In Memoriam: William R. Harbison (November 2, 1964 – January 24, 2021) was the consummate professional, remarkable for his committed efforts to serve the legal industry. GWB has lost a great friend and colleague. He will be missed by everyone at the firm and the Columbia community at large.
William R. Harbison was a partner in the firm’s Columbia, South Carolina, office. For more than 25 years, he focused his practice on defending the interests of employers and insurance companies. Will handled a wide range of cases, including catastrophic claims, complex coverage disputes, brain injuries, occupational disease claims, fraudulent activity and the negotiation and navigation of the various liens that often arise out of a workers’ compensation setting.
Throughout his legal career he represented a vast array of clients in varying industries, including:
- Construction Industry
- Employee Staffing Agencies
- Hospitality Industry
- National Manufacturers
- Paper Manufacturers
- Full Service Utility Contractors
- Large Scale Tree Removal/Line Clearing
Will took pride in the quality of work he provided to his clients. This was only attained by thoroughly investigating, evaluating and developing a specific strategy and action plan for a claim at the outset; consistently working to “push” the claim to conclusion; creative approaches and resolutions to difficult issues and positions; providing excellent service to his clients; and, if necessary, providing effective and vigorous representation at a hearing.
He previously served as chairman of the South Carolina Bar Workers’ Compensation Section and on the Editorial Board for The Law of Workers’ Compensation in South Carolina.
Will gave numerous CLE seminars and lectures for a number of organizations, including the South Carolina Bar Association, South Carolina Chamber of Commerce, South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Educational Association (SCWCEA) and the National Business Institute. He authored articles on workers’ compensation in various publications, including The State Newspaper, South Carolina Lawyer and the Defense Line.
Outside of work, Will enjoyed and struggled with a wide array of interests, including the frustrations of an inconsistent golf swing, a rapidly deteriorating tennis game, three children who constantly reminded Will they knew more than he did, an energetic rescue dog and an ever-evolving exercise program.
Washington & Lee University
Washington & Lee University School of Law
- South Carolina Bar
Associations & Professional Memberships
- Defense Research Institute (DRI)
- Richland County Bar Association
- South Carolina Defense Trial Attorneys’ Association (SCDTAA)
- South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Educational Association (SCWCEA)
Honors & Awards
- Best Lawyers in America, Workers’ Compensation Law – Employers (2012 – 2022)
- Columbia Business Monthly
- Legal Elite: Workers’ Compensation Defense (2020)
- Martindale-Hubbell Peer Rating, AV Preeminent
- Magistrates Advisory Council, Gubernatorial Appointee
- South Carolina Bar
- Pro Bono Committee, Former Chairman
- Service to Indigents Committee, Former Chairman
- Workers’ Compensation Section, Former Chairman
- Cultural Council of Richland and Lexington Counties, Former Board Member
- Friends of Richland County Public Library, Former Board Member
- Leadership Columbia, Columbia Chamber of Commerce, Graduate
- Trinity Housing Corporation, Former Board Member