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Dr. William (Bill) Onorato

Dr. William T. (Bill) Onorato consults for companies, governments, and multilateral development agencies on international oil and gas contracts, regulatory frameworks, joint development zones, and petroleum-related legal regimes as well as international dispute resolution.


As the former Legal Adviser, Energy & Mining, The World Bank, Washington, D.C., Bill served for more than 16 years as the principal legal adviser to the Bank’s worldwide petroleum, energy, electric power, and mining sector lending programs, which averaged $1.5 billion annually during his tenure.


He provided expert legal and policy advice to member governments at the ministerial and State enterprise levels on exploration promotion projects, electric power and mining legislation, regulations, offering terms, model contracts, and exploration and development policies and legal frameworks.  He also coordinated technical assistance to these governments on diverse matters, including contractual regimes, project implementation, re-structuring, regulation, procurement, and facilitation-intermediation with private sector investors.


Bill regularly undertook operational missions in Asia, Africa, Latin America, Europe, the Republics of the Former Soviet Union including Central Asia, and the Middle East.  He participated in full project cycles, including the identification, preparation, structuring, negotiation, documentation, implementation and supervision of Bank energy and mining projects. He also had extensive interaction with international oil, mining and power companies to promote cooperative exploration and development programs and projects on behalf of Bank member States.


Prior to joining the World Bank, Bill amassed more than 15 years of international law and business experience, while serving in senior positions at Chevron Corporation, Getty Oil Company, and Chrysler International S.A.


He has served as a party-designated Arbitrator in a petroleum-related ICC arbitration and is a designated Arbitrator and Expert to the Cairo Regional Centre for International Commercial Arbitration, Zamalek, Cairo, Egypt.


Bill has been an Adjunct Professor in international business law, including natural resources law, at St. John’s College, Cambridge; The University of Notre Dame Law School, London Program; The University of California at Berkeley; and Georgetown University Law Center in Washington.

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  • University of Pennsylvania
    Law School (J.D.)

  • Cornell University (B.A.)

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