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Headshot of Brian Ball, Williams Mullen Of Counsel

Hon. R. Brian Ball

Of Counsel
Richmond, VA
  • T.
  • 804.420.6426
  • F.
  • 804.420.6507

Brian Ball is a member of the firm’s Corporate Section and advises clients seeking to locate or establish operations in the mid-Atlantic and southeastern United States. Brian provides guidance on foreign direct investment transactions, establishing joint ventures and accessing federal, state and local business location incentives. He serves as an advisor to the firm’s Economic Development Team.

As Virginia’s secretary of commerce and trade under Gov. Ralph Northam, Brian gained valuable insight in leveraging governmental resources and attracting business investments to Virginia, working closely with private-sector companies, regional entities and local, state and federal government officials. During his tenure, Virginia was twice recognized as the #1 “Top State for Business” by CNBC. As Virginia’s chief economic development officer, Brian oversaw the state’s 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, economic development officials, site consultants and other key stakeholders.

Before his time as secretary, Brian was with the firm for almost 30 years. He was a partner in the firm’s Corporate Section and served on the firm’s board of directors and as its general counsel.

Brian 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. Brian served as an assistant U.S. attorney for the Central District of California from 1981 to 1982. He is a member of the Richmond, Virginia and American Bar Associations and the Virginia State Bar.


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Related Practices & Industries
  • University of Virginia School of Law (J.D.), 1976
  • University of Virginia (B.A.), 1973
    • Phi Beta Kappa
    • Echols Scholar
Professional & Community Affiliations

Professional Affiliations

  • American Bar Association
  • Association for Corporate Growth, Richmond Chapter - Immediate Past President
  • Richmond Bar Association
  • Virginia Bar Association
  • Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries - Board Member
  • Govenor-elect Ralph Northam's Transition Committee - Member
  • Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Board of Trustees - Member

Community Involvements

  • The Healing Place, Board of Trustees, Immediate Past Chair
  • The Nature Conservancy in Virginia, Former Chairman
  • Virginiaforever, Board Member
  • University of Virginia’s Benefactors Society of the College of Arts and Science, Board Member
  • Virginia Land Conservation Foundation Board of Trustees
Bar & Court Admissions

Bar Admissions

  • Virginia State Bar
  • District of Columbia Bar
  • State Bar of California

Listed in "Legal Elite," Virginia Business magazine (2008, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2015-present)

Listed in The Best Lawyers in America© - Corporate Law, Corporate Governance, Mergers & Acquisitions Law, Securities and Capital Markets Law (2008-present)

Listed in Virginia Super Lawyers magazine - Business/Corporate (2006-present)

AV-Rated by Martindale-Hubbell


  • Led the resolution of a governance matter involving a Special Committee of the board of directors of a NYSE company and a dissatisfied significant shareholder.
  • Represented the Special Committee of a NYSE company in effecting significant management changes.
  • Represented the Special Committee of a NYSE biotechnology company in an internal investigation of allegations related to interested party transactions and financial accounting practices.
  • Represented a NYSE title insurance underwriter in the acquisition of a NASDAQ title insurance underwriter.
  • Represented a NYSE company in the acquisition of a Pennsylvania based manufacturing company.
  • Represented a NYSE company in the acquisition of a concierge medicine provider.
  • Represented a NYSE company in the acquisition of a national provider of behavioral health services.
  • Represented a non-stock property and casualty underwriter in the acquisition of a New York based property and casualty underwriter.
  • Represented a NYSE manufacturer in the acquisition of a Canadian based sourcing company operating in Shanghai, China.
  • Represented a NYSE insurance broker in the acquisition of Bank of America Insurance Agency operations.
  • Represented a regional broker dealer in its sale to a NYSE investment banking firm.
  • Represented an environmental mediation company in its sale to a NASDAQ company.
  • Represented individual board members of public company in SEC investigation of insider trading.
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