Williams & Anderson PLC announces the retirement of Philip S. Anderson

October 28 - November 3, 2019

It is with profound gratitude for a lifetime of service that we, Williams & Anderson PLC, announce the retirement of a founding partner of our firm, Philip S. Anderson.


Mr. Anderson has enjoyed a long and esteemed career of some sixty years which began when he received his B.A. and LL.B. degrees from the University of Arkansas, where he also served as Editor-in-Chief of the Arkansas Law Review. He cultivated broad experience in trial and appellate practice as well as in acquisitioßns, mergers, and general corporate matters. Mr. Anderson joined partners W. Jackson Williams, David F. Menz and Peter G. Kumpe in founding Williams & Anderson PLC in 1988. 


Years ago, Mr. Anderson was introduced to Mr. Walter Hussman whose family had purchased the Arkansas Democrat, then an afternoon newspaper of general circulation. Mr. Anderson represented the Arkansas Democrat in an ensuing “newspaper war” with the Arkansas Gazette.  The competition between the two newspapers resulted in litigation in which Mr. Anderson led the successful defense and later assisted in the acquisition by the Arkansas Democrat of the assets of the Arkansas Gazette to create what has now become the current Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. Mr. Anderson also served on the board of directors of the newspaper and its parent company.  


In 2008, he represented WEHCO Newspapers, Inc., in the acquisition of three newspapers in central Missouri. In 1998 and 1999, he represented the same client in the acquisition of the Chattanooga Free Press and The Chattanooga Times, which papers were merged into the Chattanooga Times Free Press in 1999.


He represented media clients on First Amendment issues, including access and defamation. He was lead counsel for ABC, CBS, CNN and NBC in access litigation arising out of the Whitewater trials in Arkansas in 1996. He represented The New York Times, the Associated Press and HBO on media issues arising in Arkansas. He was also lead counsel in trying two landmark newspaper antitrust cases to successful conclusions: Community Publishers, Inc. v. Donrey Corp. and Arkansas Gazette Company v. Camden News Publishing Company. He served as appellate counsel in Cooper Tire & Rubber Company v. Phillips County Circuit Court, in which the Arkansas Supreme Court reversed an order of the lower court and issued a Writ of Certiorari to protect the manufacturer’s formulas and other trade secrets from disclosure. He was lead appellate counsel in the appeal of the largest personal-injury verdict in the history of the state at the time, which resulted in a substantial remittitur of the award, and in the appeal of a judgment in the amount of $8.2 million against a bank on a lender-liability claim, which resulted in the reversal of the judgment and the dismissal of the claim.


For several years, Mr. Anderson was outside general counsel for what was the largest bank holding company in Arkansas, and he represented the client in the acquisition of banks throughout the state. Throughout his practice, Mr. Anderson’s career was also marked by community service. He served for some 44 years as a Trustee and Secretary of the George W. Donaghey Foundation Board. The Foundation was created by former Governor George Donaghey to aid and provide support for UA Little Rock.


He was active for many years in the American Bar Association. His service included serving as Chair of the House of Delegates, two terms on the Association’s Board of Governors, and representing the State of Arkansas for more than thirty years in the House of Delegates, rising to become the elected President of the Association in 1998-1999.


He has long been a member of the American Law Institute, which promulgates the Restatements of the Law, and he is an emeritus member of its governing Council. He served as an adviser in the preparation of the Restatement of the Law Governing Lawyers and the Restatement of Trusts-Prudent Investor Rule. In 2013, Mr. Anderson was selected by the Fellows of the American Bar Foundation to receive the Outstanding Service Award, which is presented to “a fellow who has, in his professional career, adhered for more than thirty years to the highest principles and traditions of the legal profession and to the service to the public.”


Mr. Anderson is also a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences and a steadfast supporter of the arts. 


For his decades of service to the state of Arkansas and beyond, and for his leadership at Williams & Anderson PLC, we join his family, friends, clients, and colleagues in expressing our heartfelt thanks to Philip S. Anderson for his outstanding career and wish for him a long and comfortable retirement. 


  • Philip S. Anderson
    Philip S. Anderson