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01.26.2019 Firm News

Williams Mullen Mourns the Loss of Ralph L. “Bill” Axselle, Jr.

It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Ralph L. “Bill” Axselle, Jr. He was 75. A revered leader, colleague, friend and mentor, Mr. Axselle led a life that was defined by grace, generosity and respect.

As a lawyer and lobbyist, his career accomplishments are second to none. He represented Henrico County in Virginia’s House of Delegates from 1974 to 1990 and joined Williams Mullen shortly after leaving the legislature.

For 28 years at Williams Mullen, Mr. Axselle helped develop the firm’s Government Relations Group into one of the state’s premier lobbying practices. In addition to his lobbying experience, he was a highly recognized real estate and land use attorney. Best Lawyers® named him the Government Relations "Lawyer of the Year" in Richmond twice (2011, 2015) and the Land Use & Zoning Law "Lawyer of the Year" in Richmond three times (2012, 2016, 2018). In 2014, Mr. Axselle was honored as one of Virginia Lawyers Weekly's Leaders in the Law.

Upon his retirement from the firm in October 2017, Williams Mullen President and CEO Woody Fowler said, “What Bill has meant to Williams Mullen cannot be overstated. Bill is among the most talented lawyers and lobbyists our state has ever seen. He has set the standard for how a lawyer and lobbyist should behave and perform. We should all strive to live up to that standard.”

Long active in civic and community affairs, Mr. Axselle was a former chairman of the Greater Richmond Chamber of Commerce and served as chairman of Richmond Region 2007 at the request of the Richmond area governments and the business community. In 2005, he was the recipient of the Henrico Business Council of the Greater Richmond Chamber of Commerce Lifetime Achievement Award.

Mr. Axselle’s past activities included service to numerous charities such as the YMCA, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, the Virginia Jaycees and the Council for America’s First Freedom. He also served as a member of the board of trustees of Fork Union Military Academy.

For more on Mr. Axselle's life and legacy, click below to read a profile from the Richmond Times-Dispatch. 

RTD: Ralph L. 'Bill' Axselle Jr., former Henrico delegate and retired lawyer and lobbyist, dies at 75