B.A. History, 2001
University of South Carolina School of Law
Practice AreasBusiness Law
Complex Civil Litigation
Land Use and Property Law
Estates and Probate
H. Freeman Belser
Freeman is a seasoned litigator and knowledgeable transactional attorney who particularly enjoys using his experiences inside and outside the courtroom to advise businesses and non-profits on both big-picture organizational decisions as well as everyday management challenges.
Freeman has an AV Peer Rating from Martindale-Hubbell, the highest possible rating in both legal ability and ethical standards. Freeman is also a Certified Circuit Court Mediator who is often asked by other lawyers to help their respective clients resolve their differences and find common ground through mediation.
Since joining the firm in 2004, Freeman has:
- Served as lead trial counsel in jury trials and arbitrations in a variety of business, property, injury, and insurance disputes with amounts in controversy up to $25,000,000
- Briefed and argued cases before the Supreme Court of South Carolina, the Court of Appeals of South Carolina, and the United States District Court
- Advised businesses and individuals in real estate and business transactions of all sizes and types
- Represented large and small businesses and non-profits on organizational and management matters
- Developed estate plans of individuals
- Been hired by other lawyers to serve as both a mediator and as an arbitrator
Freeman was born and raised in Columbia. He received his education at Heathwood Hall Episcopal School before leaving for Davidson College, then returned to the University of South Carolina School of Law before starting his legal career.
While at Davidson College, Freeman was a three-year starter at linebacker on the Davidson Wildcat Football Team and played on winningest team in school history. Freeman utilizes the lessons that he honed as a player about the importance of diligent preparation, determined execution, and teamwork as a model for how he advocates for his clients. With his playing days over, Freeman has had the privilege in recent years of coaching his sons and their teammates in football and basketball. His experience as “Coach Belser” has taught him valuable lessons about leadership and the importance of clear communication.
Freeman is married to Maryanne Belser, a Nashville, TN native who he met while at Davidson. Maryanne is an accomplished communications professional and dedicated volunteer who positively impacts everyone she encounters. Maryanne is Freeman’s biggest supporter at all times and in all things. Freeman and Maryanne live in downtown Columbia, where they are raising three outstanding sons.
- City Center Partnership
- ETV Endowment of South Carolina
- Heathwood Hall Episcopal School
- Palmetto Club
- National Football Foundation
- Columbia Museum of Art
- Columbia Kiwanis Club
- Trinity Cathedral
- Davidson College Alumni Association
- University of South Caroliniana Society
- Advised the owners of a local software company from the start-up phase (entity selection, capitalization, product acquisition, etc.) through growth (contract drafting and enforcement, intellectual property identification and protection, etc.) to acquisition by a competitor
- Represented an out-of-state buyer in a multi-million dollar acquisition of an established local retail and service business
- Guided the leaders of a local church through the implementation of a succession plan involving the transfer of assets to another church, followed by dissolution
- Obtained an injunction on behalf of a business against a former employee caught violating a non-compete agreement
- Defeated a claim for money damages made by a business against a group of former employees alleged to have violated a non-compete agreement
- Secured a 10% personal representative fee for a widow in a complex and vigorously contested estate proceeding against her step-children
- Successfully defended a $25,000,000 claim in arbitration brought against a multi-national warehousing company by a publicly traded retail manufacturer
- Successfully prosecuted a breach of contract claim in arbitration on behalf of a warehousing and contract labor services company against an international tire manufacturer
- Negotiated a settlement for full insurance limits of liability and underinsured motorist coverage for a family injured in an accident caused by a drunk driver
- Obtained a multi-million dollar verdict for actual and punitive damages on behalf of a family whose property was damaged by siltation from an adjacent development
- Obtained a multi-million dollar settlement during a two week trial on behalf of a man who became a quadriplegic as result of medical negligence
- Set legal precedent on insurance coverage for water damage after argument in the South Carolina Supreme Court