William W. Barrett is a partner at Williams Barrett & Wilkowski, LLP. He graduated from Miami University with a B.A. in History in 1984; received his Master of Arts diploma in History (Russian and Soviet Law) from Indiana University, Bloomington, in 1986; and received his Juris Doctor from Indiana University, Bloomington, graduating in 1989, cum laude .
His academic honors include: Undergraduate: Dean's List 1982-1984; Phi Alpha Theta, National History Honorary; Law School: Honors Graduate; Top Grade Award-Public International Law; Dean's Honors. He is admitted to practice law in Indiana, Ohio, and Florida.
Mr. Barrett practices primarily in the areas of commercial and probate litigation, election and campaign finance law, and local government law and litigation, including civil rights litigation. Prior to joining Williams Barrett & Wilkowski, LLP, he served from 1989-1994 as Judicial Clerk and Senior Judicial Clerk to the Hon. John G. Baker of the Indiana Court of Appeals and to the Hon. Thomas G. Fisher of the Indiana Tax Court. From 1994-2000, he served as Deputy Prosecutor and Assistant Chief Deputy Prosecutor for Johnson County and then as Magistrate of the Johnson Circuit and Superior Courts.
As head of Williams Barrett & Wilkowski, LLP’s Litigation Group, Mr. Barrett employs his years of courtroom experience across three states to represent and advise clients throughout the firm's many areas of practice. His public entity clients have included Johnson County Government, where he is the Litigation Attorney, the City of Franklin, the City of Southport, the Town of Trafalgar, and various police and fire merit boards and zoning boards in municipalities around Central Indiana.
In 2016, Mr. Barrett was responsible for the background investigations and background interviews of applicants for selection as the Indiana Lt. Governor candidate with the Eric Holcomb for Governor Campaign. He subsequently served as General Counsel to the Holcomb-Crouch Transition Team for Indiana's 2016-17 Governor-Elect Eric Holcomb. In 2021, he was responsible for the background investigations and background interviews of applicants for selection to fill the then-current vacancy in the Office of Secretary of State of Indiana. Mr. Barrett has also represented local and statewide candidates and elected officials in matters with, and proceedings before, the Indiana Election Division, the Indiana Election Commission, the Federal Election Commission, and the United States Office of Special Counsel.
Active in civic and professional affairs, in 2006 Mr. Barrett was appointed by Governor Mitch Daniels as Chairman of the Indiana Gaming Commission. In 2009, he was appointed by Governor Daniels and subsequently re-appointed by Governors Mike Pence and Eric Holcomb to the Indiana Delegation to the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws (NCCUSL), where he has served as Chair of the Delegation since 2013 and worked as a member of several committees to help the Conference’s goals of strengthening the Rule of Law and supporting the principles of cooperative federalism through non-partisan legislation in areas of the law where uniformity is desirable. Within NCCUSL, he served as a Division Chair from 2015-2017 and as the Lead Division Chair from 2017-2021. He is currently Co-Chair of NCCUSL's Study Committee on Election Law.
He served for many years as Chair of the Advisory Opinion Panel of the Indianapolis Bar Association’s Professional Responsibility Committee, and in addition, has taught several law and civics-related courses at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, the University of Indianapolis, and Franklin College. He is a Master Fellow of the Indiana Bar Foundation.
Currently, Mr. Barrett is Vice-Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Indiana Historical Society, Vice-President of the Columbia Club of Indianapolis, a member of the Board of Directors of the Indiana State Chamber of Commerce, and a member of the First Merchants Bank Indianapolis Advisory Board of Directors. He has also held leadership positions in several other central Indiana not-for-profit organizations, including the Rotary Club of Indianapolis-Sunrise, Rotary International District 6560, the Women’s Fund of Central Indiana, and Leadership Johnson County.