Attorney Profile

William E. Carlson is the president of the Firm and the chair of the Firm's business department. He concentrates in corporate and securities law advising public and privately held clients in mergers and acquisitions, equity and debt financings, joint ventures, technology transfer and licensing, employment and consulting arrangements, corporate governance issues as well as general corporate planning. He also serves many companies as their “outside general counsel.”

Mr. Carlson also assists biotech companies in their formation, IP planning, licensing, fundraising, clinical trial and CRO contracting and governance. In addition, Mr. Carlson has served numerous publicly held companies, including REITs, as “Maryland corporate law” co-counsel. He is listed in The Bond Buyer’s “Red Book” as a nationally recognized bond counsel and advises municipalities in economic development matters. Mr. Carlson served as chair of the Maryland State Bar Association Business Law Section Council (2012-2013) and is a member on that Section’s Committee on Corporation Law. He has served on economic and community development task forces, including the Downtown Partnership of Baltimore Board of Directors, the Community Relations Commission of Baltimore City and the President’s Roundtable of the Greater Baltimore Committee (GBC).

Mr. Carlson presently serves as a director of Greenspring Fund, Incorporated, a mutual fund, and several other companies.

Mr. Carlson has served on the Editorial Board of Medical Innovation & Business (a Lippincott Williams & Wilkins journal). He has lectured for The Maryland Institute for Continuing Professional Education for Lawyers, Inc. (MICPEL) on "Business Organizations," "ABC's of Inc.’s and LLC’s," and "Buy Sell Agreements," and has guest lectured at The Johns Hopkins University Carey School of Business.

Following graduation from law school, he served as law clerk to the Honorable Norman P. Ramsey of the United States District Court for the District of Maryland.


  • Mid Atlantic Venture Association
  • American Bar Association
  • Maryland State Bar Association and its Section of Business Law, serving as its chair, 2012-2013, (after having served as its vice chair, 2011-2012, and secretary, 2010-2011)
  • Bar Association of Baltimore City
  • Editorial Board of Medical Innovation & Business (a Lippincott Williams & Wilkins journal), 2009-2010
  • Spring 2010 Guest Lecturer in "Commercializing Scientific Discoveries" Course at The Johns Hopkins University Carey School of Business
  • Director, Greenspring Fund, Incorporated
  • Member, Greater Baltimore Committee's Presidents Advisory Council

Books Published

Chambers USA

Chambers USA selects William E. Carlson for inclusion in its 2012, 2013 and 2014 editions as one of Maryland's preeminent Corporate/M&A attorneys.

​​Best Lawyers in America®

Best Lawyers in America® 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 include William E. Carlson, who was selected by his peers as one of the nation's best lawyers in the field of Biotechnology Law.

Super Lawyers

"Super Lawyers" rating service selects William E. Carlson and ten other Shapiro Sher attorneys for inclusion in its 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 Maryland rankings.

News & Publications

December 19, 2017
Maryland Super Lawyers Recognizes Twelve Shapiro Sher Attorneys

August 23, 2017
Best Lawyers in America Recognizes Nine Shapiro Sher Attorneys

September 30, 2016
The Director Duties Bill: Amendments to Section 2-405.1 of the Maryland General Corporation Law

Firm president Bill Carlson's article in the Maryland Bar Journal answers several inquiries on the prospective application of the amendments to Section 2-405.1 of the Maryland General Corporation Law.

June 13, 2016
Chambers USA Ranks Shapiro Sher Among Leading Law Firms

December 15, 2015
Maryland Super Lawyers 2016 list includes 12 Shapiro Sher attorneys

Eleven Shapiro Sher attorneys are cited in Maryland Super Lawyers 2016

June 02, 2015
Chambers USA 2015 ranks Shapiro Sher among top law firms

Chambers USA names Shapiro Sher Guinot & Sandler among the leading firms in Maryland.

January 23, 2015
Maryland Super Lawyers 2015 list includes 14 Shapiro Sher attorneys

​Fourteen Shapiro Sher Guinot & Sandler are cited in Maryland Super Lawyers 2015, including one attorney listed as a Top 10 Maryland lawyer, two listed in the Top 100, and four “Rising Stars.”

May 30, 2014
Shapiro Sher honored in Chambers USA 2014

Chambers USA has cited Shapiro Sher Guinot & Sandler among the leading firms in Maryland.

December 31, 2013
Seventeen SSG&S Attorneys Included in Maryland Super Lawyers 2014

The new Maryland Super Lawyers list, just published by Thomson Reuters, names nearly all of the Firm's attorneys, including four lawyers identified as “Rising Stars” of the legal community.

August 15, 2013
"Best Lawyers 2014" selects 9 Shapiro Sher attorneys

Nine Shapiro Sher attorneys are listed in The Best Lawyers in America® 2014 rankings.