Firm News


April 28, 2014

Mitchell, Williams, Selig, Gates & Woodyard, P.L.L.C. regrets to announce the death of one of its members, William H.L. Woodyard III on April 26, 2014. He was 68 years old.

"Mitchell Williams is fortunate to have a large national practice like we do. Bill founded that practice for us. His vision created the Insurance Regulatory practice and he brought a lot of well-known attorneys to the firm," said Mitchell Williams Managing Director Rick Beard. "Bill had a great sense of humor, which he maintained throughout his illness. Moreover, he was very generous in his personal life and dedicated to pursuing professional integrity and excellence. We will miss him greatly, and we extend our deepest sympathies to the entire Woodyard family."

Bill Woodyard earned his J.D. from University of Arkansas in 1971 and was admitted to practice in Arkansas the same year.

In 1983, the former Arkansas Insurance Commissioner joined the firm, and the Insurance Regulatory Practice Group was created. In 1991, the firm officially changed its name to Mitchell, Williams, Selig, Gates & Woodyard, P.L.L.C., as it is known today.

Bill Woodyard provided legal and counseling services on all forms of insurance-related corporate and regulatory matters both in Arkansas and on a national basis. He assisted in the design and regulatory approval of new insurance products and planned and executed insurance company expansion through admissions into additional states. He also assisted in mergers, acquisitions and restructuring of insurance companies. Bill represented insurance companies and rating organizations in rate cases, insurance companies and trade associations before regulatory agencies, and companies in financial and market conduct examinations. He also participated in and directed issue management for companies and trade associations.

Bill Woodyard's expertise in the Insurance Regulatory practice made him a well - respected player on the national level and a tremendous asset to the state of Arkansas. Prior to joining the firm, he served as commissioner, deputy commissioner and chief counsel for the Arkansas Insurance Department. He also served as vice president and president for the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). He was a presidential appointee to the Supplemental Health Insurance Panel for the Department of Health and Human Services. Bill served as chairman of the NAIC Subcommittee on Insurance Holding Companies and vice-chairman of the NAIC Task Force on Variable Life Insurance Regulation. In addition, he was a gubernatorial appointee to the Arkansas Health Care Reform Task Force and served as chairman of the Insurance Reform Committee. He served as vice-chair of the Public Regulation of Insurance Law Committee of the Torts and Insurance Practice Section of the American Bar Association. A past president of Passe' Club International, he also served as a member of the Commissioner's Insurance Industry Economic Development Task Force. He served on the board of directors of the Pulaski County Bar Association and as a member of the Arkansas Bar and American Bar associations.

Bill Woodyard was also generous with his time in giving back to the community. Among his many charitable endeavors were the Arkansas Multiple Sclerosis Society and Arkansas Food Bank. He was proud of his service in the Arkansas National Guard.