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

David Hillier Named 2013 Leader in the Law


The family and bankruptcy law firm of Gum, Hillier & McCroskey, PA, is proud to announce that David R. Hillier is recipient of the 2013 Leaders in the Law Award. Now in its fifth year, the Leaders in the Law Award was created to recognize individual attorneys who have consistently, working through community involvement and mentoring younger attorneys, promoted the betterment of the legal profession.

In partnership with Elon University School of Law, North Carolina Lawyers Weekly will host the third annual Leaders in the Law awards event, honoring legal professionals who go above and beyond in their profession and their community. The honorees represent the most influential individuals within our state’s legal community.

Mr. Hillier was recognized for his contributions to the practice of consumer bankruptcy law in North Carolina and his continual community involvement.

This is the second time Mr. Hillier has been recognized for his substantial community investment. In 2004, Mr. Hillier was the recognized by the North Carolina Bar Association and honored with the Centennial Award for his ongoing efforts to work on behalf of the community. The Centennial Award is presented to only one attorney in each district each year.

Mr. Hillier will be honored with the Leaders in the Law Award in late September and is grateful for this recognition.

Howard Gum, Family Law Lawyer of the Year 2014 on Best Lawyers


The family and bankruptcy law firm of Gum, Hillier & McCroskey, PA, is proud to announce that partner Howard L. Gum was recently named Lawyer of the Year 2014 by Best Lawyers in America in the category of Asheville Family Law Practitioners.

The honor of being named “Lawyer of the Year” is given to only a single lawyer in each specified metropolitan and practice area. Recipients of this award are selected based on voting averages received during the extensive peer-review process conducted by Best Lawyers. Best Lawyers has been designating Lawyer of the Year awards in high-profile legal practice areas in 2009.

Mr. Gum was recognized for his significant contributions to the practice of family law, including his dedicated service in establishing standards for legal specialization in family law in North Carolina, his service to the Family Law Section of the North Carolina Bar Association and his commitment to our local district bar as its elected State Bar Councilor. He is honored to have been chosen among such an elite group of legal practitioners and is thankful for this prestigious recognition by his peers.