A law firm with offices throughout the southeast is expanding to coastal South Carolina by hanging out its shingle in downtown Charleston.

Smith Moore Leatherwood LLP plans to launch its new office Wednesday at 171 Church St. with four local attorneys, including former Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough lawyer Bobby Pearce, who is the 2011 chairman of the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce.

"We've had our eye on Charleston for a while," said Rob Marcus, chairman of Smith Moore Leatherwood's management committee. "We see it as a city on the move."

Pearce and H. Michael Bowers, formerly of Charleston-based Wilkes Bowers Attorneys at Law, will be partners in charge of the new office, which will be the firm's seventh.

They will be joined by Laura Johnson Evans, former in-house counsel for Roper St. Francis Healthcare, and Neil D. Thomson, formerly with Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd.

Smith Moore Leatherwood's other South Carolina office is in Greenville. Its remaining locations are in Atlanta and in four North Carolina cities: Charlotte, Greensboro, Raleigh and Wilmington.

For more details, see Wednesday's editions of The Post and Courier.