M. Binford (Ben) Williams, Jr., has over 30 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, and Commercial Finance Law.

Ben has practiced at Watkins & Eager since graduating from law school in 1986. He currently a member of the firm's Executive Committee and a co-practice leader of the 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.

Honors & Recognitions

  • Leader in Finance (Mississippi, 2017)
  • AV Preeminent Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
  • Chambers USA-America's Leading Lawyers for Business (2007-17, Real Estate)
  • Mid-South Super Lawyers (2006, 2011-13, 2017 Banking)
  • Mississippi Young Lawyers, Fellow
  • Mississippi Outstanding Young Lawyer (1995)
  • The Best Lawyers in America (2007-18, Commercial Finance Law, Commercial Transactions/UCC Law, Corporate Law, Derivatives and Futures Law, Economic Development Law, Mergers and Acquisitions Law, Project Finance Law, Real Estate Law)
  • The Best Lawyers in America, Jackson, Mississippi, Lawyer of the Year (2017, Mergers & Acquisitions; 2016 & 2018, Project Finance Law; 2014, Commercial Finance Law)
  • 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)


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