Howard Williams has nearly 40 years of experience representing privately held companies and their shareholders. His diverse practice includes representation in connection with tax planning and litigation, general corporate work, employee benefits and executive compensation, and aviation matters.
Howard has extensive experience representing businesses in tax disputes or controversies in district courts, the United States Tax Court, and before the Internal Revenue Service and North Carolina Department of Revenue. He also advises his clients on corporate tax planning and tax strategies.
Before joining Brooks Pierce, Howard worked for the Office of Chief Counsel for the United States Treasury, Washington, D.C. as a tax specialist and litigator. He currently serves as a representative to the Southeastern Liaison Committee to the Internal Revenue Service.
Howard provides counsel on management incentive plans, employee stock ownership plans, deferred compensation, and corporate finance for closely held companies.
Howard provides general corporate counsel on issues related to mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, contract negotiation and document preparation, and tax-related transactions.
Howard represents various businesses and organizations in the transportation and aviation industries on a wide range of issues. His experience includes representing North Carolina’s largest privately held trucking company, representing numerous airlines, and helping to fund and finance one of the nation’s fasting growing aviation maintenance facilities.
Selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© in Tax Law and Tax Litigation & Controversy (2003-2019)
Recognized in North Carolina Super Lawyers (Thomson Reuters) in Business/Corporate Law (2007-2017)
Recognized in Super Lawyers Business Edition for Business/Corporate Law (2015)
Recognized by his peers for inclusion in Business North Carolina's "Legal Elite" in Business Law and Tax/Estate Planning (2008)
Member, Southeastern Region Liaison Committee, Internal Revenue Service
Member, Board of Visitors, Wake Forest University School of Law
Member and Past President (2011-2012), Board of Directors, North Carolina 4-H Endowment
Former Member, Executive Board, Community Foundation for Greater Greensboro
Member, North Carolina Bar Association
Member, American Bar Association
Member, Greensboro Bar Association
Member and Past President (2012-2013), Greensboro Kiwanis Club
Presenter, Business North Carolina Cybersecurity Roundtable, Raleigh, NC, November 2018.
Presenter, "A Wrench in the Gears: How to Prevent a Data Breach from Disrupting Your Operations & Customer Relationships," mfgCON 2018, Durham, NC, November 14, 2018.
Presenter, "Data Breaches & Cybersecurity," 2018 CFO/CPA Risk Management Conference, Greensboro, NC, October 16, 2018
Presenter, "Data Privacy - A Legal Assessment," CFO Roundtable event, High Point, NC, August 16, 2018
Co-presenter, "You've Been Breached: What Next?," Business North Carolina CEO Summit, Pinehurst, NC, March 27, 2018
Panelist on cybersecurity concerns for entrepreneurs, Greater Women's Business Council's POP Too! Conference, Raleigh, NC, March 9, 2017
Co-presenter (with Thomas Varnum), "Digital Marketing Blues," Raleigh Social Media Marketing Meetup, Raleigh, NC, January 18, 2017
Co-presenter (with Thomas Varnum), "Digital Marketing Blues," Internet Summit, Raleigh, NC, November 16, 2016
Presenter, “Digital Media and Marketing,” UNC Festival of Legal Learning, February 14, 2015
Presenter, “Responding to a Data Breach,” Banking Security Summit, North Carolina Bankers Association, October 16, 2014
Presenter, Digital Legal & Compliance 101 Panel Discussion, North Carolina Association of Broadcasters, June 24, 2014
Presenter, “Tax Consequences of Lobbying and Political Advocacy,” North Carolina Association of Certified Public Accountants, May 2014
Panelist, Representing Your Local Broadcaster, ABA Forum on Communications Law, April 2014
Co-author, “Commercial Free TV and Aereo: What Lies Ahead for Content Owners in the Wake of the Ninth Circuit’s AutoHop Decision,” Communications Lawyer, November 2013
Co-author, “Prior Restraint 2.0: A Framework for Applying Section 230 to Online Journalism,” 1 Wake Forest J.L.& Pol'y 75, May 2011
Co-author, “Supreme Court Rocks Campaign Finance Boat,” Triad Business Journal, 2010
Moderator, “Recent Developments in Election Law,” North Carolina Professional Lobbyists Association, October 2013
Panelist, “Copyright and the Internet: Giving Broadcasters the Cold Shoulder?” American Bar Association, Representing Your Local Broadcaster, April 2013
Presenter, “Citizens United and Corporate Political Speech: New Opportunities and Obstacles,” North Carolina Professional Lobbyists Association, October 2010
Presenter, “Indemnification, Attorneys’ Fees and Arbitration Provisions in Contracts,” North Carolina Bar Association, Business Law Section Annual Meeting, February 2010
The core of Brooks Pierce hasn’t changed much since I joined the firm in 1976. We’ve grown a lot, but in many ways we still practice the old fashioned way, providing client-focused service that produces successful outcomes for the businesses, organizations and individuals we represent. We don’t focus on specific practice groups, but rather work together utilizing everybody’s interests that span across a diverse group of practice areas. That’s how Brooks Pierce was built, and that’s how the firm remains today.
I represent diverse clients on a wide range of issues, which makes each day interesting and challenging. I enjoy getting to know my clients and building personal relationships with them—their problems become my problems, and I work closely with them to find creative solutions.
Outside of my practice, I enjoy serving on the board for the North Carolina 4-H Endowment, an interest that came about from my time growing up on a dairy farm (I still own the farm today). I also enjoy playing golf and spending time outdoors.