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Former Staples Chief Legal Officer Becomes Senior Adviser at BarkerGilmore

Law.com - July 15, 2019

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The former chief legal officer of Staples has joined consulting firm BarkerGilmore as a senior adviser.

Michael Williams said he is excited to be working as a senior adviser for the consulting firm since it is a unique opportunity to help in-house lawyers.

“I’ve known Bob [Robert Barker] and his firm for years when I was in in-house practice both at Sony and at Staples,” Williams said. “I knew several of the other senior advisers when they were sitting GCs so I knew it was a very distinguished group of individuals who are highly accomplished and I felt honored that I can be among them.”

Williams served as the executive vice president, chief legal officer and secretary of Staples from 2012 to 2018, according to his LinkedIn profile. He said Monday he decided to retire after Staples became a private company.

“I had the opportunity to utilize my golden parachute and enjoy some time on the golf course,” Williams said. “I took about a year hiatus and wanted to get back into it.”

He said he was not looking to be a full-time general counsel, but felt he had something to offer other general counsels and legal leaders.

“I was interested in executive coaching for deputies to get them ready for prime time. There aren’t that many people around, except in the senior adviser position, that have been experienced sitting GCs that can coach and mentor other people,” said Williams, who will work from Boston and San Diego.

Managing partner Robert Barker said in the press release that Williams’ proven business record will make him an asset to the team.

“With his proven business expertise and his success in creating award-winning, high-performance, globally integrated legal teams to deliver enhanced solutions and exceptional results, he will be invaluable in helping BarkerGilmore’s clients optimize their organizations and drive revenue,” Barker said in the press release.

Before joining Staples, Williams served as the general counsel for Sony Electronics. He also served in partner roles at Heller Ehrman and Andrews Kurth, now Hunton Andrews Kurth. He also worked as an associate at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. He graduated from the University of San Diego School of Law.

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