In his 40 years as a trial lawyer, Henry B. Smythe, Jr., has represented major US manufacturers that make and sell products people all over the world use and consume every day. He provides veteran counsel to clients of all sizes and with varying business litigation matters. He advises large national corporations on complex litigation in the areas of product liability defense, mass tort defense, class action and multidistrict litigation, as well as regional companies and locally owned concerns, in court cases in both state and federal systems. His product liability clients have included many manufacturers of building products, automobiles, tractor-trailers, heavy-duty building equipment, tires, automobile seats, power tools, sporting equipment, tobacco products, agricultural products and wood products.
Henry has served on the Firm Management and Executive Committees and was previously the Managing Director for 18 years of Buist Moore Smythe & McGee, P.A., which merged with Womble Bond Dickinson in 2011. He has extensive experience in managing a wide array of legal and business problems and in finding innovative solutions.
Henry is also a business and community leader in Charleston, SC, a thriving Southeast hub. He served on the Charleston City Council, as President of the Coastal Community Foundation during Hurricane Hugo, as a Board Member of Spoleto Festival USA, and presently as a Board Member of the International African American Museum.
Civic and Professional Activities
- American Bar Association
- South Carolina Bar Association, Past President
- Product Liability Advisory Council, Member
- Sport and Fitness Industry Association, Member
- American Board of Trial Advocates, Member
- American Counsel Association, Member
- Defense Research Institute-Products Section, Member
- Litigation Counsel of America, Member
- SC Defense Trial Attorneys Association, Member
- World's Leading Product Liability Lawyers
- Certified Mediator; United States District Court for the District of South Carolina, Certified Circuit Court Mediator.
- Member, Charleston City Council, 1992-1996
- President, 1988-1991, Board of Directors, 1985-1991, 1999-2005, Coastal Community Foundation
- Board of Directors, International African American Museum, 2006-present
- Board of Trustees, Drayton Hall Preservation Trust, 2019 – present
- Board of Directors, College of Charleston Foundation, 1991-1998
- Board of Directors, Hospice of Charleston, Inc.
- Leadership South Carolina, Class of 1982
- Advisory Board/past Member, Palmetto Project
- Board Member, Saul Alexander Foundation, 2002-present
- Secretary, Board of Directors, 1993-2011, Spoleto Festival, USA
- Town Attorney, Town of Sullivan's Island, 1977-1978
Honors and Awards
- Chambers USA Ranked Lawyer, Litigation: General Commercial, South Carolina, 2006 – Present
- Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America (BL Rankings) in the fields of Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants, Product Liability Litigation – Defendants, 2003 – Present
- Super Lawyers Honoree, South Carolina Super Lawyers magazine (Thomson Reuters), Business Litigation, Personal Injury – Products, 2008 – 2022
- Honoree, Lawdragon 500 Leading Litigation Lawyers in Product Liability, Mass Tort, Class Action, 2023
- Recognized in Charleston Business Magazine's Legal Elite, Business Litigation, 2023
- Received the Best Lawyers™ 2013 Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants "Lawyer of the Year" award in Charleston, South Carolina
- Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, AV rating
Any result the lawyer or law firm may have achieved on behalf of clients in other matters does not necessarily indicate similar results can be obtained for other clients.
- Served most recently as lead attorney in the representation of a building products manufacturer in multi-district litigation class action suits for property damages, including a recent victory in a 10-state MDL construction products matter where the court denied class certification in the Northern District of Georgia.
- Served also recently as lead attorney in the representation of a vehicle manufacturer in multi-district class action suits for damages from exhaust emissions.
- Defended numerous suits against manufacturers for personal injury and wrongful death, including matters for vehicle, tire, equipment, sporting goods, asbestos and tobacco manufacturers.