Jim Williams, a partner with Brooks Pierce who passed away Sept. 3, 2018, was honored posthumously by the North Carolina Bar Association (NCBA) with the 2018 Chief Justice’s Professionalism Award. Williams is one of four recipients who were recognized for their dedication and commitment to the principles of professionalism and public service in North Carolina.
The Chief Justice’s Professionalism Award is presented annually to those whose contributions have demonstrated the highest commitment to genuine professionalism, the highest standards of legal ethics and the good that can be accomplished through intellectual honesty, compassion and practical skills in the practice of law. The award was presented by Chief Justice Mark Martin on Jan. 16 at a joint dinner of the North Carolina State Bar and the NCBA.
“Jim was an excellent trial lawyer and colleague whose presence is greatly missed at Brooks Pierce,” said Reid Phillips, managing partner of Brooks Pierce. “For him to receive this honor posthumously acknowledges his legacy as someone who was passionate about the legal profession and his community and dedicated to producing the best results for our clients.”
Williams joined the firm in 1966 when it had just 11 attorneys. He focused his 52-year career on business litigation, with a special emphasis on representing accounting firms on issues related to professional liability, and led the firm’s litigation practice. During his career, he received many accolades, including both the James B. McMillan Distinguished Service Award, the highest award bestowed by the North Carolina State Bar, and the Advocate's Award, given by the North Carolina Bar Association's Litigation Section in recognition of leaders in the profession.
Williams was also an active member of the community, serving on the Greensboro Board of Education, the Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro Board of Directors, the Greensboro Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and twice on the board of trustees of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina. As a devoted Wake Forest University alumnus, he served as a member of the alumni council, the School of Law board of visitors, the University board of visitors, the Baptist Medical Center Comprehensive Cancer Center board of visitors and the board of trustees.