Bernie Ellis serves as the Managing Partner of the Greenville office. He has more than 27 years of experience litigating in state and federal courts in South Carolina representing clients in a wide range of breach of contract and business tort cases. He has also been involved in the successful defense of class action and proposed class action cases.

He has considerable experience in employment litigation, particularly in the area of covenants not to compete, and extensive experience defending insurance agencies and agents against errors and omission claims.

He has also successfully represented copyright holders in the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina in enforcing their copyrights and has served as co-counsel in successfully representing the rights of trademark holders.

Bernie is experienced in both mediation and arbitration and is a certified mediator.


  • Won summary judgment on behalf of a municipal utility in the United States District Court against a claim that the municipal utility was improperly encroaching upon the territory of another utility.

  • Has obtained summary judgment for insurance agencies against claims of negligence.

  • Won summary judgment on behalf of a property owner against a claim that it was required to extend a contract for sale.
  • Successfully represented a group of national retailers in a proposed class action against claims that they had improperly charged sales taxes to persons who were exempt.
  • Successfully defended a county's zoning ordinance against claims that the ordinance was improper.
  • Co-counsel in obtaining a jury verdict on behalf of a corporate client in at Title VII case.
  • Wrote appellee's brief and successfully argued in the Fourth Circuit that a jury had not been improperly selected.

Honors & Recognitions

  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America®, Commercial Litigation since 2013, Insurance Law since 2020, Litigation - Municipal since 2021, Litigation - Real Estate since 2021
    • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America® "Lawyers of the Year" Litigation-Real Estate (2023-2024)
  • Named, Legal Elite of the Upstate, Greenville Business Magazine (2014-2015, 2017-2018, 2020); Business Litigation (2021, 2023)
  • Listed, South Carolina Super Lawyers, General Litigation (2015-2019)
  • Awarded, Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Peer Review Rating
  • Senior Fellow, Litigation Counsel of America


Professional & Community

Civic Activities

  • President, Kiwanis Club of Greenville (2013-present)
  • Board Member, South Carolina Children's Theatre (2002-present)

Professional Activities

  • Senior Fellow, Litigation Counsel of America (2010-present)
  • Member, Order of Veritas, Litigation Counsel of America
  • Member, Trial Law Institute
  • Member, Diversity Law Institute



Dana Hayes
(864) 552-9347

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