May 29, 2023


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South Carolina law firm is turning 100, still going strong

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In this May 2022 photo, Bill Harvey III stands next to a painting of his grandfather, W. Brantley Harvey Sr., who founded the Harvey and Battey law firm in Beaufort, S.C., in 1922, at the firm's offices on Craven Street. The firm turns 100 this month.  (Karl Puckett/The Beaufort Gazette via AP)

In this May possibly 2022 picture, Bill Harvey III stands up coming to a painting of his grandfather, W. Brantley Harvey Sr., who started the Harvey and Battey regulation company in Beaufort, S.C., in 1922, at the firm’s workplaces on Craven Road. The organization turns 100 this thirty day period. (Karl Puckett/The Beaufort Gazette through AP)


The Beaufort regulation organization of Harvey and Battey — whose lawyers have served as some of the foremost political figures in Beaufort County and the condition — turns 100 decades aged this month.

That can make it the oldest law business in Beaufort County, explained Invoice Harvey III, the grandson of the founder, and 1 of the oldest in South Carolina.

Even so, the century-old organization, housed in a nondescript building on Craven Street in Beaufort’s historic downtown, is not gazing in the rear-view mirror, Harvey provides. It is using the milestone as a springboard for long run expansion.

“Generally, when you feel of something that is as previous as 100 yrs, you think of it as dying — aged and dying,” Harvey advised The Beaufort Gazette and Island Packet. “We are not. We have a incredibly exciting, quite active group of more youthful lawyers.”

W. Brantley Harvey Sr. started Harvey and Battey in 1922.

Harvey III, Harvey Sr.’s grandson and the 3rd generation of Harveys in the organization, credits “dedication to integrity” and the firm’s target on general public assistance, as opposed to chasing the “almighty greenback,” for Harvey-Battey’s longevity.

“Integrity is challenging to retain, and you can lose it pretty speedily,” Harvey III stated. “Kind of like name. You only have a single integrity, and it’s very challenging to keep with a multi-employee business.”

Alex Murdaugh, 53, who labored for a further 100-in addition-calendar year-outdated South Carolina agency, is a case in point in how rapidly legal reputations can be dropped.

PMPED, a Hampton-centered company started in 1910 by Randolph Murdaugh Sr., Murdaugh’s grandfather, improved its name to Parker Law Group in the wake of Alex Murdaugh’s alleged plan to steal $8.4 million from clients, which has led to 15 indictments containing 79 costs.

Point out Sen. Tom Davis, R-Beaufort, who has been with Harvey-Battey for 37 yrs, pointed out that W. Brantley Harvey Sr. and Randolph Murdaugh Sr. were being next cousins.

Although Harvey Sr. moved to Beaufort and entered into general public lifetime and provider, reported Davis, Murdaugh stayed in Hampton County and designed a highly effective law company.

“It’s form of appealing that two cousins type of went on unique paths,” Davis said.

Active IN General public Services

Harvey Sr. died in 1981.

W. Brantley Harvey Jr., his son and Invoice Harvey III’s father, joined the company in 1955. He was born in Walterboro and grew up on The Point in Beaufort. He died in 2018.

Colden R. Battey Jr. joined the agency in 1963. He’s retired but even now spends a handful of hrs in the workplace every day.

The firm’s attorneys have been lively in general public services and politics from the beginning.

Harvey Sr. was elected to the South Carolina Property of Reps in 1924, just two many years soon after he started the company, and once again 1926, right before joining the South Carolina Senate in 1928. He represented Beaufort County for 24 several years until eventually 1952. He was the principal creator of the South Carolina Workers’ Payment Act.

Harvey Jr. was elected to the Property in 1958 and served 16 a long time right until 1974. He served as lieutenant governor from 1975­ to 1978. And he performed a big purpose in acquiring the Beaufort campus of the University of South Carolina and in developing the Technical Higher education of the Lowcountry as just one of the state’s 16 technological colleges.

Equally had been Democrats.

“We have not affirmatively promoted public support,” Harvey III explained, “but I consider it is been a hallmark of our longevity.”


Political involvement carries on nowadays.

Davis, the longtime Harvey-Battey legal professional and Republican point out senator, stated Harvey Jr. was a mentor. He bought associated with general public services due to the fact of the example the elder lawyer set.

“We both of those experienced a passion for preserving the surroundings,” claims Davis of Harvey Jr. “We both of those cared about instruction. We had been both quite frugal about income.”

And pretty much 100 a long time immediately after Harvey Sr. very first was elected to the Senate, Davis signifies that exact same district.

“I’m actually proud of the company,” Davis said. “I’m proud of the background of general public provider we have.”

For his portion, Harvey III has served as the city attorney for the City of Beaufort for the past 35 decades. He appears to be at that place as a “quasi-community company,” and he requires pleasure in owning aided shape the city’s policies and advancement in that purpose.

Colden Battey Jr. assumed extra accountability in working the agency when Harvey Jr. was pursuing his political vocation. But Battey also was associated in community support locally, serving as chairman of the Beaufort County Council for eight decades. And he was on the board of the Beaufort Jasper Larger Instruction Commission for 17 decades.

FIRM’S Situations

Nowadays, the firm has 8 lawyers, and Harvey III said it’s the only complete-support legislation business in Beaufort, working towards own harm, actual estate, estate and spouse and children regulation amongst other specialties.

“There are specific factors we really do not do,” he mentioned, “but there’s not numerous.”

The company not too long ago settled a multi-million-dollar particular personal injury scenario in which an 83-year-aged overseas countrywide was struck by a auto in Charleston, Harvey III explained. Component of the case has been settled for $3 million, though attorneys continue to work on the remaining settlement.

Harvey III is most proud of a $39.4 million settlement from a 2014 nationwide class-action lawsuit involving energetic obligation provider users who had been overcharged on house loan interest rates by JP Morgan Chase Lender. The company represented Maritime Corps Capt. Jonathon Rowles, the lead plaintiff, who alleged the lender violated the Servicemembers’ Civil Relief Act. That legislation was enacted in 1942 to defend deployed members of the military services from financial duress whilst on lively responsibility.

“We solved that case pretty favorably for customers of the military services,” Harvey III said.

The organization is hiring new lawyers, he reported. And it’s in the system of opening an office in Okatie.


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