10.20.2009 Thomas R. Frantz Named Chief Executive Officer of Williams Mullen RICHMOND, Va. – Williams Mullen announces that Thomas R. Frantz, President and Chief Operating Officer of the firm, will become Chief Executive Officer on Feb. 1, 2010. Julious “Joey” P. Smith, Jr. will remain in the position of Chairman and James V. Meath will remain in the position of Vice Chairman.

Mr. Frantz was elected president and chief operating officer of Williams Mullen in 2004. Drawing on his business and tax background, he has a strong corporate practice representing public, private and not for profit national and multi-national corporations, business entities and their owners, directors and officers, handling major mergers, acquisitions and transactions and advising such persons and  entities on a variety of legal matters. He will continue to practice law in his new role. Mr. Frantz was an original principal and served on the executive committee of Clark & Stant, which merged with Williams Mullen in 1999. 

“Guided by Joey Smith’s leadership, Williams Mullen has been and continues to be one of the finest law firms in the region,” stated Mr. Frantz.  “I am proud to continue at its helm as CEO and as an integral part of its future success.”

Mr. Frantz will inherit the role of CEO from Joey Smith who has been CEO of Williams Mullen since 1983. Under Mr. Smith’s leadership, Williams Mullen, with offices in North Carolina, Virginia, Washington, D.C. and London, has become one of the largest law firms in the region with over 300 attorneys. His practice includes representing and advising business clients in corporate and business matters, including succession planning and mergers and acquisitions. His merger and acquisition experience ranges from small family businesses to major transactions involving publicly-traded companies.

“It’s the perfect time for this transition to occur,” stated Mr. Smith. “Williams Mullen is doing very well and we are embarking on a new strategic plan. I have every confidence in Tom Frantz.  Tom has been President and COO of Williams Mullen for six years and has demonstrated strong leadership skills. We have worked closely together and his move to CEO is the logical next step for our firm. Tom heads our business group and was the catalyst for our recently completed strategic plan.  In both roles he did an outstanding job.  As Chairman of Williams Mullen, I look forward to continuing to work with Tom.”

Joey Smith, Tom Frantz, and Jim Meath will all continue to practice in their individual areas of law.