South Carolina law firm is turning 100, still going strong

Katie R. Ochoa

In this May 2022 photograph, Monthly bill Harvey III stands future to a portray of his grandfather, W. Brantley Harvey Sr., who started the Harvey and Battey law organization 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)

AP

The Beaufort legislation business of Harvey and Battey — whose lawyers have served as some of the leading political figures in Beaufort County and the condition — turns 100 yrs aged this month.

That tends to make it the oldest regulation firm in Beaufort County, reported Bill Harvey III, the grandson of the founder, and a single of the oldest in South Carolina.

On the other hand, the century-outdated business, housed in a nondescript constructing on Craven Street in Beaufort’s historic downtown, is not gazing in the rear-check out mirror, Harvey adds. It is applying the milestone as a springboard for future enlargement.

“Generally, when you believe of some thing that is as previous as 100 many years, you feel of it as dying — outdated and dying,” Harvey told The Beaufort Gazette and Island Packet. “We are not. We have a very remarkable, incredibly energetic group of young attorneys.”

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

Harvey III, Harvey Sr.’s grandson and the third generation of Harveys in the firm, credits “dedication to integrity” and the firm’s target on public services, as opposed to chasing the “almighty dollar,” for Harvey-Battey’s longevity.

“Integrity is challenging to preserve, and you can eliminate it extremely speedily,” Harvey III stated. “Kind of like standing. You only have one integrity, and it’s incredibly hard to manage with a multi-worker business.”

Alex Murdaugh, 53, who labored for another 100-additionally-12 months-old South Carolina company, is a case in point in how promptly lawful reputations can be misplaced.

PMPED, a Hampton-based mostly organization started off in 1910 by Randolph Murdaugh Sr., Murdaugh’s grandfather, improved its name to Parker Regulation Group in the wake of Alex Murdaugh’s alleged scheme to steal $8.4 million from customers, which has led to 15 indictments made up of 79 fees.

Condition Sen. Tom Davis, R-Beaufort, who has been with Harvey-Battey for 37 several years, pointed out that W. Brantley Harvey Sr. and Randolph Murdaugh Sr. were being 2nd cousins.

Although Harvey Sr. moved to Beaufort and entered into public life and support, said Davis, Murdaugh stayed in Hampton County and made a highly effective legislation company.

“It’s kind of appealing that two cousins sort of went on unique paths,” Davis reported.

Active IN Public Services

Harvey Sr. died in 1981.

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

Colden R. Battey Jr. joined the business in 1963. He’s retired but still spends a couple several hours in the business daily.

The firm’s lawyers have been active in public company and politics from the beginning.

Harvey Sr. was elected to the South Carolina Dwelling of Reps in 1924, just two years following he launched the agency, and once again 1926, prior to joining the South Carolina Senate in 1928. He represented Beaufort County for 24 years till 1952. He was the principal author of the South Carolina Workers’ Payment Act.

Harvey Jr. was elected to the House in 1958 and served 16 several years until eventually 1974. He served as lieutenant governor from 1975­ to 1978. And he played a main position in buying the Beaufort campus of the University of South Carolina and in setting up the Technical University of the Lowcountry as a single of the state’s 16 complex colleges.

Both were Democrats.

“We have not affirmatively promoted general public provider,” Harvey III reported, “but I imagine it’s been a hallmark of our longevity.”

‘PROUD OF THE FIRM’

Political involvement proceeds nowadays.

Davis, the longtime Harvey-Battey legal professional and Republican condition senator, explained Harvey Jr. was a mentor. He acquired concerned with general public assistance mainly because of the example the elder legal professional established.

“We both equally experienced a enthusiasm for safeguarding the natural environment,” suggests Davis of Harvey Jr. “We both equally cared about instruction. We ended up both of those incredibly frugal about money.”

And practically 100 years just after Harvey Sr. initial was elected to the Senate, Davis represents that exact same district.

“I’m seriously proud of the business,” Davis explained. “I’m proud of the background of community provider we have.”

For his component, Harvey III has served as the metropolis attorney for the City of Beaufort for the earlier 35 yrs. He appears at that placement as a “quasi-public service,” and he normally takes pleasure in getting helped shape the city’s guidelines and development in that purpose.

Colden Battey Jr. assumed much more responsibility in working the business when Harvey Jr. was pursuing his political profession. But Battey also was involved in public services domestically, serving as chairman of the Beaufort County Council for 8 many years. And he was on the board of the Beaufort Jasper Better Training Fee for 17 yrs.

FIRM’S Scenarios

Currently, the agency has eight attorneys, and Harvey III mentioned it’s the only full-service law company in Beaufort, working towards personal harm, serious estate, estate and relatives legislation amongst other specialties.

“There are specific issues we don’t do,” he claimed, “but there’s not a lot of.”

The agency not too long ago fixed a multi-million-greenback personalized injury situation in which an 83-year-aged international countrywide was struck by a car in Charleston, Harvey III explained. Part of the circumstance has been settled for $3 million, whilst lawyers continue on to operate on the remaining settlement.

Harvey III is most happy of a $39.4 million settlement from a 2014 nationwide class-action lawsuit involving energetic obligation assistance customers who have been overcharged on home loan curiosity costs by JP Morgan Chase Bank. The agency represented Maritime Corps Capt. Jonathon Rowles, the lead plaintiff, who alleged the bank violated the Servicemembers’ Civil Reduction Act. That law was enacted in 1942 to shield deployed associates of the navy from monetary duress when on active duty.

“We solved that circumstance really favorably for associates of the military services,” Harvey III claimed.

The firm is choosing new attorneys, he reported. And it’s in the process of opening an place of work in Okatie.

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