Beth A. Williams - Partner

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Beth A. Williams

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Washington, D.C.
Phone: +1 202-879-5073
Fax: +1 202-879-5200
Overview News

Professional Profile

Beth Williams is a partner in Kirkland's Washington, D.C. office, where her practice focuses on complex commercial and appellate litigation. She represents and counsels clients in a wide variety of matters, including securities and shareholder derivative actions, contract disputes, bankruptcy litigation, government investigations and defamation actions. Beth has served as trial counsel in several cases that have received national attention, and has argued before numerous state and federal courts. She was named a "Rising Star" in Business Litigation by Super Lawyers magazine in 2014. Beth has also been recognized in the 2014 and 2015 editions of The Legal 500 U.S.

Beth also maintains a diverse pro bono practice for which she was awarded the 2013 Kirkland & Ellis LLP Washington Pro Bono Service Award. She serves as Chair of the Women's Leadership Initiative in the Washington, D.C. office.

Prior to joining Kirkland, Beth served as Special Counsel to the United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary and as a law clerk to Judge Richard C. Wesley of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

Representative Matters

Securities and Shareholder Litigation

Counsel to the Board of Directors of SAIC, Inc. in a series of derivative and securities actions arising out of the CityTime implementation project. Obtained complete dismissal of shareholder derivative suit with denial of leave to replead, and dismissal of securities class action. 

Counsel to UBS Securities LLC in a series of nationwide securities cases alleging market manipulation involving "naked short selling." Successfully won dismissal or resolution of all first-wave cases. Currently representing client in second-wave cases.

Commercial Litigation

Lead counsel to Avison Young in a case alleging tortious interference arising out of the hiring of commercial real estate brokers formerly employed by a bankrupt competitor.

Counsel to Avanade Inc. in litigation alleging the failed implementation of an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system. Won complete dismissal of all claims of fraud and misrepresentation, and successful resolution of case.

Counsel to TOUSA, Inc., one of the largest homebuilders to file for bankruptcy. Returned a complete victory for client, successfully defending it against more than $920 million in third-party claims brought by numerous banks and lenders.

Trial counsel to former officers of Horsehead Industries, a zinc manufacturer and one of the largest privately held companies in the United States. After a full trial in Pennsylvania state court, won full judgment on all claims of personal liability against officers.

Trial counsel to BASF Corporation in arbitration over the fair market value of client's partnership interest. Successful defense of claims in excess of $150 million.

Trial counsel to ConocoPhillips in arbitration of claims arising from its sale of a major convenience store business. After nine trial days, the arbitration panel ruled that plaintiff's claims were "denied in their entirety."

Trial counsel to Siemens Corporation and subsidiaries in state court actions involving disputes over employee retention programs. Successful defense of summary judgment victory over claims involving multimillion dollar employee retention fund.

Appellate Litigation

Lead appellate counsel to inmate held in solitary confinement in New York State prison system for 18 years. Asked by the court to take the representation, successfully briefed and argued the case before the Second Circuit winning a unanimous reversal vindicating client's right to challenge his confinement.

Lead appellate counsel to criminal defendant challenging her conviction and sentence. Successfully briefed and argued the case before the Sixth Circuit resulting in vacatur of sentence.

Appellate counsel to The National Geographic Society in a copyright challenge brought by a freelance photographer to the Society's digital archive of its magazine. Successfully defended the Society's rights to produce and distribute its archive.


Counsel to former USDA official and Presidential appointee Shirley Sherrod in defamation action against prominent blogger arising from the blogger's publication of a false blog post and heavily-edited "viral" video alleging racial discrimination in the performance of Mrs. Sherrod's official governmental duties.

Other Distinctions

Recognized by The Legal 500 U.S. - 2014

Selected as a "Rising Star" by Super Lawyers magazine - 2014

Kirkland & Ellis LLP Pro Bono Service Award - 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

Chair, Kirkland Women's Leadership Initiative, Washington, D.C.

Member, Kirkland Recruiting Committee

Member, Harvard Club of Washington Schools Committee

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit Pro Bono Panel

Co-taught Law & New Media Seminar at Georgetown University Law Center


"Patient Confidentiality:  Illinois Supreme Court Upholds Consent Forms for Release of Record," Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics, Vol. 30:2, Summer 2002. 

Prior Experience

United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary, Special Counsel

Public Integrity Division, United States Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of New York, Law Clerk 


United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

United States Court of Appeal for the Third Circuit

United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

United States District Court for the Southern District of New York

United States District Court for the District of Columbia

New Jersey Supreme Court

New York Court of Appeals

District of Columbia Court of Appeals

© 2016 Kirkland & Ellis LLP