Paul S. Williams Partner

Paul S. Williams

Publications

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

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
Major, Lindsey & Africa Places Senior Vice President & General Counsel at Enterprise Holdings June 7, 2016 Major, Lindsey Africa Places Senior Vice Presiden... 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. A public company director and a former chief legal officer and corporate secretary of a Fortune 20 company, Paul leads a team based in Chicago that conducts in-house searches at all levels and personally focuses on general counsel and other senior-level positions. He is also a member of Allegis Partners' CEO & Board practice. Paul works with law firm partners who are interested in making lateral moves. Together with four of his colleagues, Paul was among the 15 recruiters named in LawDragon's "100 Leading Legal Consultants and Strategists for 2016."

In his additional role as Director of Global Diversity Search, Paul leads the firm's efforts throughout the country in assisting legal organizations in enhancing their diversity. He is a well-respected leader in the area of diversity, frequently speaking on diversity-related issues. 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.

Experience

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. His 51-lawyer legal department was recognized for its outstanding diversity. Paul has been recognized as one of the nation's 100 most influential diverse lawyers, as well as one of the most influential African-American corporate directors.

His career began 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. Paul 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., the owner and operator of nearly 700 restaurants in the U.S.; 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. He is also the President-Elect of the board of the Chicago Chapter of the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) and was named one of the United States’ most influential black corporate directors in 2016 by Savoy magazine. He also has 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.

Education

Yale University Law School: J.D.

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

Associations

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