Kara C. Williams
(304) 598-8130
Office: Morgantown
J.D. Harvard University
B.A. Washington & Lee
Licensure: DC | WV
See Education


Kara Cunningham Williams focuses her practice in the areas of energy and utility law.  With over 20 years’ experience in transactional, regulatory and litigation matters, she offers a seasoned, comprehensive approach geared to anticipating client needs and providing top quality, timely service.  Her transactional work includes acquisitions, divestitures and due diligence, as well as the negotiation and documentation of credit agreements.  As a former Commissioner on the West Virginia Public Service Commission, she also brings high-level experience in areas such as utility rates, billing practices, quality of service, inter-utility agreements, property and financial transactions, and facility siting.  She is co-lead of the firm’s Alternative & Renewable Energy team and advises developers and other participants on project development and siting.  In addition, she has served as interim outside general counsel for a large municipal utility; has represented natural gas and oil pipelines in complicated contract, real estate, and jurisdictional matters involving state and federal law; has litigated contract and other disputes involving coal industry interests; and has significant experience in commercial litigation, with a focus on banking, financial services and class action defense.  Williams also has served as an Adjunct Lecturer at the WVU College of Law.

Work Experience

2017 Steptoe & Johnson PLLC
2015-2017 West Virginia Public Service Commission
2014 Adjunct Lecturer, West Virginia University College of Law
1999-2013 Steptoe & Johnson PLLC
1995-1999 Hunton & Williams LLP
1993-1994 Judicial Clerk, Supreme Court of Maine

Speaking Engagements

"State and Federal Environmental Regulation and Politics" and "Commissioner Roundtable," 22nd Annual Education Conference, Mid-Atlantic Conference of Regulatory Utilities Commissioners, Hershey PA (June 2017)

"Organizational Leadership Issues for Attorneys," ALPS Lawyer Leadership Institute (WV Bar Foundation), Roanoke WV (May 2012)

"Ethics Issues for In-house (and Out-house) Counsel," 31 Energy & Min. L. Inst. 51 (2010) (with Randall C. Light)

"Professional Responsibility Issues in Representing the Organizational Client," WVCLE, Charleston WV (June 2010)

"Ethics Issues for In-house (and Out-house) Counsel," Energy & Mineral Law Foundation, 31st Annual Institute, Amelia Island FL (May 2010) (Co-Presenter)

“Products Liability & Doing Business in the U.S.,” Council of American States in Europe/WV Development Office, United Kingdom (April 2007) “Products Liability & Doing Business in the U.S.,” Council of American States in Europe/WV Development Office, United Kingdom (April 2007)

“Ethics Issues Affecting Corporate Counsel,” NiSource Legal Department, Charleston WV (October 2005)

"Rethinking the Fiduciary Exception to the Attorney-Client Privilege -- A Postscript," 11 Benefits L.J. 69 (Spring 1998) (with John J. Range)

"Rethinking the Fiduciary Exception to the Attorney-Client Privilege in Light of Varity Corporation v. Howe," 10 Benefits L.J. 25 (Winter 1997) (with John J. Range)

Key Experience

Leads collateral documentation teams for E&P, midstream and coal credit facilities
Former member of State Commission responsible for supervising and regulating rates, services, operations, and other activities of public utilities
Represented interstate pipeline company at FERC in multiple disputes with system co-owner over operating agreement, reciprocal lease, and interconnection agreement

Memberships & Awards

Commissioner Emeritus, National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC)
Member, WV State Bar Committee on Unlawful Practice
Master of the Bench, Judge John A. Field Jr. American Inn of Court
The Best Lawyers in America®
West Virginia Super Lawyers®
Generation Next/40 Under 40 Award, The State Journal