Photo of R. Willis  Orton

R. Willis Orton

Kirton McConkie Building
50 East South Temple
Suite 400
Salt Lake City, UT 84111

Related Info

Mr. Orton is a member of the firm's Litigation section. His practice concentrates in complex business litigation including real estate, banking, securities fraud, antitrust, fiduciary, intellectual property, and shareholder litigation. As a former Chair of the Litigation Section of the Utah State Bar, his respect by his peers has been confirmed by his repeated selection as one of Utah's Legal Elite as well as a Mountain States Super Lawyer.

Mr. Orton is featured in Benchmark Litigation 2016-2018 as a litigation star for commercial litigation, in Best Lawyers©:  Litigation-Real Estate, and was elected as a 2017 America’s Top 100 High Stakes Litigator.



Representative Matters

  • Client awarded and paid $16 million judgment in federal court fiduciary lawsuit.
  • Local counsel for ESOP trustee fiduciary successfully defending consolidated class action seeking one of the largest ESOP damage awards ($186 million) in United States ESOP litigation history.  Plaintiffs were owners of Mona Vie, Inc. common stock in the Mona Vie ESOP.

  • Represented majority shareholder of Utah's largest and oldest department store in successfully negotiating sale of store in the face of claims of oppression of minority shareholders.

  • Litigated wrongful termination claim and negotiated seven figure settlement from a public traded company in favor of individual client.
  • Secured $700,000 jury verdict in federal securities fraud trial.
  • Client municipality's summary judgment award dismissing shareholder derivative claims upheld on appeal.
  • Client awarded over $1.4 million in settlement of shareholder derivative claim following entry of injunction prohibiting opposing party from operating business and destroying its value.
  • Following mediation, client awarded seven figure settlement of buy-out claims relating to his interest in mine drilling venture.
  • Received no cause verdict in favor of Utah bank charged in $45 million racketeering jury trial.





University of Utah, S.J. Quinney School of Law, J.D., 1981

Brigham Young University, B.S., magna cum laude, 1977

Bar Admissions

  • Utah, 1981
Other Admissions
  • United States Supreme Court, 2000
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, 2010
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, 1995
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, 1992
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, 1984
  • United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, 1991
  • United States District Court for the Northern District of California, 1989
  • United States District Court for the District of Utah, 1981

Honors & Awards

  • America’s Top 100 High Stakes Litigators: 2018
  • Best Lawyers, Litigation - Real Estate: 2017
  • Benchmark Litigation, Litigation Star: 2016 - 2018
  • Fellow, Litigation Counsel of America
  • Utah Legal Elite: 2005 - present
  • Super Lawyers, Business: Business Litigation, 2011
  • Mountain States Super Lawyers: Business Litigation 2007, 2009, 2010, 2014 - 2017
  • Super Lawyers, Corporate Counsel, 2008, 2010
  • Elected to Marquis "Who's Who in American Law," 1999 - present
  • Elected to the "Outstanding Young Men of America," 1986
  • Kirton McConkie, Board of Directors, 2000 - 2006
  • Kirton McConkie, Hiring Committee, Chair, 2001 - 2002


Utah State Bar, Litigation Section, Chair, 2001-2002

American Inn of Court, a society dedicated to the improvement of oral advocacy and the litigation process (has been a member of two chapters)

Model Jury Instructions of Utah (MUJI), Business Torts Subcommittee responsible for drafting the Utah State model jury instructions for business torts, Chair


  • Firm Co-Representative
  • Co-Chair, Litigation and ADR Specialty Group, 2008 to 2014
  • Co-Chair, Competition and Antitrust Specialty group, 2015 to present

Community/Civic Involvement

Boy Scouts of America, Former Scoutmaster

Rotary Club