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A Powerhouse: Byron Kirkland Placed on Business North Carolina’s List of Most Influential Leaders

Business North Carolina
05.04.2022

Business North Carolina magazine has named Smith Anderson Managing Partner Byron Kirkland to its 2022 "Power List," an annual report on the state’s most influential leaders in 18 industry categories, including law.

Byron joins 37 other North Carolina attorneys on the list, which also includes members of various industries, including law, transportation, retail, real estate and health care. The magazine created the list after seeking nominations, talking with dozens of sources, conducting significant research and spending years covering North Carolina’s business community.

“Demand for steady, competent leadership is unquestionable,” the magazine says. “Just look at the war in Ukraine, inflation reaching 40-year highs and negative effects lingering from a horrible pandemic. It’s a challenging time. Fortunately, our state is full of terrific leaders.”

Byron practices corporate and securities law and has extensive experience advising venture capital and private equity funds. He became managing partner in 2020 after more than 30 years at Smith Anderson. He has undergraduate, MBA and law degrees from UNC Chapel Hill.

The magazine says that the 29,000 licensed lawyers in North Carolina exert massive influence in North Carolina: the lawyers on the list represent of sampling of some of the more powerful attorneys, many of whom work for larger firms in the major metros. In the article, Byron says that the key to his success is caring and hard work. Quoting business leader and executive Jim Barksdale, his best advice is to “take care of your people, products and profits, in that order."

This is the second consecutive year that Byron was named to the Power List. Also in 2021, Triangle Business Journal named him a CEO of the Year and in April 2022, North Carolina Lawyers Weekly named him to its “Leaders in the Law” list.

The entire Business North Carolina Power List can be viewed here.


Business North Carolina is a monthly magazine that focuses on the people, events and trends that shape business in North Carolina. Since it began publication in 1981, it has won more than 100 national awards for its writing, reporting and design

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