including claims regarding product liability, premises liability, unfair competition, contract, construction defect, job site injury and insurance coverage.  Bill has appeared before the appellate courts in Washington, Oregon and the 9th and 10th Circuits, and in trial courts throughout the United States. 

Bill earned his Bachelor of Arts from Washington State University in 1983, and his J.D from Seattle University in 1987.

News

More Than 200 Cozen O’Connor Attorneys Named Best Lawyers and Ones to Watch

August 22, 2022

210 Cozen O’Connor lawyers from 24 of the firm’s nationwide offices for inclusion in the 2023 edition of The Best Lawyers in America.

More Than 205 Cozen O’Connor Attorneys Named Best Lawyers and Ones to Watch By The Best Lawyers In America

August 19, 2021

Best Lawyers selected 210 Cozen O’Connor lawyers from 23 of the firm’s nationwide offices for inclusion in the 2022 edition of The Best Lawyers in America.

Five Cozen O’Connor Attorneys Named to 2021 Washington Super Lawyers List

July 20, 2021

Super Lawyers has named five Cozen O’Connor attorneys to its 2021 list of top practitioners in Washington.

More Than 200 Cozen O’Connor Attorneys Named Best Lawyers and Ones to Watch By The Best Lawyers In America

August 20, 2020

Best Lawyers selected 201 Cozen O’Connor lawyers from 23 of the firm’s nationwide offices for inclusion in the 2021 edition of The Best Lawyers in America© (Copyright 2020 by Woodward/White, Inc., of Aiken, SC).

Five Cozen O’Connor Attorneys Named to 2020 Washington Super Lawyers List

July 17, 2020

Super Lawyers has named five Cozen O’Connor attorneys to its 2020 list of top practitioners in Washington.

Six Cozen O’Connor Attorneys Named to 2019 Washington Super Lawyers List

June 12, 2019

Super Lawyers has named six attorneys at Cozen O’Connor to its 2019 lists of top practitioners in Washington.

Publications

Washington: Third-Party Administrators and Adjusters Can Be Liable in Bad Faith Actions [Avoiding Insurance Bad Faith Blog]

April 14, 2017

On April 11, 2017, the Division III Washington Court of Appeals, on a 2 to 1 vote, held that third party administrators and adjusters can be liable in bad faith actions under multiple legal theories.  Merriman v. Am. Guar. & Liab. Ins. Co., No. 33929-7-III (Apr. 11, 2017). In Merriman, the...

Washington Court Rejects Bad Faith Coverage by Estoppel Because Insured Was Insulated from Liability [Global Insurance Alert]

December 16, 2016

William F. Knowles and Katie M. Sluss discuss a decision by the Division I Washington Court of Appeals that granted partial relief to an insurer and held that if an insured is legally insulated from any exposure to a tort victim, the presumption of harm in a bad faith claim against the insurer is rebutted and there is no coverage by estoppel.

Washington Supreme Court: Corporate Attorney’s Communications With Former Employees Not Privileged [Global Insurance Alert]

October 21, 2016

William Knowles and Jonathan Toren discuss the latest Washington Supreme Court decision regarding the attorney-client privilege and whether it protects a corporation’s attorney’s communications with former employees of the corporation.

Construction Defect: Oregon Supreme Court Strips Wyoming Sawmills Down to the Studs [Global Insurance Alert]

September 28, 2016

Julia A. Molander and William F. Knowles discuss the FountainCourt Homeowners Association v. American Family Mutual Ins. Co. decision holds that eviscerated the seminal case of Wyoming Sawmills v. Transportation Ins. Co.

Oregon Adopts Covenants Not To Execute/Assignments [Global Insurance Alert]

December 01, 2015

the Supreme Court of Oregon overturned 42 years of precedent, holding that Stubblefield v. St. Paul Fire & Marine erred when it decided that a covenant not to execute given in exchange for an assignment of rights, by itself, creates a release that dissolves an insured’s liability and, by extension, the insurer’s liability as well.

Education

  • Seattle University, J.D., 1987
  • Washington State University, B.A., 1983

Awards & Honors

Super Lawyers (Washington) 2007-2021

Best Lawyers in America 2021-2023

  • Oregon
  • Washington
  • Idaho
  • Oregon Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Federal Claims
  • U.S. District Court -- Eastern District of Washington
  • U.S. District Court -- Western District of Washington
  • Washington Supreme Court
  • Idaho Supreme Court
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Court -- Idaho
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court -- Idaho
  • Defense Research Institute
  • King County Bar Association
  • Oregon State Bar Association
  • Washington State Bar Association
  • Washington State Defense Trial Lawyers Association