Three attorneys affiliated with Brooks Pierce were recently named to the inaugural class of North Carolina Lawyers Weekly’s Hall of Fame. Managing partner Reid Phillips, retired attorney and former North Carolina Supreme Court Chief Justice Henry Frye and attorney Mack Sperling were among 23 attorneys to receive this prestigious honor and were recognized at a ceremony on June 26.
The North Carolina Lawyers Weekly Hall of Fame was created to recognize senior attorneys in North Carolina who have made a significant impact on the legal profession through their career accomplishments, contributions to the profession, contributions to the bar and the commonwealth, contributions to the development of the law and their efforts to increase access to justice.
Phillips, the firm’s managing partner, has been practicing law for 40 years, with a focus on litigation. He is an active member of the Greensboro community, serving as chairman of the Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro from 2015 to 2017, and as the chairman of the steering committee that oversaw the $10 million construction of LeBauer Park. He has also served as chairman of the War Memorial Commission and the Greensboro Metropolitan YMCA and served on the board of directors for the Weatherspoon Art Museum Association, the Greensboro Bar Association and the Green Hill Center for North Carolina Art.
Frye, who retired from Brooks Pierce in 2016, broke many racial barriers during his long and storied career. In 1963, he was appointed Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of North Carolina, one of the first African-Americans to be appointed Assistant U.S. Attorney in the South. In 1968, Frye became the first African-American to be elected to the North Carolina House of Representatives in the 20th century. He served in the state House for 12 years and was then elected to a two-year term in the North Carolina Senate. In 1983, Frye became the first African-American appointed to the Supreme Court of North Carolina, and in 1999 he was appointed Chief Justice, another first. When he left the bench in 2001, Frye returned to private practice, joining Brooks Pierce, where he focused on appellate advocacy, mediation and commercial arbitration.
Sperling, author of the highly read legal blog North Carolina Business Litigation Report, has worked in the legal field for 35 years. Currently he serves on the Local Rules Committee for the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina and is a permanent member of the Fourth Circuit Judicial Conference. He is also a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers.