Triangle’s Largest Law Firm Announces Leadership Changes


Byron Kirkland named new managing partner, Amy Batten elected as management committee chair

Raleigh, N.C. Smith Anderson, the largest law firm headquartered in the Research Triangle region, has announced that Byron Kirkland is succeeding Gerald Roach as the firm’s new managing partner as of January 1. Byron has been with Smith Anderson since he started practicing law 32 years ago and has held a variety of leadership roles at the firm, including serving as chair of the firm’s Management Committee for the last four years and serving as the leader of the firm’s Private Equity practice group and co-chair of the firm’s Corporate team. Byron will continue as a practicing corporate and transactional lawyer. He will also continue to serve as a member of the firm's Management Committee.

In addition to his Smith Anderson roles, Byron currently serves on the Board of Directors and Executive Committee of the United Way of the Greater Triangle, the Board of Directors of NC TECH and as Chair of the Board of Directors of the Miracle League of the Triangle.

“I’m humbled, honored and truly excited to serve as Smith Anderson’s new managing partner,” remarked Byron. “Moving into 2020 and beyond, the firm remains laser-focused on continuing to provide the highest caliber of legal services to our clients, as well as providing a distinctive workplace culture that is committed to our clients, each other and our community.”

With the conclusion of Gerald Roach’s four year term as managing partner, he has been named Firm Chair and will continue to serve on the Management Committee. In this role, Gerald will lead and support various strategic initiatives of the firm and provide counsel and support to firm management. He will also continue to serve clients as a full-time practicing corporate and transactional lawyer as he did during his tenure as Managing Partner. Additionally, he will continue serving as Chair of the Board of Wake Forest University. Gerald succeeds long-time Smith Anderson Chairman, John L. Jernigan, who continues his active law practice and now serves as the firm’s Chair Emeritus.

The firm also announced that Amy Batten has been named Chair of the firm’s Management Committee. Amy has served in many firm leadership positions during her career at Smith Anderson, currently including chair of the Public Companies practice group, co-chair of the Corporate team and co-chair of the Lawyer Development Committee. She also serves on the Board of Trustees of Ravenscroft School.


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