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Peter Williams
Peter Williams

In-House Counsel 2023: Peter Williams

Private Company with annual revenues up to $500M

Peter Williams took an unconventional approach to following in his father’s footsteps. “I grew up working for my father’s construction business, and he encouraged me to get an education,” Williams remembers. Williams became an attorney, and in 2020, he joined the specialty contractor Veit as its general counsel and secretary — a return to the industry his father likely never imagined.

Williams began his career as an insurance defense attorney before transitioning to work for a utility contractor. “In-house counsel jobs are hard to get,” he notes, so he takes his responsibility to Veit seriously. Most of his work involves contract negotiation and risk mitigation, but his favorite part of the job is working with people. “I help people run their family-owned business,” Williams says. “The real accomplishment is gaining their respect and becoming a trusted adviser. That’s truly satisfying.”

He is particularly proud of Veit’s growth over the past few years despite the unique challenges of the pandemic. “The company has been on a fantastic trajectory,” he says, “and being a part of the leadership team through it all has been wonderful.”

In addition to his passion for his job, Williams strongly believes in serving his community. “As lawyers, I frankly see it as an obligation to do some type of pro bono or charitable work,” he says. In the past, he has worked on educational and economic development issues. Williams currently dedicates most of his volunteer work to his position on the board of Ruff Start Rescue, which saves over 3,000 at-risk dogs annually.

Williams largely attributes his success to trusting his instincts and judgment. “There isn’t any better advice you can get than to be yourself,” he says. “It’s a recipe for success not only in business — you can grow and become a better person by always being authentic. When you’re genuine with people, that’s recognizable.”

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