Barbara Ann Williams

Barbara's duties as deputy general counsel for McGuireWoods include providing internal advice about professional conduct and risk management issues, and overseeing the firm’s conflict identification and resolution process. She writes a weekly best practice tip addressing professional responsibility, legal ethics and risk management issues. She is closely involved with the development and implementation of technology designed to decrease risk and enhance compliance.

From January 1998 to January 2006, Barbara served as bar counsel for the Virginia State Bar. In that capacity, she oversaw the bar’s regulation of the ethical conduct of more than 24,000 lawyers licensed to practice in Virginia. In addition to supervising a 40-member staff of prosecutors, investigators and support personnel in two offices, she prosecuted many attorney disciplinary matters and served as spokesperson for the Virginia State Bar.

As bar counsel, she had extensive interaction with members of the public, the bar, the judiciary and the media. Along with writing a quarterly column for the Virginia Lawyer Register and presenting continuing legal education programs focusing on professional conduct and legal ethics, she spoke regularly to business, civic and community groups about lawyers and the legal profession.

Before she was appointed to serve as bar counsel, Barbara had a diverse civil litigation practice focusing on commercial disputes, professional malpractice, product liability, insurance defense and coverage matters. Her clients included privately and publicly held business entities, financial institutions, professional service providers, insurers and individuals.

Barbara has served as a faculty member for the Virginia State Bar Professionalism Course and as an adjunct faculty member at the University of Richmond T.C. Williams School of Law. While earning her law degree at the University of Virginia School of Law, she was named a Hardy Cross Dillard Fellow. She received a Master of Arts degree from the University of Rochester, where she was both a Rush Rhees Scholar and a University Fellow. As an undergraduate at Agnes Scott College, Barbara was honored as a Charles H. Dana Scholar and won the Southern Literary Festival Essay Contest in 1976.

Good to know

Areas of Practice 1) Legal Ethics and Professional Responsibility and 2) Professional Liability
Law School University of Virginia School of Law, J.D., 1981
Education Agnes Scott College, B.A., 1976
Bar Member / Association Virginia State Bar Association
Most recent firm McGuireWoods LLP
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