Howard Williams has over 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 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.
"I especially enjoy helping a client solve a very difficult problem or threatening situation."
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 fastest growing aviation maintenance facilities.
Honors & Recognitions
Selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© in Tax Law and Tax Litigation & Controversy (2003-2022)
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)
Wake Forest University School of Law, J.D., 1972, cum laude; Member, Board of Editors, Wake Forest Law Review, 1971-72
George Washington University, L.L.M., 1975, with highest honors
U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th and 8th Circuits
U.S. District Court for the Western, Middle, and Eastern Districts of North Carolina
- RecognitionThe Best Lawyers in America®, 08.19.2021
- RecognitionThe Best Lawyers in America®, 08.20.2020
- Press Release05.04.2020
- RecognitionThe Best Lawyers in America®, 08.15.2019
- Press Release05.24.2019
- RecognitionThe Best Lawyers in America®, 08.15.2018
- RecognitionThe Best Lawyers in America®, 08.15.2017
- RecognitionNorth Carolina Super Lawyers, 01.20.2017
- RecognitionThe Best Lawyers in America®, 08.15.2016
- RecognitionSuper Lawyers Business Edition, 11.05.2015
- RecognitionThe Best Lawyers in America®, 08.17.2015
- RecognitionNorth Carolina Super Lawyers, 01.20.2015
- Press Release04.03.2008
- Client Alert06.30.2013
- Client Alert07.29.2010
Professional & Civic
Professional & Civic Activities
Member At-Large, North Carolina Agricultural Finance Authority
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
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 our 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.