July 13, 2024


Equality opinion

South Carolina regulation organization is turning 100, continue to likely potent

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 Might 2022 image, Invoice Harvey III stands following to a painting of his grandfather, W. Brantley Harvey Sr., who started the Harvey and Battey law business in Beaufort, S.C., in 1922, at the firm’s workplaces on Craven Street. The business turns 100 this thirty day period. (Karl Puckett/The Beaufort Gazette by way of AP)


The Beaufort regulation firm of Harvey and Battey — whose lawyers have served as some of the top political figures in Beaufort County and the condition — turns 100 a long time aged this thirty day period.

That will make it the oldest legislation company in Beaufort County, claimed Invoice Harvey III, the grandson of the founder, and one particular of the oldest in South Carolina.

On the other hand, the century-previous organization, housed in a nondescript setting up on Craven Street in Beaufort’s historic downtown, is not gazing in the rear-see mirror, Harvey provides. It is employing the milestone as a springboard for future growth.

“Generally, when you feel of something that is as outdated as 100 several years, you think of it as dying — aged and dying,” Harvey instructed The Beaufort Gazette and Island Packet. “We are not. We have a very exciting, really lively group of youthful 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 agency, credits “dedication to integrity” and the firm’s emphasis on general public company, as opposed to chasing the “almighty greenback,” for Harvey-Battey’s longevity.

“Integrity is challenging to maintain, and you can lose it incredibly rapidly,” Harvey III said. “Kind of like status. You only have one integrity, and it is extremely challenging to preserve with a multi-staff firm.”

Alex Murdaugh, 53, who labored for a different 100-as well as-year-outdated South Carolina business, is a circumstance in point in how quickly legal reputations can be dropped.

PMPED, a Hampton-centered firm commenced in 1910 by Randolph Murdaugh Sr., Murdaugh’s grandfather, improved its identify to Parker Regulation Team in the wake of Alex Murdaugh’s alleged plan to steal $8.4 million from consumers, which has led to 15 indictments that contains 79 rates.

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

Even though Harvey Sr. moved to Beaufort and entered into general public existence and support, explained Davis, Murdaugh stayed in Hampton County and created a effective legislation company.

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

Energetic IN Public Company

Harvey Sr. died in 1981.

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

Colden R. Battey Jr. joined the company in 1963. He’s retired but continue to spends a couple of several hours in the business everyday.

The firm’s lawyers have been active in public assistance and politics from the starting.

Harvey Sr. was elected to the South Carolina House of Representatives in 1924, just two decades just after he established the company, and again 1926, in advance of becoming a member of the South Carolina Senate in 1928. He represented Beaufort County for 24 years until 1952. He was the principal creator of the South Carolina Workers’ Payment Act.

Harvey Jr. was elected to the Dwelling in 1958 and served 16 many years right up until 1974. He served as lieutenant governor from 1975­ to 1978. And he performed a major part in obtaining the Beaufort campus of the University of South Carolina and in setting up the Specialized Faculty of the Lowcountry as a person of the state’s 16 technical colleges.

Both had been Democrats.

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


Political involvement proceeds right now.

Davis, the longtime Harvey-Battey legal professional and Republican state senator, explained Harvey Jr. was a mentor. He acquired concerned with community service because of the instance the elder legal professional established.

“We both equally had a passion for defending the surroundings,” states Davis of Harvey Jr. “We equally cared about education and learning. We were both of those incredibly frugal about funds.”

And almost 100 years just after Harvey Sr. to start with was elected to the Senate, Davis represents that exact district.

“I’m seriously proud of the organization,” Davis said. “I’m happy of the historical past of public assistance we have.”

For his element, Harvey III has served as the metropolis lawyer for the City of Beaufort for the previous 35 many years. He looks at that situation as a “quasi-public support,” and he can take pleasure in possessing aided shape the city’s guidelines and expansion in that function.

Colden Battey Jr. assumed a lot more duty in jogging the agency when Harvey Jr. was pursuing his political profession. But Battey also was involved in general public service locally, serving as chairman of the Beaufort County Council for eight many years. And he was on the board of the Beaufort Jasper Increased Instruction Fee for 17 a long time.

FIRM’S Conditions

Right now, the organization has eight attorneys, and Harvey III stated it is the only entire-services regulation agency in Beaufort, practicing individual damage, real estate, estate and household law among the other specialties.

“There are specified points we really don’t do,” he claimed, “but there’s not numerous.”

The business lately fixed a multi-million-dollar individual harm scenario in which an 83-calendar year-aged overseas national was struck by a car or truck in Charleston, Harvey III mentioned. Portion of the case has been settled for $3 million, though lawyers proceed to get the job done on the remaining settlement.

Harvey III is most very pleased of a $39.4 million settlement from a 2014 nationwide course-action lawsuit involving active responsibility assistance associates who were overcharged on home finance loan interest premiums by JP Morgan Chase Lender. The business represented Maritime Corps Capt. Jonathon Rowles, the direct plaintiff, who alleged the financial institution violated the Servicemembers’ Civil Aid Act. That legislation was enacted in 1942 to guard deployed customers of the army from money duress when on energetic responsibility.

“We solved that scenario pretty favorably for members of the military services,” Harvey III mentioned.

The company is using the services of new lawyers, he reported. And it’s in the system of opening an workplace in Okatie.