William Smith, a partner in Watkins & Eager’s Jackson office, has been named Interim General Counsel of the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC).  

Smith began his tenure as Interim General Counsel on November 15.  Smith will continue to maintain an office at Watkins & Eager as well as an office at UMMC and will continue to service his other clients as a member of Watkins & Eager. 

In his new position at UMMC, Smith will have responsibility for providing legal representation to UMMC in all legal matters, including interpreting laws and regulations and directing litigation. His role will also include supervising the office’s attorneys and support staff and coordinating and supervising outside legal counsel in all assigned litigation and in other legal matters. Smith will also have responsibility for coordinating with the University of Mississippi Office of Legal Affairs on significant policy and legal matters and overseeing litigation proceedings conducted by the Office of the Attorney General on behalf of UMMC.

Smith was admitted to the Mississippi Bar, the United States District Courts for the Northern and Southern Districts of Mississippi, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in 1988. His experience spans from real estate, corporate and zoning, complex contracts, and finance to business and legal issues regarding academic medical centers and hospitals. He has advised major regional and national developers in the areas of financing, development, contracts and Public Service Commission issues in both commercial and residential areas. Smith is AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell and is listed in The Best Lawyers in America.

Smith joined Watkins & Eager as a partner in 2004.