The Mississippi-based firm is launching the new office in Charleston with the additions of Kenyatta Gardner, Stephen Groves and Bradish Waring. The trio had practiced at 190-lawyer firm Nexsen Pruet, which has offices throughout North and South Carolina.
Groves and Waring are joining as partners in Butler Snow’s litigation department, where they will be members of the tort, transportation and specialized litigation group. Gardner is joining as an associate.
Waring said the group wasn’t initially looking to move, but the more they learned about Butler Snow’s clients and culture, the more attracted they were.
“We learned that we could not only assist specific clients who were asking for the firm to establish a presence in South Carolina, but [also draw on] the vast resources and expertise the firm can bring to bear in addressing the needs of our current clients,” he said.
“Who wouldn’t want the opportunity to assist with establishing an office ‘from the ground up’?” Waring said. “The chance to populate a new office with great practitioners is something we’ve certainly always wanted to do.”
The new office in Charleston is the firm’s 27th office across the U.S., Europe, and Asia, a far cry from 14 years ago, when Butler Snow had 140 lawyers across just three offices.
“Butler Snow has never grown just for the sake of growth or to meet specific growth targets,” firm chairman Donald Clark Jr. said in an email. “Rather, we selectively expand in markets that benefit clients’ needs and goals and in markets where we find the right legal talent.”
Clark assumed leadership of the firm in 2006 and has watched its head count grow to nearly 350 lawyers. Jackson, Mississippi-based executive committee member and business group chairman Christopher Maddux will succeed Clark in 2020.
In an interview last month with The American Lawyer, Maddux said that since 2010, revenue at Butler Snow has more than tripled to $181.5 million, and he expects the firm to top $200 million in revenue this year.
As for its new Charleston office, Clark said that there is a lot of opportunity in the city. Now that the firm has a foothold, it expects to build its litigation team and business department there, he said.
The new office doesn’t mark the end of Butler Snow’s expansion plans. Like it did earlier this year in Texas, the firm plans to add to its ranks in each of its locations, as well as establish new ones.
“In addition to new locations beyond this Charleston expansion, we also have plans to further expand in our existing locations,” Clark said.