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Wes Payne Introduced as the 95th Chancellor of the Philadelphia Bar Association

December 13, 2021

Wes Payne was introduced as Chancellor of the Philadelphia Bar Association at its Annual Meeting on December 13.

Wes will be the Association’s 95th Chancellor, culminating a career of service to the Philadelphia Bar Association, the oldest association of lawyers in the United States. He previously served as Treasurer and was a member of the Board of Governors and Co-Chair of the Insurance Committee.

Wes Payne Philadelphia BarAs Chancellor, Wes will lead the Association’s 11,000 members to build on the storied history of public service and commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion in the legal profession and City of Philadelphia. He endeavors “to create an environment where diversity, equity and inclusion, public interest and membership initiatives can grow and prosper together and make the Philadelphia Bar Association better.” Wes says, “We must strive to make our profession more inclusive and to look like the population that we serve.” 

At White and Williams, Wes is a litigation partner. He has over 30 years of experience as a trial attorney and advising insurance carriers and self-insured corporations regarding complex litigation issues, particularly in the areas of product liability, asbestos, toxic tort, bad faith, extracontractual damages and coverage. In addition to his practice, Wes is Chair of the firm's Diversity Committee, Co-Chair of the Pro Bono Committee and Chair of the firm's Homeless Advocacy Group. He serves on the Partner Compensation and Associate Recruitment Committees and is a former member of the Operations, Budget and Executive Committees.

Before entering private practice, Wes served as a military prosecutor in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate Generals Corps from 1988 until he resigned in 1991 as a Captain. After working as an in-house trial attorney, Wes joined White and Williams in 2001 and was elected partner in 2005. 

In addition to his involvement with the Philadelphia Bar Association, Wes has served on several pro bono and civic boards including serving as president of the Bethesda Project, president of the Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network, co-president of the Philadelphia Diversity Law Group, and president of the Philadelphia Association of Defense Counsel. He has also served on the boards of the Homeless Advocacy Project, Pennsylvania Bar Foundation, Pennsylvania Defense Institute, and Pennsylvania Bar Association Board of Governors.

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