Javon L. Williams, an Executive Partner at Secrest Wardle’s Troy location, has received Michigan Defense Trial Counsel’s (MDTC) Golden Gavel Award. Established in 2005, the Golden Gavel Award is presented annually to a member of the MDTC’s Young Lawyers Section who exemplifies significant contribution to professionalism and courtesy in the practice of law and by promoting the image and honorable reputation of the profession.

The award recognizes achievement within the member’s area of practice as evidenced by their knowledge, skill and advocacy, as well as their community involvement or pro bono representation and charitable endeavors. The award further recognizes leadership and advancement of the image of the recipient’s peers by way of mentoring, awards, civic leadership or otherwise. MDTC’s six esteemed Legal Awards will be presented to recipients at the Legal Excellence Awards on
March 19, 2020, at The Gem Theatre in Detroit. Secrest Wardle congratulates all MDTC Legal Awards recipients!


Mr. Williams has been with Secrest Wardle since 2009. He joined the Firm as a law clerk and became an Associate after passing the bar in 2010. Mr. Williams became a Partner in 2014 and was elevated to the position of Executive Partner in 2019. He is a member of Secrest Wardle’s Motor Vehicle Litigation, General Negligence, and Premises Liability Practice Groups. Mr. Williams takes great pride in making himself available to mentor young attorneys within the Firm. He generously shares his legal acumen not only with colleagues, but also with clients and others in the legal industry. He frequently meets with clients within and outside of the state providing legal updates and insight regarding trends within the industry.

Mr. Williams was named to Michigan Lawyers Weekly’s “Up & Coming Lawyers” Class of 2019. Members of the Class were chosen by a committee who based their selections on the lawyers establishing a name for themselves, going above and beyond, and displaying the ambition, drive, determination, and accomplishments that set them apart from their peers, within their first 10 years of practice. Since 2013, Mr. Williams has also been named to Super Lawyers Magazine’s list of Michigan Rising Stars in the area of Personal Injury General – Defense. Mr. Williams is a member of the State Bar of Michigan, active in the Litigation and Young Lawyers sections.

Javon Williams is a champion of diversity issues within Secrest Wardle and the legal community. Mr. Williams is the youngest attorney, and also the first African-American attorney, to be named an Executive Partner at Secrest Wardle. He is the first member of his family to attend law school, and the first within his immediate family to attend college. Mr. Williams earned his Juris Doctor from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law and received his Bachelor of Science degree from Tennessee State University in 2007 (magna cum laude).

Mr. Williams also balances his busy professional life with actively supporting causes he is passionate about. As a result of a close family member being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS,) he proudly supports the National MS Society-Michigan Chapter. Mr. Williams and his wife recently attended the MS Orange Out The Park Tiger Game in support of the MS Society in raising funds and awareness surrounding the disease. He further supported the MS Society by spearheading a Secrest Wardle Casual Day to fundraise for the local chapter. Each Friday, Secrest Wardle sponsors a “Casual Day” to raise funds for a multitude of local and national charitable organizations. Employees may make a donation to wear casual attire on Fridays. In addition to his support of the National MS Society, he is equally compassionate about the fight against breast cancer. Mr. Williams and his wife recently participated in Mix 92.3’s 20th Annual Sista Strut, a one mile walk through Downtown Detroit. All proceeds from the walk benefit the Karmanos Cancer Institute, Breast and Cervical Cancer Control Program. Sista Strut raises awareness for breast cancer – specifically in African American women.

Michigan Defense Trial Counsel (MDTC) was established in 1979 to enhance and promote the Defense Bar. MDTC exists to facilitate greater exchange of views and advance the interests of civil defense attorneys. MDTC is an association of the leading lawyers in the State of Michigan dedicated to representing individuals and corporations in civil litigation.

Secrest Wardle is a law firm specializing in defense litigation and counsel for insurance, municipal, and commercial clients headquartered in Troy, Michigan, with additional offices in Grand Rapids and Lansing. For additional information, please visit www.secrestwardle.com.