Firm News, Accolades

18 Robinson Gray lawyers named to Best Lawyers; two listed as Ones to Watch

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Eighteen Robinson Gray attorneys have been named to the 2021 edition of The Best Lawyers in America®. Two additional attorneys were named to the inaugural Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch list.

The Best Lawyers in America, which thousands of lawyers and corporations use annually, is regarded as a definitive guide to the legal profession in the United States.

Here is the full list of Robinson Gray attorneys recognized by The Best Lawyers in America in Columbia this year, with the areas in which they are being honored:

  • Grady Beard – Workers’ Compensation Law-Employers
  • Kevin Bell – Commercial Litigation-Insurance Law
  • Beth Richardson – Commercial Litigation
  • Frank Ellerbe – Administrative/Regulatory Law; Energy Law; Energy Regulatory Law; Litigation – Environmental; Litigation – Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy); Utilities Law
  • Kevin Garrison – Real Estate Law
  • Betsy Gray – Bet-the-Company Litigation; Commercial Litigation
  • Nick Haigler – Workers’ Compensation Law-Employers
  • Paul Hoefer – Commercial Litigation; Litigation-Real Estate; Real Estate Law
  • Becky Laffitte – Insurance Law; Litigation-Construction; Personal Injury Litigation-Defendants; Product Liability Litigation-Defendants; Transportation Law
  • Gibbs Leaphart – Workers’ Compensation Law-Employers
  • Bill Metzger – Banking and Finance Law; Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law; Business Organizations (including LLCs and Partnerships)
  • Michael Montgomery – Personal Injury Litigation-Defendants
  • Shannon Poteat – Workers’ Compensation Law-Employers
  • Kerk Spong – Real Estate Law
  • Bobby Stepp – Bet-the-Company Litigation; Commercial Litigation
  • Monty Todd – Personal Injury Litigation-Defendants
  • Rob Tyson – Administrative/Regulatory Law; Commercial Litigation; Litigation-Trusts and Estates
  • Cal Watson – Bet-the-Company Litigation; Commercial Litigation; Professional Malpractice Law-Defendants

This year is the first time Paul Hoefer and Gibbs Leaphart have received the recognition.

The following two attorneys were named to the new Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch list in the listed practice areas:

  • Chris Boguski – Commercial Litigation
  • Ashley Johnson – Workers’ Compensation Law-Employers

The Ones to Watch recognitions are given to attorneys who have shown outstanding excellence in private practice early in their careers. The recipients typically have been in practice for 5-9 years.

Recognition by Best Lawyers is based entirely on peer review. The methodology is designed to capture, as accurately as possible, the consensus opinion of leading lawyers about the professional abilities of their colleagues within the same geographical area and legal practice area. For more information, go to

About Robinson Gray Stepp & Laffitte, LLC

Located in Columbia’s historic Vista district, Robinson Gray Stepp & Laffitte, LLC, is a South Carolina law firm that offers a tailored, hands-on approach. It provides business transactional and litigation representation in all state and federal trial and appellate courts in South Carolina. The firm’s 31 attorneys serve clients ranging from multi-national corporations to small businesses and individuals. For more, visit