The Van Winkle Law Firm announces promotion of three new principals

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (June 20, 2013) – The Van Winkle Law Firm announced the promotion of three new principals. Attorneys Kristen Rigsby Smith and Lindsay Parris Thompson, based in its Asheville office, and John D. Veazey, based in its Hendersonville office, will join a long line of esteemed leadership at one of the oldest law practices in North Carolina.

“I am pleased to welcome our new principals to the leadership of our firm,” said firm president Philip J. Smith. “Our investment in new talent will continue our firm’s growth and provide unparalleled service to our clients.”

Smith focuses her practice on business, creditors’ rights, and civil litigation. During law school, she worked as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) and received the Dean’s Pro Bono Service Award for her extensive community service work. Smith serves on the Legal Studies Advisory Committee at South College. She is a graduate of the University of Tennessee and received her law degree from the University of Memphis.

Thompson focuses her practice on property owner associations, real estate development, and business and corporate law. During law school, she was the property teaching scholar and a legal writing scholar, as well as a research assistant. Thompson has served on the boards of the Asheville Parks and Greenway Foundation and Leadership Asheville. She is a member of the Young Professionals of Asheville and was an honoree of the 2012 class of 40 Under Forty, recognizing outstanding professionals in the Asheville area. Thompson is a graduate of The University of North Carolina and received her law degree from Campbell University.

Veazey focuses his practice on estate planning and administration. He served two years as a law clerk for Justice Paul Newby at the North Carolina Supreme Court, and two years on the staff of the North Carolina Law Review, including one year as an Articles Editor. Veazey serves on the board of Four Seasons Hospice and Palliative Care, the Professional Advisors Council of the Community Foundation of Henderson County, and will be joining the board of the Hendersonville Symphony. He was an honoree of the 2012 class of 40 Under Forty, recognizing outstanding professionals in the Asheville area. He received his bachelor’s and law degrees from the University of North Carolina.

With forty attorneys, The Van Winkle Law Firm is a premier provider of legal representation in business, governmental, and personal matters. Founded in 1907, it is one of the oldest law practices in the state. For more information, visit

Former city executive Lauren Bradley joins The Van Winkle Law Firm as chief operating officer

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (June 17, 2013) – The Van Winkle Law Firm announced the arrival of Lauren Bradley, former executive director with the city of Asheville. She will assume the duties of chief operating officer overseeing three offices in Asheville, Hendersonville, and Charlotte.

Bradley brings more than fifteen years of executive, financial, and strategic planning experience to the firm. In her previous role, she was responsible for managing an operating budget of more than $140 million, coordinating business development projects, and implementing best practices in strategic engagement and partnerships.

“One of the most exciting aspects of joining The Van Winkle Law Firm is its focus on delivering unparalleled service to its clients,” said Bradley. “It’s also an organization that is strongly dedicated to its employees and the community. I’m looking forward to being part of the firm’s innovative approach and continued growth.”

Bradley is a graduate of Georgia State University and received her master’s degree in project management from Western Carolina University. She lives in Asheville with her husband, Shane, and their four-year-old son, Patrick.

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McGuire, Wood & Bissette, P.A. Attorney Susan Strayhorn Barbour Honored with Buncombe County Bar Professionalism Award

McGuire, Wood & Bissette, P.A. attorney Susan Strayhorn Barbour has received the 2013 Buncombe County Bar (JDB) Professionalism Award. Barbour received the award at the Buncombe County Bar annual meeting on Wednesday, June 12. The annual Buncombe County Bar Professionalism Award recognizes an individual member of the Bar whose consistently courteous, respectful and professional conduct toward the Court, attorneys, clients and other parties exemplifies the highest standards of professionalism. Recipients of the award are nominated and elected by their peers.

Constangy, Brooks & Smith, LLP Debuts on List of the Nation’s Largest Law Firms

ATLANTA – National labor and employment law firm Constangy, Brooks & Smith, LLP, is among firms selected to the National Law Journal 350, the publication’s ranking of the nation’s 350 largest law firms in terms of attorney head count. This is Atlanta-headquartered Constangy’s NLJ 350 debut, entering the list at #264.

This year’s NLJ 350 showed that 40% of the firms on the list actually decreased in size, and total list growth hovered just over 1%. While the legal industry overall is still feeling the effects of the recession, Constangy has experienced significant expansion in the past several years in part due to its no-debt operation and its history of steady, smart growth. Since 2010, Constangy has added seven new offices, bringing the total count to 25 locations. During that time, the firm has also expanded attorney head count in other offices, giving the firm more than 32% total growth.

“The challenging economy has actually created expansion opportunities for us over the past several years, rather than making expansion more difficult,” says Neil Wasser, partner and chairman of the firm’s executive committee. “There are a lot of excellent lawyers out there looking to move to a different model: our office heads have ensured that our firm has retained a small-firm feel but with tremendous substantive depth. In addition to our professional capabilities, our culture has helped to attract a lot of our new additions – we work hard to rapidly absorb our new attorneys and staff into the extended family of Constangy. Creating that sense of community in our firm has been critical to our success over the years. But while we’ve grown, we are committed to smart and strategic growth that best serves our clients, and not simply growth for the sake of it. We always look for the right people, with the right fit for our culture. We are excited about what the future brings as we continue to expand our national footprint.”

About Constangy, Brooks & Smith, LLP:

Constangy, Brooks & Smith, LLP has counseled employers on labor and employment law matters, exclusively, since 1946. A “Go To” Law Firm in Corporate Counsel and Fortune Magazine, it represents Fortune 500 corporations and small companies across the country. Its attorneys are consistently rated as top lawyers in their practice areas by sources such as Chambers USA, Martindale-Hubbell, and Top One Hundred Labor Attorneys in the United States, and the firm is top-ranked by the U.S. News & World Report/Best Lawyers Best Law Firms survey. More than 140 lawyers partner with clients to provide cost-effective legal services and sound preventive advice to enhance the employer-employee relationship. Offices are located in Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Jersey, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin. For more information, visit