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 and 2017. 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 three publicly traded billion-dollar companies: Essendant, Inc., a Fortune 500 distributor of business products; Bob Evans Farms Inc., a producer and distributor of sausage, potato and other food products; and Compass Minerals Inc., a producer of salt and other inorganic mineral products. He currently is the Compensation Committee chairman for Bob Evans and Compass Minerals, and the chair of the Nominating and Governance Committee for Essendant. Paul also serves as the president of the board 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
Bob Evans Farms, Director
Compass Minerals Inc., Director
National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD), Chicago Chapter, 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