Key partner in Nelson Mullins’ Charleston law office leaves to join newcomer K&L Gates

Former Nelson Mullins trial lawyer Richard A. Farrier Jr. has joined K&L Gates’ new local office. (Wade Spees/Staff)

A top partner of one of the largest law offices in the Charleston region has left to join a newcomer to the South Carolina legal scene.

Richard A. Farrier Jr. is now with K&L Gates LLP, which expanded into the Palmetto State late last year.

Previously, Farrier was the longtime managing partner in the Meeting Street office of Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, where he also was a veteran trial lawyer.

Farrier said the decision to leave Columbia-based Nelson Mullins after 26 years was “very difficult” but that K&L Gates provided him with a “great opportunity.”

“It’s a very large firm, and I expect that my practice will grow accordingly,” he said today.

At K&L Gates, Farrier is a partner in the firm’s commercial disputes practice.

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“Richard is a true bet-the-company trial lawyer with extensive experience handling complicated business, intellectual property, and product liability disputes who will greatly enhance the firm’s ability to meet the litigation needs of our existing clients in South Carolina and around the world, as well as K&L Gates’ multinational clients doing business here,” said Walker Coleman, administrative partner.

K&L Gates is a global firm with nearly 2,000 lawyers in 41 offices on four continents. It opened its first South Carolina outpost in mid-December after recruiting seven partners from Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein’s Charleston practice.

Farrier’s departure leaves Nelson Mullins with 34 attorneys in Charleston. Mike Cole has been named acting managing partner, spokeswoman Jan Easterling said.

Reach John McDermott at 937-5572,