Thornell Williams, Jr.

Shareholder Jackson | Atlanta

*Currently licensed in Georgia only.

Thornell Williams began his legal career with Ogletree in 2005.  His practice currently involves providing strategic advice and representation to management clients in traditional labor matters such as labor-management relations, collective bargaining, grievance administration and arbitration, and other matters before the National Labor Relations Board.  Thornell also provides counsel, advice, and representation to management in numerous areas of employment law, including employment policy development and administration, employee relations, employment discrimination and retaliation training, workplace investigations, wage garnishment, and occupational safety and health matters.


Thornell brings a strong business perspective to his practice.  Before his legal career, Thornell spent nearly a decade in corporate management and worked with lawmakers in the Mississippi State Senate and Governor’s Office.  The breadth of Thornell’s experience allows him to represent employers across a wide spectrum of industries, such as national manufacturing, retail, hospitality, bioscience, and non-profit clients.

Thornell’s experience includes the following:

  • Serving as lead spokesperson in the negotiation of numerous collective bargaining agreements
  • Serving as lead counsel in numerous labor arbitration cases involving just cause and contract interpretation
  • Providing ongoing strategic advice to clients with union collective bargaining agreements, including advice on restructuring, downsizing, closures, and potential successor issues
  • Handling numerous unfair labor practice investigations by various NLRB regional offices throughout the United States
  • Obtaining summary judgment and successfully defending through appeal numerous employment discrimination cases in federal court
  • Successfully defeated breach of contract and tort claims in state courts, including securing frivolous appeal sanctions against plaintiff’s counsel
  • Providing advice and training of management on union avoidance matters, including significant involvement in union representation campaigns

Professional Activities and Speeches

Professional Activities:

  • American Bar Association (Labor and Employment Section)
  • Georgia State Bar Association (Labor and Employment Section)
  • National Bar Association (Labor and Employment Section)
  • Gate City Bar Association (Labor and Employment Section)
  • The Lawyers Club of Atlanta
  • Georgia Association of Manufacturers


  • Ogletree Deakins Workplace Strategies Seminar - ''‘Ambush’ Elections Boot Camp: A Campaign Simulation'' - Chicago - May 04, 2016
  • Association of Corporate Counsel, Atlanta Chapter – CLE Presentation - ''Breaking Employment and Labor Law Developments and SOX Spotlight'' - Atlanta - May 13, 2014
  • Counsel to Counsel Forum - ''Best Practice For Internal Investigations'' - Atlanta - April 05, 2011
  • Association of Corporate Counsel, Atlanta Chapter – CLE Presentation - ''Annual Employment Law Update'' - Atlanta - September 08, 2009


Published Works


Our Insights


Media Quotes

November 09, 2015 - - "Fantasy Football: Productivity Threat and Camaraderie-Builder"