The firm’s beginnings can be traced to 1949, when friends Glover McGhee and Warner S. Currie borrowed from their mothers to found a law firm on the 12th floor of the William-Oliver building in Atlanta. McGhee worked full-time while Currie — making ends meet with a second job — came in during lunch and after hours.
In 1953 more space was found in the old 101 Marietta Street Building. Across the street from the office was Southern General Insurance Company, where James B. Hiers, Jr. was Vice President and Claims Manager. While Currie & McGhee handled work for Southern General, a deep friendship developed with James B. Hiers, Jr., and future plans were formulated.
In the meantime, Frank M. Swift entered the general civil practice with the firm of Woodruff, Swift & Dorsey, and then subsequently joined Maynard Smith to form the firm of Smith & Swift. Prior to this, he was an in-house attorney for the Coca-Cola Company.
In the mid-fifties, Currie & McGhee joined forces with Charles Longstreet Weltner calling the firm Currie, McGhee & Weltner. In February 1958, the firms of Smith & Swift and Currie, McGhee & Weltner merged and became Smith, Swift, Currie & McGhee. Shortly thereafter, James B. Hiers, Jr., joined the firm as a partner.
They went from being a firm that used postage stamps by the roll to one that needed a postage meter stamp machine and by the 1960s had outgrown its office space. By 1965 the firm moved to the 1614 National Bank Building with four partners and four associates.
The doors of the new office opened on October 1, 1965, with a new name—Swift, Currie, McGhee & Hiers.
By 1974 the firm had 31 lawyers and 35 other employees. The group outgrew its space again and moved in 1976 to 771 Spring Street. It’s been said the offices were haunted by a spirit named “Matilda,” whose moaning song could be heard on the south side of the building. (Perhaps it was just air in the water pipes, but the legend lives on.)
In August 1983 the group merged with Morton, Payne and MacNaughton and evolved into a full-service law firm with a broad civil practice.
By 1985 the firm had grown to include 41 attorneys and 66 staff. Within 10 years there were 59 attorneys and 73 staff. Today, Swift Currie’s team is made up of over 150 attorneys and 200 staff and has resulted in the firm commanding several floors of The Peachtree building.
In 1989, Swift Currie’s offices moved to 1355 Peachtree Street where its experienced attorneys continue to provide the highest-quality legal service in all areas of dispute resolution and litigation.
The year 2010 marked the 45th Anniversary of the inception of Swift, Currie, McGhee & Hiers. To memorialize this event, the attorneys and staff enjoyed a firm luncheon hosted by the partners. James B. Hiers, Jr., and Mr. and Mrs. Glover McGhee attended. Mr. Hiers was the keynote speaker, relaying the firm history to the group, along with some great storytelling of the years past.
Events throughout the year 2015 helped the firm celebrate its 50th year of civility, success and growth in Atlanta. The first of these was a celebratory cocktail reception with judiciary and friends of the firm at the High Museum of Art, followed later in the year by an alumni event. The culmination of the celebration was a firm-wide, client educational seminar with a cocktail reception that evening. Mr. Hiers was once again in attendance to share memories of his time in the office.
The firm surpassed another milestone October 1, 2015, by opening its first office outside of Atlanta in Birmingham, Alabama. Initially staffed with one partner and one associate, the office has seen an increase in business over the years resulting in the acquisition of additional associates.
Swift Currie maintains steady growth and considers its attorneys and staff to be the keys to its continued success. Named to the U.S. News - Best Lawyers' "Best Law Firms" list and remaining a strong presence on the Atlanta Business Chronicle Book of Lists for Top 50 Atlanta Law firms, Swift Currie is looking forward to what is to come.