As a former general counsel of both a public company and a private company, Allen W. Nelson has significant experience leading global teams, and providing advice on a wide range of topics important to boards of directors, members of executive management, and investors. Mr. Nelson co-leads t|e General Counsel and focuses on leveraging the Firm’s considerable in-house experience to provide tailored solutions to General Counsels, in-house lawyers, entrepreneurs and business owners who want lawyers that can “plug and play” into their businesses.

Mr. Nelson was the General Counsel, Corporate Secretary and Chief Administrative Officer of Crawford & Company (NYSE: CRD.A and CRD.B). Crawford is the world’s largest publicly traded claims management firm, which operates in more than 70 countries around the world. Mr. Nelson advised the company’s Board of Directors and senior management on a wide variety of legal and business issues including mergers and acquisitions; ethics and compliance; litigation matters; government investigations and negotiations; and the legal and compliance aspects of Crawford’s status as a NYSE-listed company.. At various times during his tenure, Mr. Nelson was also responsible for internal audit; ethics and compliance; human resources; corporate communications; and real estate.

Prior to joining Crawford, Mr. Nelson was BellSouth Corporation’s (NYSE: BLS) Chief Compliance Counsel. He also managed legal matters for the company’s political activities; its risk management function; litigated matters; traditional labor and employment matters; as well as intellectual property issues. Mr. Nelson also supported major transactions, including the acquisition of AT&T Wireless by Cingular Wireless.

Mr. Nelson was also the General Counsel of 8 Rivers Capital, LLC. 8 Rivers Capital develops sustainable infrastructure. In that role, Mr. Nelson oversaw a portfolio of hundreds of patents globally; worked extensively with inventors on emerging technologies; and protected the company’s proprietary information vigorously.

Mr. Nelson currently teaches an upper-level course on in-house practice at Duke University School of Law as a senior lecturing fellow. Topics include ethics and compliance; public company matters; litigation; international law; employment law; and a wide variety of other corporate law topics.


  • American Bar Association
  • Atlanta Ballet, Former Chairman, Board of Trustees
  • Duke University Alumni Association, Member of Global Board of Directors
  • Emory University, Former Member, Board of Visitors
  • Fellows of the American Bar Foundation
  • International Association of Defense Counsel
  • State Bar of Georgia
  • Tech Alpharetta, Board Member
  • The Woodruff Arts Center, Board Trustee


  • Duke University, Forever Duke Award, 2017
  • Daily Report, Outside Counsel Legal Management Award, 2014
  • Former President George H. W. Bush and Points of Light Foundation, Daily Point of Light, 2013
  • Points of Light Foundation and BoardSource, Board Member of the Month, 2013
  • Georgia Center for Nonprofits, Revolutions Award for Outstanding Nonprofit Board Leader, 2013
  • Woodruff Arts Center, Charles R. Yates Award, 2012
  • Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation, Camille Yow Award, 2008
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated


  • Insurance
  • Retail
  • Staffing

Bar Admissions

  • Georgia


  • Duke University School of Law, JD, J.R. Parkinson Memorial Scholar, 1989
  • Duke University, Honors in History, cum laude, 1986

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