M. Binford (Ben) Williams, Jr., has over 35 years’ experience in large, complex commercial transactions.  Ben's practice is fast-paced and, on a regular basis, includes nuanced structures, innovative financing alternatives with lender and borrower clients alike, and acquisitions and mergers of businesses . His work includes significant representation of lenders in commercial loans (C&I, real estate, bonds, interest rate swaps), developers in the development, construction, and operations of complex real estate projects (apartment complexes, manufacturing facilities, shopping centers), and corporations in acquisition of subsidiaries and properties. He serves as outside general counsel for several corporations in various industries.  

Ben is listed in The Best Lawyers In America and in Chambers USA-America's Leading Lawyers for Business.   He has been selected as a Lawyer of the Year in multiple areas, including Mergers & Acquisitions Law, Project Finance, Commercial Finance Law and Corporate Compliance Law.

Ben has practiced at Watkins & Eager since graduating from law school in 1986. He currently serves as the co-practice leader of the firm’s Commercial Lending and Finance Practice Group.  Along with Molly Jeffcoat Moody, Ben is a co-author of Commercial Finance 701, a continuing series on commercial loans written exclusively for the Mississippi Business Journal.  The series is geared to lenders, developers, investors and transactional attorneys.  Ben served as the firm's Managing Member from 2003-15.  In addition to columns on commercial law, Ben regularly publishes articles on travel, religion, politics, and the U.S. Constitution.

Honors & Recognitions

  • Leader in Finance (Mississippi Business Journal, 2017)
  • AV Preeminent Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
  • The Best Lawyers in America (2007-24, Banking and Finance Law; Commercial Finance Law; Commercial Transactions/UCC Law; Corporate Compliance Law; Corporate Governance Law; Corporate Law; Derivatives and Futures Law; Mergers and Acquisitions Law; Project Finance Law; Real Estate Law)
  • The Best Lawyers in America, Jackson, Mississippi, Lawyer of the Year (2020, Corporate Compliance Law; 2017, Mergers & Acquisitions; 2016, 2018, 2022 & 2024, Project Finance Law; 2014, Commercial Finance Law)
  • Chambers USA-America's Leading Lawyers for Business (2007-22, Real Estate; 2019-22, Corporate/Commercial: Banking & Finance)
  • Mid-South Super Lawyers (2006, 2011-13, 2017-19 Banking)
  • Mississippi Young Lawyers, Fellow
  • Mississippi Outstanding Young Lawyer (1995)
  • James O. Eastland Scholarship in Law (1983-86)
  • University of Mississippi Graduate Fellowship (1982-83)
  • Phi Kappa Phi
  • Omicron Delta Kappa
  • Wall Street Journal Award
  • Taylor Citation\Taylor Medal

Community & Professional

  • Jackson Young Lawyers (1994, President)
  • National Association of Bond Lawyers
  • The Mississippi Bar

Articles & Publications

"Letters of Credit," Chapter 47, The Encyclopedia of Mississippi Law (2017-2021)


Juris Doctor: University of Mississippi School of Law, 1986

Master's Degree: Business Administration, University of Mississippi, 1983

Bachelor's Degree: Business, University of Mississippi, 1982