Buist, Byars & Taylor LLC, Attorneys at Law

Our Story

The foundation for the firm now known as Buist Byars Taylor LLC was established in 1958 when founding attorney Thomas G. Buist joined his family’s long-standing Charleston law firm, Buist and Buist. In his 45 years of practice, Mr. Buist handled some of the largest real estate transactions in the state of South Carolina, including the sale of Kiawah Island in 1974 and the certification of the title for its re-sale in 1993.

In 1998, Mr. Buist expanded the practice by forming a partnership with his son-in-law, Custis Byars. The firm opened an office in Freshfields Village between Kiawah Island and Seabrook Island to more conveniently serve the growing number of residential real estate clients in the area. The Kiawah-Seabrook office team, now supervised by partner Joseph Garcia is now entrusted with the vast majority of real estate matters on the islands.

Partner Gray Taylor joined the firm in 2001 to manage and grow the commercial real estate and default services practice areas. He also served as the firm’s managing partner. Gray passed away suddenly in 2019, and is greatly missed by our attorneys, team members and clients.

The team of commercial real estate lawyers, based in the firm’s Mount Pleasant office, is now led by partners Dave Gieg and Josh Reeves. They continue to represent developers, lenders, local and national builders, and individual landowners in the planning, developing and financing of residential, commercial and mixed-use developments.

Presided over by partners Tread Josey and Ashley Blum, residential real estate is also a major area of practice in the Mt. Pleasant office. The team handles matters including property sales, purchases, refinances, foreclosure mitigation, and short sale negotiations throughout the Charleston Tri-county area, and also works in the commercial realm, particularly with leasing transactions.

Another partner, Hamlin O’Kelley, is responsible for the firm’s property litigation practice. He represents homeowners and property owners associations, and handles landlord tenant disputes, foreclosures, quiet title actions, construction litigation, title insurance defense as well as general litigation matters, across South Carolina and beyond.

Building a firm of such high caliber was accomplished by careful design and personal associations. Three of the partners – Custis, Gray and Hamlin – met while attending the University of South Carolina School of Law, and the families of Custis and Tread have known each other for years.

Partner Abe Gutting heads the Tax, Estate Planning & Probate department. Abe and his team provide an extensive range of advice and legal services to individuals and businesses on various complex issues, including estate planning, asset protection, wealth transfer, trust and estate administration, tax planning, alcohol beverage licensing, and representation before taxing authorities.

Each partner strongly believes in the importance of a client-focused practice, which is reflected in the thorough and responsive service they and the firm’s staff deliver.

Learn more about the responsive, personal service we couple with years of experience and commitment.