GREENVILLE, S.C., Aug. 4, 2004 Legal news, law news, law firm announcements & researchOgletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak &
Stewart P. C. and Haynsworth Baldwin Johnson & Greaves LLC announced today
that the two law firms will join forces on September 1, 2004. The combined
firm will continue to practice under the name of Ogletree, Deakins, Nash,
Smoak & Stewart and will collectively have 250 lawyers and over 550 total
Based on 2003 National Law Journal statistics, the combined firm is
rojected to be the 167th largest firm out of the top 250 law firms in the
United States, and will strengthen its position as the third largest labor and
employment law firm in the country. Additionally according to the 2003 AmLaw
200, the firm would be ranked approximately 175th in terms of revenue and is
expected to bill in excess of $100 million annually.
The two law firms, which have been competitors for over three decades,
trace their history back to the same origin. In 1971, Greenville lawyers Frank
Ogletree, Knox Haynsworth, Homer Deakins, Jim Baldwin, Jim Miles, Lewis Smoak
and Jimmie Stewart practiced together in a small labor law boutique with
approximately 12 lawyers. The firm was one of the first in the state to focus
on labor and employment law representing management.
In 1972, Knox Haynsworth, Jim Miles and Jim Baldwin left to start their
own firm, Haynsworth, Baldwin & Miles. From the outset, the Haynsworth
Baldwin firm prospered and grew rapidly. Knox Haynsworth actively managed the
firm until 1999, when Howard Daniel became the Managing Member.
In 1977, Frank Ogletree, Homer Deakins, Lewis Smoak and Jimmie Stewart and
twelve additional attorneys formed a new firm, Ogletree, Deakins, Smoak &
Stewart. Over the next several years, the firm grew quickly and in the 1980s
changed the name to Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart. After Frank
Ogletree’s death in 1985, Homer Deakins managed the firm until 2001, when Gray
Geddie became the Managing Shareholder.
Lawyers from the combined Ogletree Deakins and Haynsworth Baldwin firm are
recognized for their professional accomplishments. The prestigious publication
Best Lawyers in America, which lists only two percent of the lawyers in the
country, lists 35 of the 250 attorneys in the firm, accounting for 14 percent
of their roster.
Additionally, the American Bar Association’s Labor and Employment Section
established the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers in the late 1990s.
Currently, there are only about 600 Fellows in the College nationwide. In
2004, 16 Ogletree Deakins lawyers were admitted as Fellows to the College.
The combined firm’s lawyers represent clients in virtually every aspect of
business and industry, from hospitals and financial institutions to
construction companies and manufacturing companies, as well as a variety of
service industries. Counted among Ogletree Deakins clients are more than half
of the Fortune 50 companies.
Ogletree Deakins has offices from coast to coast. The combined firm will
have 21 offices located in Atlanta, Georgia; Birmingham, Alabama; Austin,
Dallas, Houston and San Antonio, Texas; Chicago, Illinois; Indianapolis,
Indiana; Los Angeles, California; Miami and Tampa, Florida; Morristown, New
Jersey; Nashville, Tennessee; St. Thomas, Virgin Islands; Washington, D.C.;
Charlotte, Greensboro and Raleigh, North Carolina; Charleston, Columbia and
Greenville, South Carolina.
The Greenville, South Carolina office will continue to serve as the
administrative center for the firm. With 43 lawyers and a total staff of 120,
the Greenville office is currently the largest in the firm’s national network.
The firm’s Greenville operation will be consolidated in The Ogletree Building
at 300 North Main Street beginning in September, with all staff and attorneys
expected to be in The Ogletree Building by the end of the year.