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Williams Mullen


Williams Mullen - Richmond
  • Williams Mullen Center
  • 200 South 10th Street
  • Suite 1600
  • Richmond
  • Virginia
  • USA
  • VA 23219
  • Tel:804 420 6000
  • Fax:804 420 6507
  • Email:Contact Us
  • Web:Visit website
  • Chief Executive Officer & President: Thomas R Frantz
  • Chief Operating Officer: Craig L Rascoe
  • Number of partners: 189
  • Number of other lawyers: 61

Firm Overview: Williams Mullen is an AmLaw 200 firm that blends the law, government relations and economic development to help grow the business of its clients.With 250 attorneys and consultants throughout North Carolina,Virginia and Washington,DC, the firm focuses on finding solutions that help its clients’ businesses thrive in today’s economy.

Main Areas of Practice:
Williams Mullen advises clients on complex business transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, dispositions of subsidiaries or other assets, corporate restructurings and recapitalizations, tender offers,proxy contests, private transactions,management and leveraged buyouts, holding company formations, spinoffs, and liquidations. They have extensive experience in all major areas of corporate finance, public company reporting and compliance, and corporate governance. President & CEO, Thomas R. Frantz, a ten-time Chambers-ranked attorney, practices with this group which includes several Chambers-ranked attorneys.
Infrastructure, Energy & Environmental: Chaired by nine-time Chambers-ranked attorney Channing J Martin, the Environmental practice assists clients in infrastructure, energy and environmental facilities procurement, project development and financing, energy commodity supply and delivery, renewable energy transactions, public- private partnerships, carbon finance and emissions reductions, water and transportation projects, wetlands remediation, brownfield redevelopment, emissions retrofits, and efficiency adaptation. They represent public utilities, governmental authorities, private developers, investors and end-users in domestic and international transactions and in proceedings in courts and regulatory agencies.
Financial Services: Including a dedicated Banking Industry Service Group, the firm counsels clients on financing transactions, including commercial, real estate, asset based, bond and tax advantaged financings, structured finance, syndications, asset securitizations, creditors’ rights, workouts, restructures, bankruptcies and regulatory compliance.They represent financial institutions in corporate governance, securities offerings, mergers and acquisitions, executive compensation, infrastructure technology, intellectual property, new financial products, internet banking litigation, lender liability litigation, operations and UCC matters.
Government Relations: The firm represents businesses, associations and individuals in a wide range of government-related actions at the federal, state and local levels.Extensive work is done with legislative bodies, administrative and executive branch agencies, and with independent entities.Legislative activities involve actively counseling and advocating for clients on issues before Congress and the Virginia and North Carolina General Assemblies. Hon. Ralph L.“Bill”Axselle, a nine-time Chambersranked attorney, is chair of the firm’s State Government Relations practice.
Intellectual Property: Chaired by nine-time Chambers-ranked attorney, Craig L. Mytelka, the firm provides legal counsel on all areas of intellectual property, technology, information systems and advertising law.The team represents clients in disputes involving licensing, infringement, trade secret, antitrust and unfair competition matters before the US Patent and Trademark Office and in all US courts.
Labor & Employment: Chaired by five-time Chambers-ranked attorney, David C.Burton, this practice advises employers on human resources issues to minimize liability and comply with applicable laws. They represent clients before administrative agencies, arbitrators, and in court. Additionally, the attorneys represent employers facing threats of unionization and those with organized workforces. There are five Chambers-ranked attorneys in this practice, including chairman of the board of directors, James V. Meath, who has been Chambers ranked nine times.
Litigation: The firm’s litigators, including three Chambers-ranked attorneys, practice in all US courts and have substantial expertise and experience in resolving a variety of cases through mediation, arbitration, administrative proceeding and civil and criminal trials. The practice includes: an Appellate practice led by former North Carolina Solicitor General Christopher G. Browning, Jr.; a White Collar and Investigations practice led by former Assistant US Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia John Staige Davis, V; an Attorneys General and State Agencies practice led by former Virginia Chief Deputy Attorney General Charles E. “Chuck”James, Jr; and a leading eDiscovery and Information Governance practice.
Real Estate: This Band 1-ranked practice, including four Chambersranked attorneys, counsels clients on all aspects of real estate development and finance for multi-family housing and commercial property. They counsel on land use and zoning, leasing, acquisitions and sales, and complex financings.The attorneys have specialized experience such as retail roll-outs, tax deferred exchanges, enterprise bonds, multi-state acquisitions and dispositions, and syndicated tax credits.
Tax & Employee Benefits: The firm assists publicly and privately held corporations with international, federal, state and local tax matters, as well as the tax aspects of transacting business in foreign jurisdictions.They have significant experience with mergers and acquisitions and tax controversies, which includes representation in connection with audits, appeals and litigation of federal and state tax matters. The Employee Benefits practice, chaired by eight-time Chambers-ranked attorney Catherine M. “Kate” Marriott, advises employers concerning qualified retirement plans, health and welfare benefits, stockbased compensation techniques and executive compensation arrangements.

