Burr & Forman

William "Lee" Thuston

William “Lee” Thuston Headshot
  • LL.M., Taxation, New York University
  • J.D., Cumberland School of Law at Samford University
  • B.A., University of Virginia



  • American Bar Association
  • Alabama State Bar
  • Tennessee Bar Association
  • Birmingham Bar Association, President - 2005
  • Alabama Automotive Manufacturers Association, Board of Directors
  • Birmingham Business Alliance, Executive Committee
  • Economic Development Partnership of Alabama, Corporate Secretary
  • Named, Chambers USA, "Eminent Practitioner" in Corporate/Commercial (2018-2021)
  • Named, Chambers USA, Leading Practitioner in Corporate/Commercial (2003-2018)
  • Birmingham Business Journal, "CEO of the Year," Large Company Category (2015)
  • The Best Lawyers in America®️, "Lawyer of the Year," Economic Development Law, Birmingham, Alabama (2015, 2021)
  • The Best Lawyers in America®️, Corporate Law (2006-2022), Economic Development Law (1999-2022), Mergers and Acquisitions Law (2022)
  • Lifetime Achievement Award, Alabama Wildlife Federation Conservation (2015)
  • Mid-South Super Lawyers, Business/Corporate (2016-2018)
  • Alabama Super Lawyers, Business/Corporate (2008-2015)
  • Birmingham Business Journal, "Most Influential Executives," Named to the list for his role in some of Alabama's largest economic development success stories (2014)
  • UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center, Board of Directors and past Board President
  • Alabama Wildlife Federation, Board of Directors and past Board President

| Birmingham, AL

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Business & Succession Planning Corporate Economic Development Tax Law Trusts & Estates Planning Mergers & Acquisitions


Automotive Manufacturing

“Our goal is to foster forever relationships. We build trust and make a commitment to our clients because results matter. And it all begins with our people.”

As Chairman, Lee oversees the firm’s Executive Committee as well as strategic initiatives, business development, and client service programs. Prior to becoming Chairman, Lee served as Firm Managing Partner since 2005. Lee practices in the Corporate/Tax practice group where he focuses on economic development, business, and succession planning, trusts and estates, and tax law.

A driving force behind Alabama’s economic development, Lee has played a large role in some of the State’s major manufacturing deals which include serving as Alabama Counsel during the site selection and negotiation processes for Mercedes-Benz U.S. International, Inc.; Mi-Tech Steel, Inc.; and IPSCO Steel when these companies chose to locate their facilities in Alabama. His experience in the automotive industry also involves assisting Honda Manufacturing of Alabama with the implementation of its incentives package with the State for the development of its plant in Lincoln, AL, as well as assisting Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama, LLC with the implementation of its incentive package with the State for the development of its plant in Montgomery, AL. He represented Honda in the establishment of its transmission manufacturing facility in Tallapoosa, GA in 2004. Additionally, Lee was instrumental in boosting the State’s profile in the aerospace industry by working with public and private entities to create a desirable environment – legally, tax-wise, economically, and socially – to attract Airbus to build a manufacturing facility in Mobile, AL.

Lee wanted to become a lawyer after discovering his passion for serving clients. With a long-storied career of representing clients across the Southeast, Lee still finds the variety of each case, and the opportunity to be a trusted business advisor for his long-term manufacturing, automotive, and transportation clients, rewarding. With a focus on the firm’s overall approach, Lee puts much of his effort into leading by example and bringing out the best in others. Considering himself a fixer, he continually strives to solve impossible problems and to show his clients how well the law can work for them through his efforts.

When away from work, Lee enjoys spending time with his five grandchildren, hunting, and fishing.

Lee earned his LL.M. in Taxation from New York University and his J.D. from the Cumberland School of Law at Samford University.