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04.08.2015 Firm News

Williams Mullen Expands to South Carolina with Additions to Respected Environmental Team

Williams Mullen is pleased to announce it has expanded to South Carolina with the addition of Ethan Ware and three other respected environmental attorneys in Columbia. With this expansion, Williams Mullen now has over 230 attorneys, economic developers, and government relations professionals in eleven offices across North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and Washington, D.C.

Ethan Ware, Jessica J.O. King, A. Keith “Kip” McAlister, Jr., and Ryan W. Trail will join Williams Mullen’s esteemed Environmental Law Practice Group, which is ranked by Chambers USA and honored with a National First-Tier Ranking in the 2015 edition of “Best Law Firms.” This expansion is part of the firm’s strategy to be the go-to law firm that helps to grow the businesses of our region. David F. Paulson will serve as the Carolinas Managing Partner, overseeing the new location along with the firm’s offices in Raleigh, Research Triangle Park and Wilmington, North Carolina.

“As a firm, we are committed to strategic growth rather than growth for growth’s sake,” said Woody Fowler, CEO of Williams Mullen. “We strive to be a large enough firm to offer the broad base of knowledge that companies today need, but not so large that we become out of touch with our clients. We will continue looking to expand in key areas in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia to offer the highest level of service to businesses seeking legal counsel.”

The Columbia office’s team will focus on environmental legal issues, working with local, state and federal agencies to help clients resolve environmental regulatory matters. They help companies obtain environmental permits, negotiate compliance issues and complex business transactions, and litigate environmental matters. They have represented clients on a variety of environmental matters before EPA and the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC), and in federal and state court.

Ethan Ware, who joins Williams Mullen as a Partner, is renowned in his field and best known for his accomplishments in air, hazardous waste, and wetlands law. Mr. Ware has a broad background in environmental law, having appeared on behalf of businesses in negotiations relating to all aspects of environmental law. In addition to serving private companies, he has worked with numerous trade associations, including Western Carolina Industries, the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce, South Carolina Manufacturers Association, the Manufacturers and Chemical Industry Council (Raleigh), and the South Carolina Mining Association.

Jessica King, who will join Williams Mullen as a Partner, has substantial experience helping companies obtain environmental permits, perform due diligence and negotiate business transactions.  She is a former staff attorney and head attorney for SCDHEC. Ms. King has worked with clients – including manufacturers, landfill owners, developers, landlords, tenants, banks, brokers, heirs, farmers, and government agencies – on matters such as Brownfields redevelopment, lending, foreclosure, bankruptcy and inheritance.

Kip McAlister, who will join Williams Mullen as an Associate, focuses his practice on the defense of industry and business in environmental regulatory compliance cases in state and federal courts. He served as an Assistant Solicitor to the Honorable J. Strom Thurmond, Jr. in the Second Judicial Circuit Solicitor's Office in Aiken, SC, and also served as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Thomas A. Russo of the South Carolina Circuit Court.

Ryan Trail, who will join Williams Mullen as an Associate, counsels and advises clients on real estate-related environmental issues, regulatory compliance and water law. Mr. Trial previously worked as an associate with a boutique environmental law firm in Greenville, SC.

 “We are proud to have such a knowledgeable and experienced team join our environmental law practice,” said Channing J. Martin, Chair of the Environmental Law Practice Group at Williams Mullen. ”By expanding the geographic reach of our services, we are able to help clients throughout the Southeast grow their businesses by finding solutions to their environmental concerns.”