William Smith, III, JD
General Counsel and Chief Legal Officer
William Smith was appointed general counsel and chief legal officer in December 2019. He oversees all areas of development and construction and is responsible for providing legal representation to the medical center in all legal matters, including interpreting laws and regulations and directing litigation. He is responsible for supervising the office’s attorneys and support staff and coordinating and supervising outside legal counsel in all assigned transactions, acquisitions, financing and litigation. He also works with the Office of Legal Affairs on significant policy and legal matters and oversees litigation proceedings conducted by the Office of the Attorney General of the State of Mississippi on behalf of UMMC.
Smith, who earned both his bachelor’s and law degrees from the University of Mississippi, was admitted to the Mississippi Bar in 1987 and went into private practice that same year with Taylor, Covington & Smith, P.A., where he remained until 2003. He spent the next 15 years with Watkins & Eager.
He has advised clients for over 35 years in all aspects of real estate sales and transactions, complex contract negotiations, corporate law, corporate structure advice, zoning and finance. William has advised the Secretary of State in all aspects of the acquisition of various large tracts of land, most notably an 18,000-acre tract.
Named Mississippi Lawyer of the Year (2014, 2016 and 2019), he is listed in The Best Lawyers in America (2009-19), Chambers USA-America's Leading Lawyers for Business (2009-19) and AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell.