Smith Anderson attorneys Byron Kirkland and Richard Stevens have been named to Business North Carolina magazine’s inaugural "Power List," which recognizes the state's most influential leaders in 18 industry categories, including law and education.
Byron is one of 43 attorneys in the state who were named to the law list, which reflects a sampling of the most powerful attorneys at larger law firms and who were chosen for leadership positions by their peers. Richard is one of 27 professionals named to the education list in his capacity as chairman of the board of trustees of UNC-Chapel Hill. Business North Carolina notes that encouraging 2 million residents to complete postsecondary degrees or credentials by 2030 are key initiatives supported by many business and political leaders. North Carolina is nationally known for its colleges and universities, which are often cited as key factors in the state’s growth.
As managing partner at Smith Anderson, Byron is a corporate and securities lawyer and has an extensive venture capital and private equity fund practice, representing companies from many sectors and assisting funds with their portfolio company investments, acquisitions and fund formation matters. He also regularly represents clients on multi-million dollar domestic and international mergers and acquisition transactions. He is a director of NC TECH (North Carolina Technology Association), Miracle League of the Triangle, Inc. and the United Way of the Greater Triangle. Chambers USA has named him one of “America’s Leading Business Lawyers,” and Business North Carolina has named him one of its Legal Elite.
Richard has been the UNC-Chapel Hill Board of Trustees Chairman since 2019, and it is his second time as leader – he was first elected as chairman when he served on the board from 1995-2003 before rejoining in 2017. Richard joined Smith Anderson in September 2012, focusing his practice on government relations after serving as a senator in the North Carolina General Assembly since 2003. Before stepping down from this role, he was ranked as the Senate’s third most effective member, according to a survey by the nonpartisan North Carolina Center for Public Policy Research. A former Wake County manager, Richard is a recipient of the Distinguished Public Service Award from the North Carolina Chamber of Commerce, the Governor's Order of the Long Leaf Pine Award, and the North Carolina Bar Association’s Citizen Lawyer Award.
The full Power List can be viewed here.
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