Firm History


GWB was established in Greenville, South Carolina in 1948.  The firm practiced general law during this time period and had an attorney within the firm serving as the statewide Division Counsel for Southern Railway Company and General Counsel for Woodside Bank.  He continued as general counsel when a merger created the state’s largest bank known as South Carolina National Bank.  Southern Railway Company changed its name to Norfolk Southern Corporation in the 1982 and remains a client of the firm today.  

Old Ford Truck

Historical Fact:  The F-Series truck was introduced by Ford in 1948.

In the 1950’s, the small law firm began to grow in number and level of reputation.  The firm expanded to four attorneys and relocated to 128 Broadus Avenue in Greenville in 1958. Greenville mirrored the firm in its growth, becoming known as the textile capital of the world in the 1950’s and 1960’s.

Antique Dollar

Historical Fact:  The United States’ minimum wage was $1.00 per hour in 1958.

During the 1970’s, the firm continued its steady expansion, adding some very prominent attorneys to its ranks including H. Mills Gallivan and Daniel B. White in 1976 and W. Howard Boyd, Jr. in 1977.  Mills, Danny, and Howard were the firm’s 7th, 8th, and 9th attorneys.  With their arrival, the firm began focusing its practice on business and corporate litigation, trial work, and mass tort litigation such as asbestosis cases.  Sadly, the firm suffered one significant subtraction from its ranks during the 1970’s.  In 1975, one of its founding attorneys F. Dean Rainey, Sr. passed away.  Mr. Rainey had never left the firm that he helped start 27 years earlier.

The firm’s commitment to public service has existed since it was founded; however, the firm’s fervent relationship with the United Way began when W. Howard Boyd, Jr. joined the firm and served as a “Loaned Executive” in 1978.  The firm now acts as a United Way “Pacesetter” operating as an example for the Greenville community by building excitement and creating momentum for the annual fundraising goal in the Greenville area.  In addition to the United Way, the firm is involved with over 40 different community organizations in all four cities in which the firm is now located.

Old Cell Phone

Historical Fact:  The first ever cellphone, which was the size of a small lunch box and weighed two pounds, was released in 1983.

The firm flourished in the 1980’s and 1990’s by steadily increasing its reputation as a leading litigation law firm as well as increasing the firm’s number of attorneys and practice areas.  The firm moved its practice to 330 East Coffee Street in Greenville in 1983 and grew to 17 attorneys by 1988.  Just a few years later the firm outgrew its Coffee Street location with its rise to 27 attorneys in 1998.  In the early 1990’s, the firm served as lead SC counsel in the first case multi-districted in South Carolina by the Judicial Panel on Multi-District Litigation.

Historical Fact:  After 9 years, NBC aired the final episode of Seinfeld in 1998.

At the turn of the century, the firm officially became known as Gallivan, White & Boyd, P.A. and in 2003 moved to its current location at Liberty Plaza Tower One overlooking downtown Greenville.  Additionally, GWB introduced its ever-present core values.  The firm adopted the core values listed below as part of its culture and vowed to live by these values within the firm as well as communicate them to GWB clients and the community:

  • Excellence in Client Service
  • Excellence in Quality of Work
  • Firm First
  • Integrity
  • Trust
  • Respect
  • Accountability
  • Camaraderie/Fellowship
  • Community

In 2005, members of GWB’s Commercial Transportation Group served as lead counsel in the emergency response, post-accident investigation, and claims handling of the largest non-natural disaster in the history of South Carolina which occurred in the small town ofGraniteville.  On the heels of this tragedy and the successful representation of atop South Carolina employer in nationwide and state class actions, GWB was retained again  to represent this client in a shareholder derivative suit  in Business Court in South Carolina.

Yankee Stadium Gate 4

Historical Fact:  The 87 year-old Yankee Stadium was demolished in favor of a new ball park in 2010.

GWB experienced a second surge of growth during this decade.  GWB exploded from 27 attorneys in 1998 to 47 attorneys in 2010 to 65 attorneys in three offices in 2013.  The firm is now one of the Southeast’s leading business and commercial law firms with four offices in the Carolinas located in Greenville, Charleston, and Columbia, South Carolina and Charlotte, North Carolina.  The firm operates within four groups—litigation, business and commercial law, insurance practice and workplace practices.  Each group is further organized into 23 practice area teams of lawyers who stay abreast of the latest developments – legal, social and political – that affect their specific clients.

With growth has come great success by the attorneys at GWB.  The firm’s attorneys have served in influential roles within professional, community, and charitable organizations. Present members of the firm have or are serving in the following roles:

  • Chairman of the Greater Greenville Chamber of Commerce
  • Chairman of the SC Bar House of Delegates
  • SC Bar Delegate to the ABA House of Delegates
  • President of the National Foundation for Judicial Excellence
  • President of the South Carolina Bar Association
  • President of the South Carolina Defense Trial Attorneys’ Association
  • President of the Greenville County Bar Association
  • President of the Greenville Young Lawyers Club
  • Board of Advisors for the Charleston School of Law
  • Board of Directors for the SC Bar Foundation
  • Board of Directors for the Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel
  • Board of Directors for the International Association of Defense Counsel
  • Board of Directors for the South Carolina Defense Trial Attorneys’ Association
  • Board of Directors for the United Way of Greenville County
  • Board of Directors for the American Board of Trial Advocates
  • Board of Directors for the Anderson Area Business and Education Alliance
  • Board of Directors for the Metropolitan Arts Council
  • Board of Directors for the Military Transition Services, Inc.
  • Board of Directors for Camp Opportunity
  • Board of Directors for Easter Seals
  • Board of Directors for Artisphere
  • Greenville Area Board of Advisors for South Carolina Bank & Trust
  • General Counsel for the Greater Greenville Chamber of Commerce
  • General Counsel for Artisphere
  • General Counsel for Fall for Greenville
  • Vice Chair for the City of Greenville Planning Commission
  • Vice Chair for Greenville County Schools Foundation

In 2010, the firm created a product liability blog called Abnormal Use that now has national recognition.  Abnormal Use has appeared on the American Bar Association Journal’s Blawg 100 list and was voted favorite Tort blog by readers for three years running. The ABA Journal has also inducted Abnormal Use into its inaugural Blawg Hall of Fame with the authors citing it as one of 10 law blogs they “can’t imagine not making our favorites each year.”

Old Gas Station

Historical Fact:  Gas prices in 1948 – $.26 per gallon.  Gas prices in 2013 – $3.82 per gallon.

In 2013, Gallivan, White & Boyd, P.A. was honored to celebrate its 65th Anniversary, placing it among some of the longest standing law firms in South Carolina. Throughout the years GWB has built a history of leadership and contributions to the community and legal profession.  An example of the firm’s dedication to civic and professional causes was recognized when GWB was selected to receive the 2013 Defense Research Institute’s (DRI) Law Firm Diversity Award.  Established in 2002, the award is given annually by the DRI to a law firm that has shown exemplary progress and achievement in its diversity program.  GWB is proud of its history of leadership, contributions to the community, and influence in the legal profession.  As Mills Gallivan explains, “The essence of leadership is the ability to influence others towards a common goal.  A leader’s greatest asset is his or her integrity, which is the foundation for credibility.  There can be no influence without credibility.  At GWB, we stress integrity in all that we do in the office, in the community and for our clients.”

GWB’s success and longevity are intertwined with its reputation for providing wise legal counsel and first-class client service.  The core values that have come to define Gallivan, White & Boyd, P.A. to its clients and the community are the compass that guides the firm forward into 2013 and beyond.