Charleston, SC – Smith Moore Leatherwood LLP is expanding its footprint in the Southeast with a new office in Charleston, SC, being led by some of the city's top legal talent. Robert W. Pearce, Jr., H. Michael Bowers, Laura Johnson Evans and Neil D. Thomson have joined the firm, which also has offices in Greenville, South Carolina; Atlanta, Georgia; and Charlotte, Greensboro, Raleigh and Wilmington, North Carolina. Bowers and Pearce will be the Partners in Charge of the Charleston office.
"When considering any firm expansion, we do it thoughtfully, balancing the needs of our clients with our desire to add top legal talent in all the markets in which we practice," said Rob Marcus, Chairman of the firm's Management Committee. "Charleston has grown from a national cultural and travel destination into an international business hub. Smith Moore Leatherwood attorneys have represented clients in Charleston for years, and the addition of these attorneys will greatly enhance the services we provide our clients in the lowcountry and across the state. These four attorneys are a powerful addition to our team and will fortify the firm's commercial litigation, corporate, health care and transportation practices. We are very pleased to have such outstanding attorneys and community leaders join us in establishing the office and leading us in building the Smith Moore Leatherwood team in Charleston."
"Having experienced the business growth and expansion in the Upstate as a result of the BMW plant opening, we are keenly aware of the economic growth potential that lies ahead for Charleston with the imminent opening of the Boeing plant," said Tod Hyche, Partner in Charge of the Greenville, SC office. "We look forward to working with our clients in Charleston and the surrounding areas to maximize their opportunities."
"Throughout my career I have both been an entrepreneur and worked with many exciting entrepreneurs, so joining Smith Moore Leatherwood is a great next venture for the four of us," said Pearce. "The firm adheres to the grand traditions of outstanding Southern law firms: it places client relationships and its lawyers' core values above all else with the firm doing well only if its clients do well. Smith Moore Leatherwood truly lives and breathes a classic team approach to the practice of law with the successes of one being shared by all."
"I am pleased that my litigation team is joining a law firm with such a distinguished litigation history in the Carolinas and Georgia," said Bowers. "We are looking forward to expanding our practice in South Carolina and the Southeast, and providing our clients with representation enhanced by expanded support personnel and the latest technology. We are also pleased that my partner Laura Johnson Evans will lead the expansion of our health care practice in Charleston and the lowcountry region."
Robert W. Pearce, Jr.
With a B.A. in economics from Washington and Lee University and an M.B.A. and a J.D. from the University of South Carolina, Pearce has built a practice including corporate law, private securities offerings, venture capital, mergers and acquisitions, real estate finance, lender representation and trademark law. A member of the SMART STATE Centers of Excellence Review Board for the State of South Carolina, he was first appointed by Governor Mark Sanford and then later by Speaker of the House Bobby Harrell to help oversee over $210 million of funding for research-related projects and endowed chairs focused on creating new high-growth businesses centered around South Carolina's three research universities. Pearce is currently Chairman of the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce. He also serves on the board of directors of New Carolina (the South Carolina Council on Competitiveness), the board of the Trident Technical College Foundation, the board of the Charleston Regional Development Alliance, the board of the World Trade Center Charleston and the board of the Charleston Chamber Foundation.
H. Michael Bowers
A graduate of the University of South Carolina and the University's School of Law, Bowers has built a practice that focuses on defending complex cases in the areas of products liability, toxic tort, business litigation, trucking and transportation and insurance law. Before entering private practice he was Assistant Attorney General for the State of South Carolina in the Litigation Section. Bowers is the former South Carolina State Representative for Defense Research Institute, a former Past President of the South Carolina Defense Trial Attorneys Association and a member of the International Association of Defense Counsel's Products Liability, Toxic Tort and Medical Device Committees and a member of the Product Liability Advisory Council.
Laura Johnson Evans
Evans graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and from the University of South Carolina School of Law. Her litigation practice in both the state and federal courts includes litigating healthcare, toxic tort, product liability, commercial and first party insurance cases. She has also practiced in the regulatory and administrative arena in the areas of healthcare provider licensing, facility licensing and certificate of need. She frequently provides contracting, compliance and risk management advice to physician practices and healthcare facilities. Evans previously served as Director of Legal Services and In-House Counsel of Roper Saint Francis Healthcare, where she oversaw a wide variety of corporate legal matters and litigation for the healthcare system.
Neil D. Thomson
A graduate of the University of Virginia and the University of South Carolina School of Law, Thomson's litigation practice includes matters involving professional liability, insurance defense, premises liability and commercial contract disputes.
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