A. Kelly Williams joined Blank Rome‘s Houston office as senior counsel in the corporate, M&A and securities group. Williams will focus his practice on advising clients, including private equity funds, portfolio companies, financial institutions and privately held businesses, on structuring and implementing acquisitions, divestitures and financing transactions, as well as providing strategic business counsel to support future growth.

Williams’ addition continues Blank Rome’s strategic expansion in Texas to better serve clients who are based in or do business in the state. Notably, in July 2023 the firm opened a Dallas office with the addition of seven leading corporate, real estate and finance attorneys with national practices, and has since added partners Jason C. Ray and Barrett R. Howell and of counsel Donald G. Ainscow.

“We are excited to welcome Kelly to the firm,” Grant S. Palmer, chair and managing partner at Blank Rome, said. “Kelly’s combination of investment and legal experience in the private equity industry adds considerable depth to our corporate, M&A and securities group and provides value to our clients seeking strategic advice on transactions and other business opportunities. We are excited by the momentum in our Texas offices and look forward to continued growth to support our clients.”

Williams most recently managed private equity firm Milestone Capital, which he founded 25 years ago. In this role, Williams led the middle-market private equity team, which included sourcing acquisition targets, fundraising and investor relations, leading financial underwriting and financial and legal due diligence, negotiating and closing transactions, developing business plans, determining and executing on long-term exit strategies and forming relationships with other private equity groups, investment bankers, lawyers and business owners. His experience also includes accounting, tax, real estate, bankruptcy, litigation and employment issues.

Prior to founding Milestone, Williams practiced law at a regional transactional and tax law firm and founded a small law firm to manage public and private business transactions.

“As a Texas native, Kelly has deep roots in the market and relationships across the country that will be of great benefit to our clients and our firm,” Cassandra G. Mott, co-chair of the firm’s Houston office and partner in the finance group, said. “We look forward to drawing upon Kelly’s unique background as a lawyer, entrepreneur and investment professional, and are thrilled to have him join us in Houston.”

“Blank Rome is known for fostering an environment where talented and passionate attorneys work together in a collegial and collaborative fashion to serve clients, and I couldn’t be more excited to be a part of that culture,” Williams said. “I’m excited to work with my new colleagues across the firm to continue to expand Blank Rome’s highly regarded private equity practice and enhance the firm’s reputation in Texas and nationally.”