J. Henry Walker IV serves as the Chair of Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP, an international law firm with over 600 lawyers in 19 offices. In this role, he oversees the strategic direction and growth of the firm. Mr. Walker leads the firm’s Executive Committee working closely with them to define and execute the firm’s strategic objectives. Prior to his election to the Chair, he served as the firm’s Managing Partner.
Mr. Walker continues to handle select matters for clients as a partner on the Firm’s Complex Commercial Litigation Team. He has spent more than 30 years litigating large complex cases for clients, including class actions, technology and telecommunications matters. Based on his involvement in thousands of cases and previous in-house counsel experience, he has also provided extensive client counseling on the best ways to minimize risks and prevent litigation in business initiatives.
Mr. Walker has been first chair in numerous trials and arbitrations involving multimillion dollar business litigation, including claims for breach of contract, violations of regulations, fraud, and tortuous interference. He has served as lead counsel in numerous successful efforts to defeat class certification, including major federal court litigation alleging hundreds of millions of dollars in damages. He has provided litigation-related advice on compliance with SEC regulations and other laws affecting publicly-traded corporations, including drafting board talking points and disclosure documents. He has also provided litigation risk analysis on multibillion dollar acquisitions.
Mr. Walker rejoined the firm—where he practiced as a partner until 1996—in 2007 after serving as Chief Litigation Counsel to BellSouth Corporation. Mr. Walker’s mixture of in-house experience and outside counsel experience provides him with a strong understanding of the challenges facing clients and in-house counsel. At BellSouth, Mr. Walker managed a team of lawyers and paralegals responsible for a large and challenging litigation docket while taking frontline responsibility for numerous large litigation matters. He was one of the lead in-house counsel in numerous major antitrust matters, including two successful landmark United States Supreme Court cases (Twombly and Trinko). He received the BellSouth President’s Award and the General Counsel’s Award for Excellence.
Mr. Walker is very active in the State Bar of Georgia, currently serving on the Board of Governors and numerous committees. He is a member of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors serving as the Chair of the Georgia Chamber’s Law and Judiciary Committee and is on the Executive Committee of the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce. Among other positions, Mr. Walker also served on the State of Georgia Judicial Nominating Commission which interviewed candidates and provided a “short list” to the Governor for judicial appointments. Mr. Walker was recognized in The Best Lawyers in America® for Commercial Litigation in 2019 and the six years immediately preceding. He was also named a 2017 “Atlanta Lawyer of the Year” in the area of Technology Law by The Best Lawyers in America®. Mr. Walker was named a Georgia “Super Lawyer” in 2015, 2016 and 2017 for Civil Litigation Defense by Super Lawyers magazine. He is AV®rated by Martindale-Hubbell.*
*CV, BV, and AV are registered certification marks of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedure’s standards and policies.
- The firm served as lead trial counsel for a regional telecommunications company in a successful three day preliminary injunction hearing over improper use of the company’s trademark.
- Served as in-house counsel for regional telecommunications company regarding securities fraud class action involving multi-billion dollar claim. Case settled near the end of discovery phase.
- Successfully represented an advertising and publishing company against claims ranging from fraudulent inducement to civil conspiracy. The Court granted our client’s summary judgment motion on all claims and awarded our client significant damages plus attorney’s fees, prejudgment interest and costs.
- Served as in-house counsel for a regional telecommunications company regarding litigation based on independent contractor doctrine. Summary judgment affirmed for the company.
- Represented a global telecommunications company in class action based on FCC ruling finding acquired telecommunications company collected improper access charges.
Served as lead trial counsel in multimillion dollar healthcare dispute, involving breach of contract, fraud and tortuous interference. Case settled on successful basis after first week of jury trial.
- Represented a national telecommunications company in a putative class action lawsuit, in which plaintiffs alleged fraud over its allegedly defective telephone, Internet and television service. The plaintiffs claimed the data backbone of the service was systematically defective, causing Internet, telephone and television connectivity problems. The court said that the forum selection and arbitration clauses contained in its terms of service agreements bar the plaintiffs from bringing their nationwide class action in his court. The court of appeals affirmed the district court’s decision in all respects in a published decision.
- Serving as lead counsel for a large telecommunication company, the firm won a motion to dismiss claims alleging breach of rights of way agreement.
- Served as lead counsel for a regional telecommunications company resolving performance disputes involving IT contracts with multiple vendors. Settled for multimillion payments and credits, plus release of future obligations.
- Serving as lead counsel for a large telecommunication company, the firm won a motion to dismiss breach of contract and fraud claims based primarily on the filed rate doctrine. Solar Star Sys., Inc. v. BellSouth Telecomms. Inc., No. 10–21105–CIV, 2012 WL 37387 (S.D. Fl. Jan. 6, 2012).
- Served as lead counsel providing advice on numerous privacy data breach matters, including data breaches involving millions of credit card numbers and thousands of social security numbers. Led the team that investigated and assisted in the containment of numerous data breaches. Provided advice on compliance with state data breach notification laws and federal law requirements.
- Represented a national telecommunications company in a putative nationwide class action alleging improper “cramming” of services. Class certification was defeated.
- Served as in-house counsel for a regional telecommunications company regarding precedent setting right-of-way case won on summary judgment.
- Serving as lead counsel for large public and private companies, the firm successfully enforced non-compete clauses and obtained court orders protecting trade secrets.
- Served as in-house counsel for a regional telecommunications company regarding significant antitrust case alleging conspiracy among Regional Bell Operating Companies (RBOC). The Supreme Court ultimately ruled in the RBOC’s favor in a landmark case. Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544 (2007).
- Served as lead in-house counsel representing BellSouth in this significant antitrust case, which raised issues under essential facilities doctrine and the intersection of antitrust law and the Federal Telecommunications Act of 1996. The United States Supreme Court ultimately decided the antitrust liability issues in a companion case in BellSouth’s favor. Verizon Commc’ns Inc. v. Law Offices of Curtis V. Trinko, LLP, 540 US 398 (2004).
- Represented large e-commerce software company in case involving implementation of multiple software programs. Claims alleged included fraud, breach of warranty, negligent misrepresentation, and state statutory claims.
- Mercer University Walter F. George School of Law, J.D. (1986) cum laude
- University of Virginia, B.A., American Government (1983)
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