International Work: Williams Mullen’s International attorneys have a wealth of experience providing counsel in international trade and trade-policy matters,immigration, international tax matters and international business transactions. Whether the goal is to penetrate foreign markets, address unfair trade practices, move people or products out of or into the country, open the US market or otherwise respond to a competitive situation, the firm is able to provide strategic solutions and advice.

Clients: The firmhas dedicated Industry Service Groups to meet the unique needs of clients in: Construction (chaired by Chambers-rankedRobert K.Cox); Economic Development; Financial Services; Technology & Software (co-chaired by Chambers-ranked Aaron Spencer and RobVan Arnam); Insurance Brokerage; Long Term Care; Manufacturing (chaired by Chambers-ranked Sean M Sullivan; Retail (chaired by Chambers-ranked William A. Old, Jr.); and Transportation & Logistics.



  • 1666 K Street NW,
  • Suite 1200,
  • Washington, DC,
  • District of Columbia
  • USA
  • DC 20006
  • Tel 202 833 9200
  • Fax 202 293 5939
  • 4721 Emporer Boulevard,
  • Suite 400,
  • Durham,
  • North Carolina
  • USA
  • NC 27703
  • Tel 919 361 4900
  • Fax 919 361 2262
  • 301 Fayetteville Street,
  • Suite 1700,
  • Raleigh,
  • North Carolina
  • USA
  • NC 27601
  • Tel 919 981 4000
  • Fax 919 981 4300
  • 300 North Third Street,
  • Suite 420,
  • Wilmington,
  • North Carolina
  • USA
  • NC 28401
  • Tel 910 256 5135
  • Fax 910 256 6451
  • 321 East Main Street,
  • Suite 400,
  • Charlottesville,
  • Virginia
  • USA
  • VA 22902-3200
  • Tel 434 951 5700
  • Fax 434 817 0977
  • 8300 Greensboro Drive,
  • Suite 1100,
  • McLean,
  • Virginia
  • USA
  • VA 22102
  • Tel 703 760 5200
  • Fax 703 748 0244
  • Fountain Plaza Three,
  • Suite 200,
  • 721 Lakefront Commons,
  • Newport News,
  • Virginia
  • USA
  • VA 23606-3324
  • Tel 757 249 5100
  • Fax 757249 5109
  • 1700 Dominion Tower,
  • 999 Waterside Drive,
  • Norfolk,
  • Virginia
  • USA
  • VA 23510
  • Tel 757 622 3366
  • Fax 757 629 0660
  • 355 Crawford Street,
  • Suite 600,
  • Portsmouth,
  • Virginia
  • USA
  • VA 23704-2823
  • Tel 757 391 3366
  • Fax 757 391 3363
  • 222 Central Park Avenue,
  • Suite 1700,
  • Virginia Beach,
  • Virginia
  • USA
  • VA 23462
  • Tel 757 499 8800
  • Fax 757 473 0395

Corporate/M&A - North Carolina

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Environment - North Carolina

THE FIRM Williams Mullen offers a skilled team with long experience of regulatory, compliance, litigation and permitting issues together with established contacts within both state and federal agencies. The group is practiced in handling air pollution, hazardous waste, wetlands permitting and Superfund cleanup matters, and on behalf of a client recently drafted a response on the EPA’s proposed changes to the definition of solid waste. Its clients include KmX Chemical, the City of Oxford and Watts Water Technologies.

Sources say: "The firm is responsive; they know the rules and are able to explain them in an understandable manner."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Hailed as "one of the deans of the environmental Bar," Amos Dawson is a certified mediator in addition to his extensive experience in environmental law.

Intellectual Property - North Carolina

THE FIRM Williams Mullen's IP practice is based in Raleigh and continues to grow its presence in North Carolina. The group is well regarded for its IP litigation, licensing and prosecution services, with a particularly strong track record representing technology companies, especially digital media and software companies. The group's clients include QlikTech and Arysta LifeScience.

Sources say: "Their professionalism and expertise in dealing with various issues has been outstanding." 

KEY INDIVIDUALS Rob Van Arnam is an experienced IP attorney with a focus on licensing and litigation. A source describes him as "a very good communicator – the complete package. A strong lawyer."

Labor & Employment - North Carolina

THE FIRM This firm is recognized for its strengths in handling traditional labor law issues including union avoidance, collective bargaining and defending employers in claims of unfair labor practices. Drawing on the firm's Virginia offices, the North Carolina group is able to offer greater capacity to serve its varied client base.

KEY INDIVIDUALS Michael Lord is an experienced labor and employment lawyer who is known for his employment litigation, advice and counseling practice.

Real Estate - North Carolina

THE FIRM Williams Mullen is particularly recognized for its ability to handle transactional real estate issues, specifically leasing. The group is also noted for its land use and litigation capabilities, which allow it to represent various institutional lenders as well as real estate developers.

KEY INDIVIDUALS David Dorton has extensive experience in dealing with commercial real estate acquisitions, financing, leasing and development.

Corporate/M&A - Southern Virginia

THE FIRM This group offers considerable expertise on matters ranging from M&A, corporate restructuring and company formation to venture capital financing and private equity. In recent highlights, the firm represented Lumber Liquidators, the largest specialty retailer of hardwood flooring in the USA, in its acquisition of Sequoia Flooring. Other clients include Markel Ventures and Dollar Tree Stores.

Sources say: "We have been impressed with them. We find them very responsive, and they provide a good service in a fashion that fits well with the deal."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Thomas Frantz is praised for his "good legal mind and excellent business background." One client said: "He is one of the best lawyers that I have ever worked with." Recent work includes advising Amerigroup on its acquisition of Health Plus Prepaid Health Services Plan as well as on its sale of Amerigroup Virginia to Inova.

Intellectual Property - Southern Virginia

THE FIRM The IP group at Williams Mullen is ever-present in trademark and patent cases in the region. The group is well known for its expertise in patent issues, and for its noteworthy experience in IP matters occurring in the gaming and defense technology fields. Its key clients include Agio International, Massimo Zanetti Beverage USA, and Premier Exhibitions.

Sources say: "They are excellent, with great knowledge and efficiency." "They're professional and very sharp, but they engage with you in a casual and comfortable way."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Craig Mytelka heads the IP group and is "incredibly knowledgeable," according to sources, many of whom also highlight his tenacity and accessibility. His far-ranging practice spans trademark, unfair competition, trade secrets, patents, and domestic and international licensing.

Real Estate - Southern Virginia

THE FIRM This leading firm earns widespread praise for its commercial real estate practice and for its involvement in high-level transactions and land use matters. In notable highlights, the group represented Riverbend Management and S.J. Collins Enterprises in a zoning hearing relating to the Fifth Street Station project. Other clients include Gilbane Development Company and Trinitas Ventures.

Sources say: "They are truly the best in the business."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Howard Gordon "delivers top-notch work," say sources. His practice covers commercial and multifamily real estate, ground leases and land use planning, and he was recently involved in the development of Wards Corner.

Ralph Axselle is highly regarded for his long experience in this field. He offers considerable expertise across a wide area of law, including land use, regulatory, lobbying and administrative law.

Environment - Virginia

THE FIRM This team offers support on the full range of environmental matters, and has been particularly active of late representing manufacturers in air and land contamination issues. It has particularly strong experience in matters connected to brownfields developments, CWA and CAA issues. In addition to this, it is a valued adviser in M&A and construction transactions with environmental considerations. It recently assisted Commonwealth Atlantic-Spotsylvania with managing the investigation and remediation of the 38-acre LA Clarke Superfund Site.

Sources say: "We had an outstanding experience with them."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Channing Martin impresses clients, with one saying: "He helps us really understand our risks and our direction in full; he is very accessible and personable, and gives outstanding advice." He is involved in a substantial amount of property and cleanup work, as well as enforcement and litigation.

Shortly prior to publication, John Daniel joined the team from Troutman Sanders. Clients appreciate that Daniel has developed impressive relationships around the region. He is widely regarded as one of the strongest environment lawyers in Virginia.

Also making the move from Troutman Sanders is Lynne Rhode.  Rhode has advised clients on diverse topics, including air and water permitting, alternative energy projects and animal law matters.

Labor & Employment - Virginia

THE FIRM Williams Mullen is commended for the skill and expertise of its attorneys, and focuses on all aspects of labor law. Its extensive employment law expertise sees it represent management in a wide range of litigation and arbitration. Its recent work includes successfully representing Hampton Roads Transit in a case concerning its collective bargaining agreement.

Sources say: "The attorneys with Williams Mullens have a great Southern charm, and I really can't say enough about them. They have not only met expectations but exceeded them."

KEY INDIVIDUALS James Meath has long-standing experience in advising both private and public sector clients on a range of labor and employment matters. He is lauded by clients as "highly skilled, very diligent and accessible."

David Burton chairs the labor and employment practice. Sources highlight him as a "knowledgeable, very experienced, responsive and practical" attorney. 

Catherine Marriott heads the employee benefits practice. Her expertise spans a wide range of matters, including pension and welfare matters as well as incentive and executive compensation.

Lynn Jacob has expertise in a number of different areas of employment law. She is commended as a particularly effective employment litigator, and also handles noncontentious matters. Enthusiastic peers describe her as "tenacious" and "fantastic at identifying solutions."

Associate Nelson Wilkinson is one of the rising stars of the team. He is particularly well versed in employment discrimination matters, including age, race and sex discrimination.

Litigation - Virginia

THE FIRM Clients seek this team out for a full range of advice on commercial litigation and internal investigations. Recent highlights include advising Selective Way Insurance on a case involving an allegedly fraudulent insurance claim following Hurricane Isabel. The group is also representing Honeywell International in a product liability case regarding one of the company's aviation autopilot systems.

Sources say: "I was very impressed. They are responsive, knowledgeable, and their advice is spot on."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Richmond-based William Bayliss is known for being a gifted advocate on behalf of his clients. He has a broad commercial litigation practice, but is particularly well known for his professional liability and product liability work.

William Devine is another practitioner renowned for his breadth of practice. He often advises major national clients on disputes taking place around the country, yet remains a top choice for local clients.