Vanessa Peterson Williams sworn in as SBM? representative assembly chair

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 Vanessa Peterson Williams, of Southfield, has been sworn in as the chair of the State Bar of Michigan (SBM) Representative Assembly for 2014-2015. The Hon. Cynthia D. Stephens officiated at the Sept. 18 ceremony, held during the SBM Annual Meeting at DeVos Place in Grand Rapids.


The 150-member Representative Assembly (RA) is the final policy-making body of the State Bar. It was created in 1971 by the Michigan Supreme Court at the request of SBM's Board of Commissioners in order to increase geographical representation and member participation in SBM policy. Ms. Williams represents Oakland County.

Ms. Williams served as editor-in-chief of The Brief, journal of the Tort Insurance and Trial Practice Section of the American Bar Association, and has also served as president of the Association of Defense Trial Council, a member of the board of directors of the Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association, and she serves on the ABA House of Delegates. She is a fellow of the Michigan State Bar Foundation and a fellow of the American Bar Foundation.

Since 2013, Ms. Williams has been the vice president, chief legal counsel, and global privacy officer at iHS Automotive in Southfield. Prior to that she served as vice president, deputy general counsel, and chief compliance officer at R.L. Polk & Co., a senior attorney at Michigan Basic Property Insurance Association, and an associate at Plunkett & Cooney PC.

She graduated from the University of Alabama in 1992, earned her law degree from the College of William and Mary—Marshall Wythe Law School in 1995, and received her M.B.A. from Wayne State University in 2008.