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10.12.2022 Firm News

Former Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball Returns to Williams Mullen

Williams Mullen is pleased to announce that Brian Ball, former secretary of commerce and trade for Virginia, has been named of counsel to the firm. He will rejoin the Corporate Section to support and serve the firm’s Economic Development Team.

Ball was appointed secretary by Gov. Ralph Northam in 2018 and played an instrumental role in the administration’s economic development success, which included $81 billion in economic investment, 103,000 jobs, and, most notably, the state’s successful bid for Amazon’s second headquarters in Arlington. Other economic development successes during Ball’s tenure include a major expansion of Micron’s semiconductor manufacturing facility in Manassas, Merck’s expansion in Rockingham County and Morgan Olson’s new manufacturing facility in Danville, Pittsylvania.

As Virginia’s chief economic officer under Northam, Ball oversaw 10 commerce and trade agencies, including the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, the Virginia Innovation Partnership Authority, Virginia Housing, the Department of Housing and Community Development and Virginia Tourism. He worked with the state’s executive branch, the General Assembly, private companies, local governments, economic development officials, site consultants and other key stakeholders.

Before serving as secretary, Ball was with the firm for almost 30 years, where he was a  partner, served as general counsel and was a member of the firm’s board of directors. In his new role, Ball will assist clients and their consultants with business expansion and related needs, working with Williams Mullen’s Economic Development Team.

“We are thrilled to have Brian return to us in a new capacity,” said Woody Fowler, president and CEO of Williams Mullen. “His knowledge of our firm and its resources, combined with his insight in working effectively with the governor’s office and cabinet secretaries, make him an incredibly valuable asset to clients looking to locate and grow their businesses in the commonwealth and beyond.”

“I look forward to leveraging my experience and resources to help clients achieve their business objectives,” said Ball. “I am also pleased to once again work with top-notch team members here at Williams Mullen.” 

Ball graduated with high distinction from the University of Virginia where he was an Echols Scholar and a member of Phi Beta Kappa. He received his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Virginia. He is admitted to practice in Virginia, the District of Columbia and California. He served as an assistant U.S. attorney for the Central District of California from 1981 to 1982.