Paul focuses his trial practice on complex litigation and trial practice management. He partners with clients to create relationships that align interests to achieve better legal outcomes at an exceptional value. Paul believes that a win-win partnership with a client focuses on collaboration, innovation, strategic action and trust which ultimately brings better results and the metrics to prove them. He has received national recognition for his innovative use of alternative financial arrangements and strategic litigation management techniques to curtail legal spend and effectively manage otherwise unpredictable litigation.
Paul has extensive experience representing companies in numerous industries in cases involving commercial, product liability and injury claims in individual, multi-plaintiff and class action litigation. He also counsels clients on product safety and minimizing risk and exposure in claims and litigation. In addition, Paul advises clients regarding Consumer Product Safety Commission issues and product recalls.
Since 2004, Paul has managed the firm’s role as Johnson Controls' (formerly Tyco International) National Counsel for Insured Litigation, leading a team of Shook lawyers in a flat-fee partnership with the company. The American Lawyer noted the firm’s representation of Johnson Controls in its feature story on the firm as winner of the 2012 Product Liability Litigation Department of the Year Award. The American Bar Association Journal also featured the program in an article titled “Facing the Alternative,” which highlighted the trusting relationship between Johnson Controls and Shook credited for much of the success under their flat fee arrangement. The Association of Corporate Counsel recognized Shook, Hardy & Bacon and Johnson Controls as inaugural ACC Value Champions for “effectively driving value by cutting spending, improving predictability, and achieving better legal outcomes.”
Since 2011, Paul has managed the firm’s role as National Product Liability Counsel for The HEICO Companies, LLC, a $2 billion privately held company with over 40 separate operating entities in diverse economic sectors. In 2013, HEICO developed a legal services efficiency model to evaluate the value and true cost of legal services provided by its law firms. Paul and his team were identified by HEICO as its strongest firm and recently achieved a 92.8 percent efficiency rating. In 2015, the Association of Corporate Counsel recognized HEICO and Shook as ACC Value Champions for their work to improve legal outcomes, reduce costs, decrease case variations, and improve efficiency and value of legal services.
Paul’s successes in managing entire dockets of litigation using alternative fee arrangements have resulted in his being tapped as a featured speaker, panelist, author and expert source by organizations including InsideCounsel, Corporate Counsel, The American Lawyer, the American Bar Association, the Association of Corporate Counsel, The Ark Law Group and LexisNexis. In 2015, Paul was named a Litigation Trailblazer by National Law Journal for his leadership and innovation in using alternative fee arrangements.
Paul also leads Shook, Hardy & Bacon’s professional development programming for strategic litigation management. He teaches client-focused philosophy, provides practical tools and techniques, and mentors colleagues to partner with clients to provide superior value in addition to exceptional legal services. Paul presents programs to other attorneys to promote a client-first philosophy and to share tools essential for successful strategic litigation management.
Breadth of Experience
Paul’s litigation and trial experience extends beyond product liability, tort, negligence and commercial cases to sports concussion litigation, class actions, environmental/toxic tort cases, patent infringement claims, commercial litigation and medical malpractice cases. He represents clients in commercial disputes as well as wrongful death, personal injury and subrogation actions for property damage. Paul has extensive experience in cases involving catastrophic accidents, fires and explosions. Paul has counseled clients on matters in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. He regularly represents clients from a variety of industries in cases before federal and state courts across the United States, including the following:
Product manufacturers, including:
- motor vehicles;
- recreational vehicles;
- heavy industrial and construction equipment;
- aircraft and aviation systems;
- emergency and rescue safety equipment;
- building products;
- steel and plastic products for water, wastewater and fire sprinkler system applications;
- pumps, valves and actuators for industrial, commercial, and residential use;
- electrical products and components;
- thermal protective equipment, including heating cable;
- propane, natural gas and other combustible fuels;
- fuel leak detection equipment;
- oilfield operations and well equipment, including fracking operations;
- chemicals and chemical products, including welding products;
- consumer products; and
- animal health and performance products.
Service industries, including:
- retail operations;
- vehicle fleets;
- sprinkler system design, installation, maintenance, inspection and monitoring;
- security, intrusion, and fire alarm system design, installation, maintenance, inspection and monitoring; and
- wholesale and retail supply and service of propane, natural gas and other combustible fuel systems.
Educational institutions/Sports organizations, including:
- Governing bodies and member-based organizations; and
- Professional education institutions.
Publications and Presentations
Paul Williams, Matthias Spilker, Greg Swinehart, Doug Smith & John Beisner, Product Safety, Preventive Counsel and Managing Recalls, Corporate Disputes, Jul-Sep 2018.
Paul Williams, Chapter 7: You can do more with less - an innovative and holistic approach, Building the Law Department of Tomorrow (Alex Davies ed., Ark Group 2017).
Paul Williams, Chapter 3: The synergistic value of collaboration, in The Bigger Picture: Driving Client Value Through Collaboration(Laura Slater ed., Ark Group 2016).
Paul Williams, Chapter 13: Alternative fee arrangements – Can you ‘win-win’?, in The Lawyer's Guide to AFAs and Value Pricing (Laura Slater ed., Ark Group 2014).
Paul Williams & Sandra Stigall, 6 Tips For Responding To Notices Of Catastrophic Loss, Law360, Apr. 17, 2012.
Rachel M. Zahorsky (quoting Paul Williams), Facing the Alternative, ABA Journal, Mar. 2012.
Paul A. Williams, Charles C. Eblen & Kristina L. Burmeister, Minimizing Tort Liability With The Right Terms, Law360, Feb. 28, 2012.
Paul Williams, Wouldn't You Rather Be Partners?, Corporate Counsel, June 7, 2010.