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Closing transactions effectively and efficiently is all about clearing a path forward – identifying the issues that really matter and sometimes conceding on those that don’t. I am always focused on finding ways to lead all parties and their attorneys to a successful resolution.

Chambers LogoBill McElveen is ranked Band 1 in Banking and Finance in South Carolina by Chambers USA.

Bill has a diverse real estate development and banking and finance practice, serving clients throughout the Southeast. With more than 30 years of experience, Bill advises private equity firms, REITs and local real estate developers on a variety of projects including office, hotel and retail development, industrial projects, historic rehabilitation projects, brownfield developments, healthcare facilities, student housing projects, educational facilities, and condominium projects.

He also counsels clients on commercial lending matters. Bill serves as counsel to national and regional banks, life insurance companies and other institutional lenders on office and retail development projects, industrial facilities, asset-based financings, credit enhancements to support bond financing, dormitory and sports complex financings for educational institutions, and troubled debt restructuring and workouts. He also provides legal opinions on the enforceability of mortgages and related security instruments.

With a practice evenly divided between real estate development and commercial lending, Bill brings an understanding of key issues in a real estate deal from both the developer’s and the lender’s perspectives.

Bill received his J.D. from the University of South Carolina School of Law in 1984, and he earned his Bachelor of Science in Accounting from the University of South Carolina in 1980.

I get a special satisfaction with deals involving brownfield sites or the rehabilitation of historic properties. It’s rewarding to guide clients through a process which enables them to reclaim something and make it useable and valuable again.


  • University of South Carolina School of Law, J.D., 1984
  • University of South Carolina, B.S., 1980

Bar Admissions

  • South Carolina

Court Admissions

  • South Carolina
  • United States District Court, District of South Carolina

Community Involvement

Bill previously served on the boards of Hammond School and Junior Achievement of the Midlands.

Bill currently serves on the Executive Committee of the Midlands Business Leadership Group, and on the Board of Directors for The Midlands Housing Alliance, Inc. which operates Transitions Homeless Center.


  • Chambers USA - Recognized Practitioner in Banking & Finance: South Carolina, 2024
  • AV® Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
  • Legal Elite of the Midlands - Commercial Real Estate, Corporate Law - Banking & Finance, Columbia Business Monthly, 2017, 2020, 2023
  • South Carolina Super Lawyers® (by Thomson Reuters) Real Estate, Banking 2008-2009, 2014-2018, 2020, 2022
  • Best Lawyers® - Banking and Finance Law, Real Estate Law; Lawyer of the Year in Columbia - Banking and Finance Law, 2018; Real Estate Law, 2024

Professional Affiliations & Memberships

An active member of the South Carolina Bar, Bill is a member of the Corporate, Banking and Securities Section and the Real Estate Practices Section – of which he is a past chair. He currently serves on the Executive Committee of the Midlands Business Leadership Group and previously served on the board of the Columbia Chamber of Commerce.

Bill's additional experience includes:

  • Rehabilitation of two vacant department store buildings to create a multi-level office building, art museum and public plaza.
  • Conversion of a historic downtown office tower to residential apartments utilizing conventional bank financing and tax credit financing.
  • Development of waterfront multifamily projects in Columbia, SC, Charlotte, NC and Nashville, TN.
  • Developer counsel on a planned mixed use project in Columbia, SC, to include multifamily, hotel and office uses.
  • Bank counsel on numerous tax exempt loans to hospitals, educational institutions and various non-profit organizations.
  • Bank counsel on secured credit facilities to support acquisition and development activities for a regional homebuilder on projects in several states in the Southeast.
  • Counsel for a national agricultural lender on securitized loans for properties located throughout the Southeast.