Stephen Williamson is a principal with The Van Winkle Law Firm, where he focuses his practice on employment, construction and toxic tort litigation in state and federal courts. While noted for his ability to provide clients with a vigorous defense, he has also represented plaintiffs successfully in commercial litigation cases tried to verdict.

An author and frequent lecturer, Williamson also maintains an active administrative practice, for which he appears before state and federal agencies.

Prior to law school, Williamson was a police officer in Texas. He applies this experience to his practice today, where he has built a strong reputation as a problem solver that helps employers tackle workplace violence. His proactive approach to these matters involves developing corporate policies, implementing procedures and training employers to evaluate circumstances and intervene in situations before violence occurs.

Awards & Honors

  • The Best Lawyers in America® 2020, Asheville Area – Litigation –
    • Construction
  • AV Peer-Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
  • America’s Top 100 High Stakes Litigators
  • Business North Carolina Legal Elite
  • Litigation Council of America

Practice Highlights


  • Represented general contractors in numerous contract disputes in Asheville, Raleigh, Charlotte and Greensboro including the recovery of more than $5.2 million from NCDOT.
  • Represented a primary defendant defending a $28 million claim arising out of the construction of a hotel. Successfully negotiated settlement of less than $1 million in multi-week mediation.
  • Assisted the designer with regard to a $300 million dispute arising out of the construction of the Charlotte Light Rail system.
  • Assisted a general contractor with regard to a $150 million dispute arising out of the construction of the Greensboro Western Loop.

Commercial Litigation

  • Recovered a multi-million dollar verdict for an airline in commercial litigation arising out of the sale of Boeing 727, British Aircraft Corporation BAC-111 and Cessna Citation II.

Mass Tort Litigation

  • Representation of an interstate transportation company in mass tort litigation arising out of an accident on Interstate 26 – an over-the-road truck crashed spilling ultra-hazardous material closing the highway for several weeks and necessitating the evacuation of local residents.
  • Represents multiple defendants in multi-plaintiff mass tort product liability litigation involving more than 5,000 plaintiffs alleging cumulative claims exceeding $800 million. This representation includes clients that are manufacturers, premises owners and contractors.


  • Defeated class certification and obtained summary judgment for the owners of a hotel chain facing numerous wage and hour claims.
  • Successfully defended the employer in more than 100 workplace related claims.


  • Retained by a Fortune 10 company to lead the investigations into two dozen environmental incidents in the Charlotte metro involving State and Federal Agencies.
  • Retained by a Fortune 50 company operating approximately 2,000 home improvement stores to investigate claims of widespread internal corruption and fraud in North and South Carolina.
  • Retained by a production manufacturing facility to investigate allegations of widespread sexual assault and intimidation.
  • Retained by a Fortune 250 company to lead the root cause investigation into the workplace fatality at a nuclear power site.
  • Retained by a Fortune 500 company operating approximately 7,000 retail outlets across the United States with regard to workplace violence policy and investigations.
  • Prior to law school, Mr. Williamson was a police officer in Texas. Building on that experience, combined with his experience in employment law, he has developed a reputation as a problem solver for employers facing workplace violence issues. He develops policies, implements procedures and creates crisis intervention plans. He has also developed a collaborative approach to training employers on proactive methods for evaluating and intervening in situations before violence occurs.

Nationwide Reach

  • In addition to regularly handling cases in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Texas, Steve has appeared and been admitted to practice in specific cases in California, Illinois, New York, New Jersey, Ohio, Delaware, Alabama, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Florida, Mississippi, Massachusetts, Tennessee, and Virginia.


  • Campbell University, Juris Doctor, 1993
  • Sam Houston State University, Bachelor’s Degree, 1990

Professional Affiliations

  • North Carolina State Bar
  • Texas State Bar
  • North Carolina Bar Association
  • 26th Judicial District Bar
  • Buncombe County Bar

Community Involvement

  • American Cancer Society, Asheville Leadership Council, Former Chairperson
  • American Cancer Society Charlotte Leadership Council, Former Chairperson
  • American Cancer Society, Cancer Action Network (Advocacy Division), National Council
  • Asheville Buncombe Community Christian Ministry (ABCCM), Medical Ministry Board Member and Former President
  • Asheville Chamber of Commerce, Leadership Circle

Stephen Williamson

Stephen Williamson

An explorer at heart, Steve has traveled throughout Asia and Europe.