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, and corporate governance issues, as well as general corporate planning. He also serves many companies as their “outside general counsel.”

Mr. Carlson has served as independent counsel to Special Committees, Boards of Directors, and individual directors of publicly-held REITs and other companies regarding corporate governance and transaction issues.  In addition, Mr. Carlson also assists biotech companies in their formation, IP planning, licensing, fundraising, clinical trial and CRO contracting and governance.

Mr. Carlson served as chair of the Maryland State Bar Association Business Law Section Council (2012-2013) and, since 2016, has chaired that Section’s Committee on Corporation Law which proposes amendments to the Maryland General Corporation Law for consideration by Maryland’s General Assembly.  He presently serves on the MSBA’s Board of Governors and 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.


  • 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)
  • Chair of Section of Business Law's Committee on Corporation Law, 2016 - Present
  • Member, Maryland State Bar Association's Board of Governors, 2017 - Present
  • 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

News & Publications

April 24, 2020
Shapiro Sher Recognized as Leading Firm in Chambers USA 2020

Chambers USA, a preeminent guide to the U.S. legal industry, has released its 2020 rankings, naming five Shapiro Sher attorneys in its survey of Maryland lawyers.

August 19, 2019
Ten Shapiro Sher Attorneys Featured in The Best Lawyers in America

January 02, 2019
Thirteen Shapiro Sher Attorneys Recognized in Maryland Super Lawyers 2019

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.

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

Eleven Shapiro Sher attorneys are cited in Maryland Super Lawyers 2016

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.