Arent Fox Adds Fashion & Retail Partner (Los Angeles)

Arent Fox is pleased to announce the expansion of its Fashion & Retail practice with the addition of Partner James Williams in Los Angeles.

James is a nationally-recognized advisor in the Textile, Apparel, and Luxury Goods industry with two decades of experience as a corporate lawyer, strategic advisor, and global fashion CEO. He focuses on M&A, corporate finance, formation, and governance for consumer brands and private equity.

James joins the firm from TRAUB, one of the world’s pre-eminent fashion/retail-focused management consulting firms where he served as Managing Director and was responsible for leading the US West Coast consulting practice. James has extensive experience in managing financial and strategic crises for brands ranging from startups to global household names. He routinely acts as personal strategic counsel to CEOs, fund managers, and LPs.

James is one of the country’s top business advisors in the fashion and retail space. His two decades of experience shaping executive decision-making and driving strategic directions as a corporate law partner, general counsel, and CEO will be a great asset to our clients.

Anthony V. Lupo, Fashion & Retail Practice Leader

Arent Fox’s Fashion & Retail attorneys act as outside general counsel and regulatory and retail counsel for a number of well-known designer brands, including Diane von Furstenberg, Jimmy Choo, Christian Louboutin, Lacoste, Hugo Boss, Diesel, Fila, Marni, YSL, Balenciaga, Benetton, Escada, and Victoria’s Secret. The group announced earlier this year that it was guiding Valentino and Amazon through joint litigation and has been pioneering retail law during the pandemic for many of the US’s top brands.

James’s skill as a lawyer and experience as general counsel and CEO for a major retail company makes him a fantastic addition to our Los Angeles office and the firm’s Fashion & Retail team. A corporate advisor with a deep professional network, James will focus his counsel on the broad array of commercial transactions facing consumer brands, from distribution and manufacturing deals, to joint ventures and co-branding, as well as M&A and financings.

Aaron H. Jacoby, Los Angeles Managing Partner

James’ Experience

  • Most recently, James was the Managing Director at TRAUB where he led the US West Coast consulting practice of one of the country’s pre-eminent consumer brands.
  • Before joining TRAUB, James led the bohemian fashion brand Planet Blue, growing the company from a local retailer to a global brand sold in over 100 countries, with more than 1 million subscribers. He ultimately sold the company to a private equity group in 2017.
  • At Planet Blue, James was both the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, in addition to serving as CEO of Planet Blue’s Tokyo-based joint venture with Sanei International, one of Japan’s largest vertical apparel enterprises.
  • James came to Planet Blue from Loeb & Loeb, where he served as a corporate law partner and chair of the firm’s Fashion practice group.

Education: James received his JD from the Southwestern University School of Law and his BA from the University of California.