Devon D. Williams

Co-Managing Director and Labor and Employment Attorney
Ward and Smith, P.A.
919.277.9132 Fax 919.277.9177
Post Office Box 33009, Raleigh, NC 27636-3009

As one of the firm's Co-Managing Directors, Devon maintains a robust practice, handling complex labor and employment matters. This includes providing guidance on federal contractor compliance, particularly concerning the Davis-Bacon and Related Acts, managing and defending contentious claims of employment discrimination, harassment, and retaliation, advising employers on disciplinary actions and terminations to limit potential legal risks, and negotiating, drafting, and litigating enforceable restrictive covenants to safeguard clients' interests.

Devon regularly counsels HR executives and C-suite officers, navigating them through the many state and federal requirements for employers with the aim of helping clients avoid costly litigation and improve workplace relations. In addition to offering clients proactive solutions to avoid costly litigation, Devon routinely dives in to handle complex employment litigation matters, including defending FLSA Collective Actions, wage and hour class actions, Medicare Secondary Payer Act claims, discrimination and harassment lawsuits, breach of contract, and other legal matters arising out of the employment or quasi-employment relationship. In matters relating to employee benefits, she concentrates on issues confronting health and welfare benefit plans (such as medical, dental, and other plans) and their sponsors, including the provisions and impact of the Affordable Care Act.

As a member of the firm's Alcoholic Beverage Law and Hemp and Cannabis Law practice groups, Devon regularly assists clients in the agribusiness, CBD, and craft brewery industries navigate the complexities of ever-changing labor and employment laws impacting their business, including helping clients ensure proper protection for their confidential and proprietary information. She also advises clients in other industries on the novel issues triggered by the legalization of hemp and CBD, particularly as it relates to traditional forms of drug testing and compliance with various state and federal drug testing requirements.


  • J.D., cum laude, Campbell Law School, 2012
  • B.S., University of Maryland, 2009

Representative Experience

  • Successfully defending government agency investigations, including before the EEOC, NCDOL, and USDOL
  • Representing companies in complex wage and hour disputes involving Davis-Bacon Act, McNamara-O'Hara Service Contract Act, and Walsh-Healey Public Contracts Act
  • Advising employers on proper structuring of employee benefit plans for compliance with ERISA, ACA, and HIPAA requirements
  • Represented employers and self-funded health plans before the IRS regarding alleged noncompliance under the ACA and mitigated penalty assessments ranging from five to seven figures, leading to substantial refunds for clients
  • Secured the removal of an anonymous defamatory post on the internet regarding employer's business
  • Drafting and negotiating various agreements in the employment context, including non-competition agreements, employment agreements, severance packages, and executive compensation arrangements.
  • Drafting and creating necessary plan documents for employee benefit plans, including Cafeteria Plans
  • Successfully defended a contentious, complex Medicare Secondary Payer Act case in federal court by obtaining a full dismissal of all claims on summary judgment (including state law claims for unfair, deceptive trade practices, breach of contract, and similar claims)
  • Successfully defended a declaratory judgment action in federal court regarding the enforceability of restrictive covenants.  The Court granted our Motion for Summary Judgment, declaring the restrictive covenants at issue in the case were enforceable. This was a case of first impression for our jurisdiction regarding the applicability of the "sale of business" standard for restrictive covenants where only a portion of the business is sold.
  • Successfully mediated a multi-million dollar FLSA collective action lawsuit in federal court for a reasonable settlement amount, which was substantially lower than the alleged value of the case. 
  • Represented employees in various industries in the negotiation of exit strategies, resulting in high six and seven-figure compensation packages.

Honors and Distinctions*

  • "Legal Elite," Business North Carolina, Employment, 2020-2024
  • "Power List: Managing Directors to Watch," NC Lawyers Weekly, 2023
  • The Best Lawyers in America, Best Lawyers®, 2024
  • "Rising Star," North Carolina Super Lawyers, 2019-2022
  • "Power List," Business North Carolina, 2021-2023
  • "Legal Elite," Business North Carolina, Young Guns, 2019, 2020-2021
  • "40 & Under List," Benchmark Litigation, 2018-2023
  • "Labor and Employment Star," Benchmark Litigation, 20182019, 2020

Legal Elite 

Professional and Community Affiliations

  • Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce
  • Cary Chamber of Commerce
  • North Carolina Bar Association — Section: Labor and Employment Law, member; Career Services Task Force, Chair, 2016-2017; Strategic Planning and Emerging Trends Committee, member, 2014-2017; Division: Young Lawyers - Wellness Committee, Chair, 2015-2016

Admitted to Practice

  • North Carolina, 2012
  • United States District Court for the Eastern, Middle, and Western Districts of North Carolina

* Please see the following websites for an explanation of the membership standards for the following recognitions:;; and

An attorney‑client relationship may only be established through direct attorney‑to‑client communication that is confirmed by the execution of an engagement agreement. The content of any unsolicited email sent to Ward and Smith, P.A., or to any of its attorneys at an email address available on this website, will not create an attorney‑client relationship and the contents of such unsolicited email shall not be considered confidential. Therefore, do not use this website or the email addresses available on this website to provide confidential information about yourself or a legal matter to Ward and Smith or any of its attorneys.

  • American Board of Trial Advocates
  • Legal Elite Business North Carolina 2024
  • Super Lawyers 2021
  • Recognized by Best Lawyers 2023
  • U.S. News Best Lawyers 20234
  • 2024 Chambers USA

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