ROBERT J. WILLIAMS
Mr. Williams is an international business lawyer with decades of experience in the logistics and transportation industry, in both private and public companies, and with global and regional responsibilities. He is a generalist with broad experience in international commercial transactions, regulatory compliance, law department management, litigation, corporate governance, tax, risk management and insurance, and the multi-cultural and multi-jurisdictional aspects of international business.
Mr. Williams began his career in the maritime department of the law firm of Graham & James in San Francisco, then moved to Rotterdam, the Netherlands to focus on international commercial transactions at what is now the international tax and law firm of Loyens Loeff. Returning to San Francisco, he began his in-house career as the general counsel of General Steamship Corporation, a privately-owned maritime company with vessel husbanding operations on all US coasts, and stevedore and terminal operations in southern California, Vancouver, and Alaska.
Mr. Williams then became the global legal director for the $2.5B annual revenue freight forwarding division of the British multinational 3PL Exel plc, where he managed ten direct lawyer reports worldwide. In addition to law department management, his duties at Exel included global responsibility for the division’s contracts and contract processes, regulatory compliance, litigation management and dispute resolution, collections and customer debt workout, and legal support of business development, HR, finance, product lines, operations, risk management, and business process/quality control.
After Exel was acquired by Deutsche Post/DHL, Mr. Williams was instrumental in the integration of the combined legal department, developing materials and training 140 DHL in-house lawyers on transportation and logistics practice issues. He supported DHL’s Global Customer Solutions account management team, negotiating customer contracts for all of DHL’s service offerings to its top 100 multinational customers. He also supported DHL’s industrial project cargo division, which involved heavy and out-of-gauge cargo, materials management, and vessel charters.
Following a role at the insurance brokerage division of Wells Fargo Bank, Mr. Williams returned to the world of international logistics, and for the past several years has managed the legal affairs of the north American business units of Toll Group, the Australian logistics provider that is now part of Japan Post Holdings.
Mr. Williams has for years been a respected source of advice and counsel to senior level management executives in the logistics and transportation industry. He was raised in the San Francisco Bay Area and obtained his undergraduate degree in English Literature from the University of California at Berkeley and his law degree at the Santa Clara University Law School. He is a member of the California State Bar, and speaks English as a native language and Dutch, Spanish, and French to varying degrees of fluency.