Paul S. Williams Partner

Paul S. Williams


Advising the Board of Directors: What It Means to Be the Corporate Secretary January 3, 2018 Corporate Secretarya title often given to the GC o... Read More
Credentials or Outcomes: What’s the Fairest Way to Assess Lawyer Performance? July 17, 2017 Why lawyers should embrace modern methods of measu... Read More
Diversity and Inclusion August 1, 2016 Our consultants believe in fostering an inclusive ... Read More
Diversifying the Boardroom July 18, 2016 Different boards are in different places in their ... Read More
The Governance Responsibility to Increase Board Diversity July 8, 2016 Attention to cultural diversity in the U.S. has pr... Read More
Diversifying Law Firms Requires a Mindset Change October 12, 2015 For the diversity challenge to really be addressed... Read More
What to Expect as a New General Counsel September 8, 2015 Partner Paul Williams along with well-respected ge... Read More

In the News

Lawdragon Names Four MLA Recruiters to its “100 Leading Legal Consultants and Strategists” List for 2018 July 11, 2018 MLA congratulates Amanda K. Brady, Jane Sullivan R... Read More
Paul Williams Named One of the Most Influential Black Corporate Directors by Savoy Magazine and One of Chicago United’s Business Leaders of Color for 2017 November 16, 2017 Paul S. Williams, has been named to Savoys 2017 Mo... Read More
Legal Search Firm Major, Lindsey & Africa Places Karen Jensen Petrulakis as General Counsel at Wellesley College, Boston September 19, 2017 Karen Jensen Petrulakis has been named to the newl... Read More
Major, Lindsey & Africa Places Lanesha Minnix as General Counsel of BMC Stock Holdings June 1, 2017 Lanesha Minnix has been placed as Senior Vice Pres... Read More
Major, Lindsey & Africa Places Ketan K. Patel as General Counsel at Forest City Realty Trust, Inc. May 22, 2017 Ketan K. Patel has been placed as Executive Vice P... Read More
Major, Lindsey & Africa Retained by Boston Scientific to Find a Successor for Retiring General Counsel May 10, 2017 Major, Lindsey Africa has been retained by Boston... Read More
Major, Lindsey & Africa Places Norman D. Finch Jr. as General Counsel at Illinois Tool Works January 30, 2017 Norman D. Finch Jr. has been placed as senior vice... Read More
Major, Lindsey & Africa Places Rebecca W. House as Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary at Rockwell Automation Inc. in Milwaukee January 17, 2017 Major, Lindsey Africa announces the placement of ... Read More
Diverse Legal Departments Are Within Reach, Says Former GC October 31, 2016 It's no secret that law is one of the least divers... Read More
Enterprise Drives Off With Former Carlson GC June 8, 2016 Enterprise Holdings Inc. has a new general counsel... Read More

A general counsel and corporate director by background, and a deeply perceptive and intuitive person by nature, I uniquely understand the legal world and the people who thrive within it. That knowledge and intuition underpin my recruiting work, and they inspire me to forge compelling relationships with clients and candidates. I am an optimistic and passionate advocate for change and constant improvement, always prizing diversity and understanding.

Paul Williams is a Partner in our Chicago office, where he conducts in-house searches at all levels with a personal focus on general counsel and other senior-level positions. He is also co-leader of Allegis Partners' North America CEO & Board Practice, specializing in identifying top board candidates and assessing organizational corporate governance.

For Major, Lindsey & Africa, Paul also serves as Director of Global Diversity Search, leading our efforts throughout the country to assist legal organizations in enhancing their diversity. He is a well-respected leader in the area of diversity, frequently speaking on diversity-related issues.

Paul was named to Lawdragon's "100 Leading Legal Consultants and Strategists" in 2016, 2017 and 2018. Also in 2016, Paul was named one of the United States' most influential black corporate directors by Savoy magazine. His background as a former chief legal officer and alumnus of two of the country's largest law firms gives him unique insight into how to effectively recruit diverse legal teams and counsel candidates.

Paul and his wife, Laura, who is also a lawyer, are the proud parents of two grown sons and split their time between Chicago and Columbus, Ohio. In his spare time, Paul enjoys movies and physical fitness.


Prior to joining Major, Lindsey & Africa, Paul served for several years as executive vice president, chief legal officer and secretary of Cardinal Health Inc., a healthcare services company with $80 billion in revenues and 55,000 employees. Responsible for managing legal affairs globally, he also served as the co-chairman of the company's Diversity Council.

Paul began his career as a corporate and securities associate with the large law firms of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher in Southern California and Vorys, Sater, Seymour & Pease in Ohio. He also served as general counsel of a computer software company and group counsel for the dairy division of a multinational corporation.

Paul is a member of the board of directors for two public companies: Essendant, Inc., a Fortune 500 distributor of business products; and Compass Minerals, Inc., a producer of salt and other inorganic mineral products. He currently is the Compensation Committee chairman for Compass Minerals and the Governance Committee Chair for Essendant. Paul is the President of the Chicago Chapter of the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD). He has previously served as the lead independent director of State Auto Financial Corporation, a property and casualty insurance company, and sat on numerous charitable and educational boards, including Physicians for Human Rights, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Arthritis Foundation, Buckeye Boys Ranch, and Salesian Boys and Girls Club.


Yale University Law School: J.D.

Harvard University: B.A., Government, cum laude


Essendant, Inc. (A Fortune 500 Company), Director

National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD), Chicago Chapter, President

Compass Minerals Inc., Director

Bob Evans Farms, Former Director

State Auto Financial Corporation, Former Director

Past Board Member of Physicians for Human Rights, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Arthritis Foundation, Buckeye Boys Ranch, and Salesian Boys and Girls Club