A Rocky Mount-based eastern North Carolina law firm with global connections celebrated its 100th anniversary last week.
Battle, Winslow, Scott & Wiley, P.A., a member of Meritas, a worldwide alliance of experienced lawyers and full-service law firms, hosted 200 family members, friends and guests at Benvenue Country Club on Thursday evening.
During the reception a video presentation honored founders, associates, “of counsel” and retired colleagues, administrators, paralegals and secretarial staff.
Following presentations by Marshall Gallop and Brian Scott, the Centennial’s participants continued enjoying beef tenderloin, iced shrimp and oysters, skewered chicken and grilled vegetables.
There are currently 16 attorneys in the full-service firm who look forward to providing another 100 years of legal and community service.
Marshall A. Gallop Jr., the firm’s current president, is the primary attorney for Nash Health Care. The firm has represented the hospital since its inception.
Vince Durham is the lead attorney for Nash County.
Randall Pridgen, who focuses on estate administration and business transactions, is chairman of the Nash County Planning Board.
Greg Crumpler previously served as clerk to two N. C. Supreme Court Justices, and focuses on insurance defense litigation.
Curt Bentz previously served on the Judge Advocate Attorney General’s staff of the U. S. Air Force, and focuses on labor and employment law.
The specialties of Joseph Callaway, Dudley Whitley, Scott McKellar, Marlo Ricks, and Paula Shearon include collections, bankruptcy and civil litigation.
Jake Parrott and David Green have specialties in real estate law. Katherine Wiggins Fisher focuses on family law.
There are three “of counsel” attorneys who remain active with the firm: J. Brian Scott, Samuel S. Woodley Jr., and Leon Henderson Jr.
Scott joined the firm in 1953 and became its first president in 1970 when the professional association was incorporated.
Thomas L. Young who joined the firm in 1961 is retired, as is Thomas G. Dill who joined the firm “of counsel” in 2002.
Battle, Winslow, Scott & Wiley began in 1911 as a partnership between Kemp D. Battle of Rocky Mount and Frances E. Winslow from Hertford in Perquimans County.
It was the same year that the predecessor of The Rocky Mount Telegram was started, and the same year a YMCA was built on railroad land with $30,000 provided by the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad.
Herman S. Merrell, who joined the firm in 1935, died in 1966. Robert M. Wiley joined the firm in 1953. He died in 1998.
“Battle and Winslow’s first offices were at 124 N.W. Main Street in downtown Rocky Mount,” wrote Tom Young in his remembrances.
“One of the first jobs handled by the law firm was preparation of the deed from Bennett Bunn to Rocky Mount Mills for Stonewall,” he wrote. “The charge was $5.”
In 1920 the offices were moved to the National Bank of Rocky Mount Building at 109 South Elm Street near Rocky Mount Mills, and in 1925 to the fifth floor of the Old Peoples Bank Building at 107 S.E. Main Street.
In 1968 the firm moved to the new Peoples Bank Building on North Church Street. In 1980 the firm moved into its own building at 605 Sunset Ave. until 1991.
The firm is now located at 2343 Professional Drive, with a Raleigh office at 3737 Glenwood Avenue.
The University of North Carolina Law School has graduated most of the firm’s attorneys with six, followed closely by Campbell University Law School with five, and by Wake Forest University Law School with three.
Gallop is a graduate of Suffolk University Law School, with an L.L.M from Boston University Law School.
Bentz is a graduate of Case Western Reserve Law School, with an L.L.M. from George Washington University Law School.
Winslow, Frank Porter Graham, and Battle, after finishing first, second and third at the top of their UNC undergraduate class in 1909, began their legal training together in UNC Law School.
Winslow took his final year at Columbia University Law School, then passed up a Charlotte opportunity and responded to an invitation by Battle to join him in Rocky Mount in the fall of 1911.
They practiced together for 62 years until Battle died in 1973, longer than any other partnership in the state. Winslow died shortly thereafter in 1976.