The primary founder of the firm, Robert C. Mays was the youngest certified public accountant in the State of South Carolina at the time he received his certificate. Bob had worked for a big eight international accounting firm and returned to Columbia and went to work for J.W. Hunt & Company, a local CPA firm that dealt with a number of prominent Midland-area businesses and individuals. Bob graduated from USC Law School, and then went to NYU for Tax School in the fall semester and worked for J.W. Hunt in the spring and summer.
While at USC Law School, Bob became friends with Don McLellan and the two of them formed a firm, Mays & McLellan, in the early 1970s. Bob expanded the firm to include Steve Draffin, Doug Cannon, and Andy Surrett.
Robert Foster visited with Bob and was planning to attend Georgetown University Tax School and Bob indicated that the Employment Retirement Security Act (ERISA) was going to make major changes in the pension profit-sharing deferred compensation areas of taxation that would affect many clients of the firm. Robert became the ERISA attorney for the firm and handled an extensive amount of legal work, in that all retirement plans and pension plans needed to be changed in order to comply with the newly enacted law.
The firm had been located on Medical Park Drive near Richland Hospital in a building that was designed and built by Bob and co-owned with Don McLellan. In 1982, Robert located a building at 2512 Devine Street and became interested in the location. At Robert’s urging, Bob looked at the building and agreed that it was an excellent location and well-suited for the needs of the firm. The firm has been in continuous operation at 2512 Devine Street since 1982.
I am so impressed. Your eloquent expression today of separating the wheat from the chaff was so informative, deliberated, planned, and executed. It was a wonder to watch you express your wielding of these things. No rabbit hole, but right to the point that you were singularly intent on sharing today.
Carole H. Gunter, the former head of the tax department at South Carolina National Bank, joined the firm in the early 1990s, and Kerry L. Murphy joined the firm in 1999. Sadly, Bob Mays passed away in 2009.
Thomas D. Kilpatrick joined in 2014. Carole Gunter retired in 2015 and Robert Foster retired in 2017, although he still stops by the office on occasion to visit.
The firm office manager, Jennifer Fraser, whose mother, Dorothy Stafford, worked for the firm for over 20 years, has worked with us since 2005, and paralegal Dianne Armistead since 2000. Stephanie Thetford, our receptionist, has been with us since 2007.
The firm has changed names and corporate entities several times over the past 50+ years. Today, the attorneys and staff at Murphy and Kilpatrick, LLP carry on the legacy of its founders.
Our rich history, experience, and wisdom, coupled with our emphasis on emerging issues and solutions, provides a great value to our clients.