"Despite our continued growth and change, each succeeding generation of Smith Currie attorneys has remained steadfast in our commitment to superior client service and knowledge of the ever-changing laws that govern our core practice areas."
When Maynard Smith, Overton Currie, and Reg Hancock mailed this announcement about the founding of Smith, Currie & Hancock on October 1, 1965, who could have known that their collaboration would result in of one of the nation’s most recognized construction law and government contract practices. Initially formed as a labor and employment practice, the firm operated out of the Fulton National Bank Building in downtown Atlanta. Soon thereafter, these founding partners identified a lack of legal services tailored to meet the unique needs of individuals in the construction and government contract industries. It was this foresight that resulted in Smith Currie becoming a “boutique” law firm in these practice areas long before the term became commonplace.
Pictured above, from left to right, are Luther House, Overton Currie, Maynard Smith and Reg Hancock at our 10th Anniversary party in 1975. Maynard Smith was the first of only four managing partners in the firm's history, serving in that role from 1965 to 1972. In 1970, Smith Currie conducted its first construction law update seminar to educate clients on recent developments and trends in the law for that industry. The initial program was a tremendous success and is now an annual two-day event held each spring. That annual update seminar is one of many dozens that Smith Currie’s attorneys speak at each year.
Luther House took over the firm's leadership in 1973 and, incredibly, served as the managing partner for the next 23 years. Early in his long tenure, Smith Currie's rapid growth required a move from the Fulton National Bank Building to the Harris Tower in Peachtree Center in 1977. In 1987 the firm began publication of a quarterly newsletter, Common Sense Contracting. Through that publication, our clients and friends in the construction industry have received updates and alerts on well over 500 important decisions, regulatory changes, and other news of note for more than 25 years.
In 1997, Tom Kelleher was elected as the firm's third managing partner and remained in that role for the next decade. That same year, Smith Currie published Common Sense Construction Law, one of the first legal treatises dedicated solely to construction law. Publication of Common Sense Construction Law is an example of Smith Currie’s attorneys’ commitment to the industries they serve. This book is now used as a textbook in many construction management programs at universities across the nation.
Another first came in 1999, when the firm opened an office in Charlotte, North Carolina -- its first office outside of Atlanta. This was the first of several steps Smith Currie has taken over the last two decades to make sure its national practices had a true national footprint. In January 2001, the Atlanta-based law firm of Smith & Fleming joined Smith Currie to further expand its construction and government contracting practices. That same month, the Florida-based law firm of Cummings & Snyder, P.A. joined Smith Currie, bringing with it an office in Ft. Lauderdale. The firm concluded 2001 with the publishing of the 2nd edition of Common Sense Construction Law.
In 2005, Smith Currie moved its Atlanta office to its current location on the 26th and 27th floors of the Marquis One Tower in Peachtree Center. Later that same year, Smith Currie published the 3rd edition of Common Sense Construction Law.
On January 1, 2007, Bob Chambers became the firm's fourth managing partner, a role he continues to serve in today. A few months later, the firm opened an office in Washington, D.C. to serve our clients' growing need for federal contracting counsel in the nation's capital. In 2008, the firm published a second hardback publication, this one dedicated to government contracting, titled Federal Government Construction Contracts.
The fourth edition of Common Sense Construction Law was published in 2009. To assist the industry in understanding the seismic changes brought on by the recession and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), the firm published the 2nd edition of Federal Government Construction Contracts in 2010 -- a publication that earned the endorsement of the AGC of America.
On October 1, 2011, the law firm of Ernest Brown and Company (with offices in San Francisco and Los Angeles) joined Smith Currie, thereby completing the firm's reach to the West Coast. This addition gave the firm a wealth of construction knowledge and experience, particularly in the areas of public works projects, contract management, and related litigation. Smith Currie began 2012 with another expansion when the Washington, D.C. firm of Saltman & Stevens P.C. joined our ranks. The addition of this well-respected firm expanded our existing government contracts practice by adding specialized experience in the areas of concessioner contracts, timber contracts, and environmental law. We continued Saltman & Stevens’ newsletters to clients in the timber and concessionaire industries to keep these individuals apprised of changes important to them. Also in 2012 we began better service to clients in the Carolinas with a Raleigh office.
Despite our continued growth and change, each succeeding generation of Smith Currie attorneys has remained steadfast in our commitment to unparalleled client service and knowledge of the ever-changing laws that govern our core practice areas.