William J. Burke, III

Firm: Unruh Turner Burke & Frees
Location: West Chester - PA

  • 17 West Gay Street, Suite 200
    West Chester, PA 19380
  • Tel : 610.692.1371
  • Fax : N/A

Bill Burke is a founding member of Unruh Turner Burke & Frees, and has been practicing real estate and business law in Chester County for more than three decades. Bill advises on commercial and other real estate transactions and development initiatives, corporate and business acquisitions, taxation, 1031 exchanges, and formation and general representation of closely held companies.

Bill is valued by clients and colleagues for his legal intellect, practical approach to problem-solving, business judgment, and skill in negotiating and closing sophisticated transactions, and tackling complex real estate title problems or other challenges that might arise in a deal.

Practical and thoughtful, Bill personally cares about realizing each client’s objectives. A direct communicator, Bill tells his clients what he thinks and what he believes are reasonable expectations and outcomes for the matter at hand. As a result, clients appreciate his direct approach to problem-solving.

Bill’s clients include privately held commercial real estate developers, homebuilders, land trusts, closely-held businesses, investors and individuals. He represents such clients in connection with the acquisition, sale, financing, leasing and development of commercial properties and land intended for residential, commercial and retail development. He advises clients on the structure of, and creates documents pertaining to, residential and commercial condominiums and planned communities. He represents conservation organizations as well as landowners in the negotiation, interpretation and enforcement of conservation easements. Bill also represents closely-held businesses in connection with the formation and governance of business entities, and drafting organizational documents such as partnership agreements, operating agreements and shareholder agreements, as well as in connection with business sales and acquisitions. In addition, he represents both financial institutions and borrowers in connection with the documentation and closing of construction, acquisition and other financing transactions.

Bill has been listed numerous times as a “Pennsylvania Super Lawyer” in Philadelphia Magazine, and as a “Top Lawyer” by Main Line Today Magazine and has been recognized in Best Lawyers in America®. He holds a preeminent “AV” rating from Martindale Hubbell, recognizing superior legal ability as judged by his peers.

Practice Areas

  • Real Estate Development
  • Real Estate Transactions
  • Condominiums and Planned Communities
  • Business Planning & Organizations
  • Business Transactions
  • Business Succession
  • Governmental
  • Taxation



  • Dickinson School of Law, J.D. (1984)
    • Member, Woolsack Honor Society
  • New York University, LL.M., Taxation (1988)
  • Dickinson College (1981)
    • B.A., Philosophy, cum laude


  • Supreme Court of Pennsylvania (1984)


  • Chester County Bar Association

Pennsylvania Bar Association

Unruh Turner Burke & Frees

Unruh Turner Burke & Frees has one of the most active and well-respected real estate practice groups in the region, serving clients who range from some of the most prominent and respected residential and commercial developers in the area to individual real estate investors and individual homeowners.

Whether our client is acquiring and developing raw land for a commercial office park or shopping center, or buying or selling the family farm or home, our comprehensive understanding of real estate law and our extensive experience in negotiating and handling myriad real estate transactions enable us to guide our clients through transactions ranging from simple to sophisticated and complex, and to help our clients achieve successful results in a wide range of commercial, real estate and residential real estate transactions and projects.

Unruh Turner Burke & Frees’ real estate development practice integrates the resources of our first rate land use and real estate transactional attorneys who, working closely with our clients and other members of the development team, guide our clients through the various phases and potential pitfalls of their residential, commercial or retail development projects.

Our long established and active real estate tax assessment group represents both commercial and residential owners as well as various taxing authorities. Our experience provides our attorneys with a comprehensive understanding of tax assessment law. We put our depth of knowledge to work for our clients to guide them through the tax assessment process, from evaluating whether a real estate assessment is appropriate, to litigating our client’s matter through trial and, if necessary, the appellate courts. We have represented hundreds of owners of a wide range of properties.