Former commerce secretary returns to Williams Mullen
Brian Ball served in Northam administration
Former Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball is returning to his former law firm, Williams Mullen.
Ball rejoined Williams Mullen on Oct. 10 as of counsel in its corporate section, supporting and serving the firm’s Economic Development Team and aiding clients with business expansion needs. He’ll be based in the firm’s Richmond office.
Before serving as commerce secretary under Gov. Ralph Northam, Ball was with Williams Mullen for nearly 30 years as a partner, general counsel and a member of the firm’s board of directors.
“We are thrilled to have Brian return to us in a new capacity,” Williams Mullen Chairman, President and CEO Calvin W. “Woody” Fowler Jr. said in a statement. “His knowledge of our firm and its resources, combined with his insight in working effectively with the governor’s office and cabinet secretaries, make him an incredibly valuable asset to clients looking to locate and grow their businesses in the commonwealth and beyond.”
As Virginia’s commerce and trade secretary from 2018 to 2022, Ball was instrumental in some of the state’s biggest deals, including bringing HQ2, Amazon.com Inc.’s East Coast headquarters, to Arlington. Other successes include Micron Technology Inc.’s expansion of its semiconductor manufacturing facility in Manassas, Merck’s expansion in Rockingham County and Morgan Olson’s new manufacturing facility in Danville and Pittsylvania County.
Ball oversaw 10 state agencies, including the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, the Virginia Innovation Partnership Authority, Virginia Housing, the Department of Housing and Community Development and Virginia Tourism.
“I look forward to leveraging my experience and resources to help clients achieve their business objectives,” Ball said in a statement. “I am also pleased to once again work with top-notch team members here at Williams Mullen.”
Ball received his bachelor’s and law degrees from the University of Virginia and served as U.S. attorney for the Central District of California from 1981 to 1982.
Ball won’t be the only state government alum to work for Williams Mullen. Christopher J. “Chris” McDonald joined the firm in January as director of government relations in the Richmond office. He served in Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s administration, counseling the governor’s office, the secretary of commerce and trade and then-Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy, along with others.
Williams Mullen has 240 attorneys in offices in North Carolina, Virginia and South Carolina.