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William F. Ferreira

Washington, D.C.

William F. Ferreira

Institutions around the globe turn to Bill for deep experience in international programs, federal grants, and research compliance.

Two projects shaped the early years of Bill's practice: establishing a dozen foreign outposts to operate academic programs around the globe, and supporting one of the largest federal investigations into government grants and research. Years later, Bill remains firmly embedded in international transactions, government grants and contracts, and sponsored research. He advises institutions doing business with the U.S. government and abroad.

A trusted advisor on international initiatives, Bill serves as counsel to many colleges, universities, hospitals, and global organizations. Operating at the forefront of the globalization of higher education and research, Bill's team has handled campuses in Asia, medical research in Africa, collaborative degrees in the Middle East, and study abroad sites in Europe. On-the-ground practical experience across dozens of countries informs Bill's solutions to the challenges of overseas operation, international employment, foreign sites, and federally funded programs.

Plugged into the federal grants and research compliance landscape, Bill works extensively on audits, investigations, and sponsored research matters. He guides organizations in cost accounting and administration of grants and cooperative agreements under the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) Uniform Guidance, research misconduct matters, human subjects and animal research, intellectual property, and False Claims Act actions. In addition to clinical trial agreements and commercialization initiatives, Bill has handled some of the most innovative scientific research collaborations nationally and internationally.

Bill serves on the firm's South Africa Management Committee and speaks regularly around the world about cross-border education and research projects.

Representative experience

Guiding the establishment of foreign offices and branch sites in Africa, the Middle East, and South America, for education and humanitarian programs.

Serving on the International Operations Steering Committee of a major academic institution with student and research programs in 50 countries.

Serving as lead international counsel to one of the largest public universities in the United States.

Defending an organization in a DHHS Office of Inspector General audit of salary and non-salary transactions submitted for reimbursement under grants.

Guiding a multistate medical institution to investigate and disclose whistleblower allegations of unallowable costs under federal awards.

Leading a compliance team that reviewed an organization's operations across Africa and the Middle East.

Education and admissions


  • J.D., magna cum laude, Order of the Coif, Georgetown University Law Center
  • B.A., summa cum laude, University of Notre Dame


  • Member, Federal Bar Association
  • Member, National Association of College and University Attorneys (NACUA)
  • Member, National Council of University Research Administrators (NCURA)
  • Member, Section of Public Contract Law, American Bar Association
  • Member, Society of Research Administrators (SRA) 

Bar admissions and qualifications

  • District of Columbia
  • Illinois

Court admissions

  • U.S. Court of Federal Claims
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