William F. Ray

William F. Ray: Attorney with Watkins & Eager AV stamp icon
  • Member at Watkins & Eager (76 Attorneys)
  • The Emporium Building, 400 East Capitol Street, Jackson, MS 39201
    View William F. Ray's office location
  • Peer Reviews

    5.0/5.0 (1)
  • Profile Visibility [ i ]
    • #68 in weekly profile views out of 2,554 Attorneys in Jackson, MS
    • #46,947 in weekly profile views out of 1,822,215 total attorneys Overall
Attorney Awards


William Ray has practiced law at the firm for over thirty years. His practice focuses on commercial litigation and arbitration, including representation of banks, securities brokers, financial advisors, insurance companies, and fiduciaries. William has served as lead counsel in defending class actions in Mississippi and elsewhere.

William has also served as a securities arbitrator for FINRA, and obtained his mediator certification from the Duke University Private Adjudication Center in 2002. He was appointed by the Mississippi Secretary of State to the task force that drafted the current version of the Mississippi Securities Act, and served as chair of that task force's subcommittee on fraud and civil liability.

William has authored amicus curiae briefs in the Fifth Circuit and the Mississippi Supreme Court on behalf of the Mississippi Consumer Finance Association, the Mississippi Bankers Association, and the American Bankers Association. He was recognized by Benchmark Litigation as a Local Litigation Star in 2016; by Chambers-USA as a leader in litigation; by The Best Lawyers in America in the areas of Bet-the-Company Litigation, Commercial Litigation, and Banking & Finance Litigation; and by Mid-South Super Lawyers in the areas of Business Litigation, Employee Benefits/ERISA, and Banking. William has also been named among the Super Lawyers Top 50 in Mississippi on five occasions.

Honors & Recognitions

•Appointed by Mississippi Secretary of State to panel charged with proposing revisions to Mississippi Uniform Securities Act (2008, chairman of subcommittee on fraud and civil liability)
•AV Preeminent Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
Benchmark Litigation (2016-17, Local Litigation Star)
Chambers USA-America's Leading Lawyers for Business (2009-17, Litigation)
•Defense Research Institute (1997-99, Business Litigation Committee, Chair)
•Defense Research Institute (2002-present, Law Institute)
•Defense Research Institute (2008-10, Law Institute, Chairman)
•Defense Research Institute (2012-15, Board of Directors)
•Duke University Private Adjudication Center Mediator Training (2002)
Mid-South Super Lawyers (2006-17, Business Litigation, Employee Benefits/ERISA, Banking; 2011-14, Top 50 in Mississippi)
•NASD/FINRA Securities Arbitrator
The Best Lawyers in America (2009-19, Bet-the-Company Litigation; Commercial Litigation; Litigation - Banking & Finance; Litigation - Securities; Litigation - Trusts and Estates)
The Best Lawyers in America - Jackson, Mississippi Lawyer of the Year (2018, Litigation - Banking and Finance)
•Top Ten Recipient of Mississippi Business Journal's Leadership in Law Award, 2016.

Articles & Publications

Identity Theft 2010: Civil Liabilities and Regulatory Red Flags [Author: William Ray]
DRI Strictly Retail seminar, 03.04.2010
• The Law of Life Insurance: Key Issues in Each State, Mississippi Chapter (DRI Defense Library Series, 2017)
• Death of a Salesman? The Regulatory and Litigation Risk Facing Life Insurance Companies, ABA TIPS Seminar, 2016 (co-presenter)
• Mississippi Does Not Need State Court Class Actions, Mississippi Bar Association Summer School for Lawyers, 2016
• Litigation Trends and Emerging Risks, Mississippi Bankers Association, Bank Director Training Seminar, 2015
• Litigation Implications of Asset Protection Trusts, CLE presentation sponsored by Trustmark Wealth Management, Jackson, Mississippi, 2014
• Protecting Your Corporate Representative from Ambush at Trial, IADC Trial Techniques and Tactics Committee Newsletter, September 2014 (co-author)
• Punitive Damages: Strategies and Reality Checks, 2003-2006,” DRI Life, Heath, Disability and ERISA Seminar (2006)
•“Evaluating and Defending the Punitive Damages Case,” DRI Life, Health, Disability and ERISA Seminar (2005)
•“Issues Affecting Removal in Mississippi: Remand and Abstention,” University of Mississippi's 19th Annual Federal Practice and Procedure Seminar (2004) (moderator of panel of United States District Court judges);
•“Injunctions in Commercial Cases,” DRI Business Litigation Seminar (1999)
•“Representing Businesses in High-Profile Litigation,” DRI Annual Meeting (1999) (moderator)
•“Defending the Claim for Punitive Damages,” DRI Business Torts Seminar (1998)
•“Depositions and Ethics: Effective Deposition Practice,” The University of Mississippi Center for Continuing Legal Education (1996)

Areas of Practice (21)

  • Banking and Financial Institutions
  • Banking, Financial Services, and Securities Litigation
  • Corporate Trustee Consulting and Litigation
  • Directors & Officers Consulting
  • Regulatory and Compliance
  • Bankruptcy and Creditors' Rights
  • Creditors' Rights
  • Corporate
  • Corporate Governance
  • Employment and Labor
  • Employment and Labor Litigation
  • Environmental and Energy
  • Oil & Gas Litigation
  • Estate Planning and Administration
  • Trust and Estate Litigation
  • Insurance
  • Insurance Litigation
  • Litigation
  • Arbitration and Mediation
  • Class Action
  • Commercial Litigation

Education & Credentials

Contact Information:
601.965.1974  Phone
Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 650, Jackson, MS 39201
University Attended:
University of Mississippi, Bachelor's Degree, English, 1983
Law School Attended:
University of Mississippi School of Law, Juris Doctor, 1986
Year of First Admission:
1986, Mississippi

Community & Professional

•Christ United Methodist Church
•Since 2014, William has served on the programming committee for the National Foundation for Judicial Excellence, a non-profit foundation dedicated to providing cutting-edge continuing education for state-court appellate judges from across the country. He is also a member of the NFJE Board of Directors.
•Represented the Mississippi Economic Council and other parties in resisting efforts to implement class actions in Mississippi State Courts (2017)

Birth Information:
Jackson, Mississippi, 1961
Payment Information:
  • Fixed Hourly Rates
  • Fixed Fees Available

Peer Reviews

5.0/5.0 (1 review)
A Martindale-Hubbell Peer Rating reflects a combination of achieving a Very High General Ethical Standards rating and a Legal Ability numerical rating.
  • Legal Knowledge

  • Analytical Capability

  • Judgment

  • Communication

  • Legal Experience

  • 5.0/5.0 Rated by a Member on 04/04/12 in Complex Business Litigation

    One of the best lawyers in this area.

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*Peer Reviews provided before April 15, 2008 are not displayed.

Jackson, Mississippi

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