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A one-size-fits-all approach puts deals at risk, so I work with my team to scale the structure of a deal and our level of involvement to the deal’s complexity and risk profile. We know that there’s a value proposition at play in all deals – in a low-risk, lower-value transaction, the client doesn’t need the same number of lawyers and the same amount of lawyer time as they need in a high-risk or high-value deal.

Robert P. Bethea Jr. advises clients on business transactions in the southeastern United States and beyond. He provides counsel on startups, mergers, stock and asset acquisitions, recapitalizations, taxation, business contracts and agreements, succession planning, franchising, securities and finance. Rob advises clients in a range of industries including health care, professional services, manufacturing and distribution, marine products, and industrial services. With advanced training in tax law, he has extensive experience advising clients on the often-complex tax consequences of business decisions and options. This adds extra value for clients when negotiating transactions. Rob also plans and structures transactions in close coordination with clients’ accountants, bankers, and other advisors.

He has represented clients in contractual and business disputes – including management and shareholder disagreements, shareholder oppression and fiduciary duty claims, and successor liability and indemnity claims – as well as in government and regulatory investigations and compliance matters. Rob also provides counsel on the protection of trade secrets and intellectual property, including noncompete, confidentiality, and non-solicitation agreements.

Even though I’m sitting here in Columbia and don’t have a national practice in IP, class action litigation, another unique area sitting down the hall, I do have it by dialing a six-digit extension. I don’t have to go outside this firm. Our firm has a regional footprint of offices, but we have resources for clients typically available only in a national firm.


  • New York University School of Law, LL.M., 1997
  • University of South Carolina School of Law, J.D., 1996
  • Wofford College, B.A., 1993

Bar Admissions

  • South Carolina
  • Georgia

Court Admissions

  • South Carolina
  • United States District Court, District of South Carolina
  • Georgia

Community Involvement

Rob is a graduate of the Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Columbia program. He has also served on the Discovery Council Board for EdVenture Children’s Museum, the Hammond School Alumni Board and the Hammond School Board of Trustees.


  • Chambers USA - Recognized Practitioner in Corporate/M&A: South Carolina, 2019-2022
  • Best Lawyers® - Corporate Law, Mergers and Acquisitions Law, Tax Law 
  • Top Attorney, Columbia Business Monthly Legal Elite of the Midlands, 2016
  • Legal Elite of the Midlands, Columbia Business Monthly, 2017

Professional Affiliations & Memberships

Rob served on the committee of practitioners that reviewed and revised the restructured South Carolina Limited Liability Company Act that is currently pending before the South Carolina legislature. From 2006 to 2009, he taught an advanced course in South Carolina Limited Liability Companies at the University of South Carolina School of Law.

  • Representation of Fibrix, LLC, a leading manufacturer of nonwoven products and materials, in the spin off and sale of its air filtration division to an affiliate of Branford Castle Partners, LP, a private equity firm.
  • Representation of Unified Women’s Healthcare, an organization providing management services to Ob-Gyn practices, in the acquisition of Lucina Analytics, the developer of a leading women’s maternity analytics platform.