April Member Spotlight – Hall Booth Smith P.C.
What is your business industry category or specialty?
Hall Booth Smith, P.C. (HBS) is a full-service law firm providing legal services across a wide range of disciplines, including commercial transactions, civil litigation, intellectual property, and international business, among many others. We represent domestic and international clients of all types, ranging from individuals and small businesses to large fortune 500 companies.
How do you describe your job to people outside the industry?
We are lawyers experienced across a wide range of disciplines providing knowledgeable, proactive, client-specific counsel to clients in all manner of transactions and litigation.
Who are your main competitors and what differentiates you from the competition?
What makes you unique?
Our main competitors are midsize and larger law firms. Three key things set us apart:
1. Our adherence to our core mission statement of “serving to achieve excellence” . Our service mentality creates a sustained dedication to understanding and prioritizing clients’ needs and leads to a superior level of results and client satisfaction.
2. Our wolfpack mentality. Our firm provides a unique level of internal collaboration which allows clients to benefit from the vast array of different experience and contacts that our wide range of attorneys can provide.
3. Value. We offer services at the level of larger firms while currently at the pricing of mid-size firms.
How was the business started?
Established in 1989, Hall Booth Smith, P.C. (HBS) began as an insurance defense litigation boutique in Atlanta, GA under a different name. Approximately 30 years and a few name changes later, the firm has diversified and steadily expanded across the Eastern United States in response to rising client demand.
How many employees does the business have?
We have 197 employees in Atlanta, 390 employees throughout the US.
How did you end up in Atlanta?
Justin Kerenyi: In 1995, I moved down here from New York City where I was born and raised to start a Rock ‘n’ Roll band with a good friend who had graduated from Emory University.
John Parkerson: I am a native Atlantan with an international career that has taken me around the world, residing in Germany, New Jersey, Virginia, New York, and D.C. I returned home in 1993 to join Delta Air Lines’ Law Department as an international attorney, where I remained for 15 years.
What is your number one business goal over the next year?
Hall Booth Smith’s goal is to continue providing its existing clients with excellent service and satisfaction and in doing so to continue to diversify and steadily expand its footprint along the U.S. East Coast in response to rising client demand. Personally (Justin and John), our own individual goals are to continue developing and expanding our international business and intellectual property practices.
What is the best advice you have received regarding doing business with Americans/Dutch?
To speak frankly and directly with the Dutch, as is one of their many positive traits; and also to appreciate their business acumen and great sense of humor. For Americans, to be openminded and to recognize that persons from other countries likely have cultural attributes that are distinct from ours. As Americans, working with Dutch is not difficult, as we have many more similarities than differences.
Any other personal information you would like to share, e.g. hobbies, special interests, family etc…
Justin Kerenyi: I am a performing musician as well as a founding board member, executive officer, and the General Counsel of Songs for Kids Foundation, Inc. SFK is an Atlanta based non-profit which gives kids battling serious illness in and out of children’s hospitals the opportunity to express themselves through music with live interactive concerts, hospital bedside performances, music mentorship, and songwriting & recording programs.
John Parkerson: I am the Honorary Consul General of Hungary, a member of boards of several non-profit organizations, and an adjunct professor of international subjects at Georgia Tech’s Scheller College of Business and at Emory Law School. These interests may sound like “work,” but they are my means of satisfying my love of travel and socializing; and I am happiest in those settings.
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