News & Insights

Kathleen Walker Named Top Immigration Attorney, Deborah Williamson Honored in Texas Lawyer’s "Go-To Guide"

December 7, 2012

Cox Smith Matthews Incorporated (“Cox Smith”) today announced that Kathleen Campbell Walker has been selected by Texas Lawyer magazine as its “Go-To Lawyer” for immigration law and Deborah D. Williamson is a finalist in the bankruptcy category. The Go-To Guide, which is compiled by the magazine’s editorial department and published only every five years, will appear in the magazine’s December 10, 2012 issue. Both women were previously selected as finalists in Texas Lawyer’s 2007 Go-To Guide. 

To compile this prestigious list of the state’s leading lawyers, which includes one Go-To Lawyer and four finalists in each category, Texas Lawyer’s editorial department spent more than seven months researching lawyers in private practice as well as federal and state prosecutors. Interviews were conducted with attorneys across the state and recognition was given to attorneys in 18 practice areas.

Kathleen Walker is internationally recognized for her experience handling the complex issues related to business immigration, consular processing, admissibility and immigration security issues. In addition to her outstanding reputation in immigration and nationality law, she has advocated at local, state, and federal levels for comprehensive immigration reform, the improvement of national border security infrastructure and procedures, consular processing and admission procedures for foreign nationals, and improvement in the provision of pro bono immigration services and detention standards.

Board certified in Immigration and Nationality Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, Kathleen has served as president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), general counsel to AILA, Chair of the AILA National Customs and Border Protection Liaison (CBP) Committee, and Chair of the AILA National Department of State (DOS) Liaison Committee. In 2011-2012, she chaired the AILA National Verification and Documentation Liaison Committee, focusing on immigration worksite compliance, and continues to serve on that committee. The incoming Chair of the Greater El Paso Chamber of Commerce, where she currently serves as chairman of the government relations division, Walker is also Chair of the Border Relations Committee for the City of El Paso. She served on the Council of Foreign Relations Independent Task Force on U.S. Immigration Policy, which was chaired by former Governor Jeb Bush and Thomas F. (Mack) McLarty, and was one of the 30 women recognized in Texas Lawyer’s "Extraordinary Women in Texas Law" publication in 2008. She has been recognized by Texas Super Lawyers as one of the Top 50 women lawyers in the state and Top 50 lawyers in the Central and West Texas region, and she has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America® for immigration and nationality law since the category was included in the publication (20 years). In addition, she is listed in the Chambers USA (Band One) and Chambers Global publications.

As the senior member of Cox Smith’s bankruptcy department, Deborah Williamson is internationally recognized for her knowledge of bankruptcy and creditor’s rights issues. She travels frequently around Texas, as well as the nation and the world to address colleagues and counsel clients on bankruptcy issues and trends. She is called on by a variety of industries and clients, including commercial banks, institutional lenders, energy players, commercial landlords, and governmental units, for her bankruptcy experience and advice regarding counter-party risk.

Williamson currently serves as one of the 19 members of the American Bankruptcy Institute’s (ABI) Bankruptcy Reform Commission and was recently awarded the ABI’s Lifetime Achievement Award, which was only the second time the award has ever been presented in the ABI’s nearly 30-year history. She has been named a leader in her field by Chambers USA since 2003, selected for inclusion by Texas Super Lawyers as one of the Top 100 Lawyers in Texas (regardless of practice) since 2007 and as one of the Top 50 Women Lawyers in Texas and one of the Top 50 Lawyers in Central Texas since the honor’s inception, and named one of The Best Lawyers in America© consecutively for over two decades. She is also the current Co-Chair of the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Litigation Committee of the Litigation Section of the American Bar Association.  This year, Williamson, along with Cox Smith’s Meghan Bishop, authored When Gushers Go Dry, a guide to oil and gas bankruptcy. She had previously co-authored Bankruptcy Litigation for the Commercial Litigator.

“This is an incredibly proud day for all of us at Cox Smith, who are fortunate to work alongside Kathleen and Deborah on a daily basis,” said Jamie Smith, managing director of Cox Smith. “These two outstanding women have worked incredibly hard throughout their careers and it’s a testament to the fine work they do for their clients and their passion for their chosen practice area that they are being recognized by Texas Lawyer as the best in the state at what they do.”