Henry R. Chalmers

Partner

Direct: 404.873.8646
Fax: 404.873.8647
Atlanta
171 17th Street, NW
Suite 2100
Atlanta, Georgia 30363

Biography

Henry solves business challenges. He works with clients to enforce their legal rights, resolve disputes, and achieve business goals through litigation, arbitration, mediation, and strategic counseling. Henry focuses his practice on commercial litigation and alternative dispute resolution on behalf of large and small public and closely held companies, consumer reporting agencies, fiduciaries, government entities, and individuals, and he handles a wide variety of matters involving contract disputes, business torts, class actions, Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”) and Open Records Act litigation, fiduciary disputes, and fraud and misrepresentation claims. Henry is the former co-chair of AGG’s Litigation department and has successfully represented clients as plaintiffs and defendants in trials, appeals, arbitrations, and mediations throughout Georgia and across the country, with a particular concentration on, and familiarity with, the state and federal courts in Georgia and the metropolitan Atlanta area.

Henry serves as an arbitrator on the American Arbitration Association’s Panel of Neutrals for Large Complex Cases and is the co-chair of the American Bar Association Section of Litigation’s nationwide Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee. Henry also is a certified mediator in Georgia, and he writes and speaks frequently on business litigation and alternative dispute resolution topics.

Henry co-chairs the firm’s Background Screening industry team, regularly defending consumer reporting agencies and employers against claims under the FCRA, including individual claims, nationwide class actions, and indemnification demands. Henry writes and speaks on FCRA issues and regularly counsels clients on best practices for FCRA compliance.

Before joining AGG, Henry was a law clerk to the Honorable Robert H. Hall, (N.D. Ga.), and he worked in Belize, Central America, for a year as a Bates Fellow with the Human Rights Commission of Belize. Henry also provides pro bono legal services to indigent clients. When away from work, he enjoys whitewater kayaking and mountain biking.

Experience

  • Secured complete victory after a multi-day arbitration hearing, recovering contract damages and attorneys’ fees for his client — one of North America’s largest legal vertically integrated, multi-state cannabis companies — and defeating a $8.75 million breach-of-contract counterclaim.
  • Won $3.3 million jury verdict for international retailer W.H. Smith after a two-week trial against the City of Atlanta and the world’s busiest airport. Secured affirmance of entire verdict on appeal.
  • Won $93,000 attorneys’ fee award for his pro bono client in an Open Records Act case against the Gwinnett County Board of Registrations and Elections. The court awarded fees to Henry’s client under both the Georgia Open Records Act’s fee-shifting provision and under O.C.G.A. § 9-15-14, which provides for fee awards against defendants who pursue frivolous defenses.
  • Argued and secured unanimous ruling from the Supreme Court of Georgia for Washington, D.C.-based public interest client, Campaign for Accountability, reversing a  Court of Appeals of Georgia decision and establishing broad, new precedent in a case of first impression involving the scope of Georgia’s Open Records Act.
  • Secured $850,000 judgment on behalf of an investor against a vigorously defended perpetrator of a complex pyramid fraud scheme. Negotiated arrangement with United States Attorney’s Office for the client to receive 100% of all revenue generated, up to the amount of judgment, from government’s forfeiture sales of defendant’s properties. The defendant was eventually sentenced to federal prison.
  • Serves as lead counsel for numerous consumer reporting agencies in nationwide FCRA class action lawsuits and individual lawsuits alleging violations of 15 U.S.C. §§ 1681b, 1681c, 1681e, 1681g, 1681i, and 1681k (FCRA Sections 604, 605, 607, 609, 611, and 613).
  • Thirteen years of experience as an arbitrator with the American Arbitration Association, including serving as sole arbitrator, member of a three-arbitrator panel, and panel chair in numerous cases involving a wide variety of business and healthcare disputes.
  • Secured summary judgment, affirmed on appeal, for a national bank in a lawsuit alleging claims under the FCRA. Defeated petition for writ of certiorari before the Supreme Court of the United States.
  • Secured complete defense judgment at trial for the Atlanta Housing Authority in a contract dispute involving a limited liability company renting property to participants in the Authority’s Housing Choice Voucher program.
  • Successfully represented a leading medical device company in federal court litigation involving claims for breach of an international distribution agreement, fraud, tortious interference, libel, and violations of the Lanham Act, Georgia’s Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act, Georgia Trade Secrets Act, and Georgia’s RICO Act. Managed numerous complex electronic discovery issues, including the collection of over 2.3 terabytes of electronic data from approximately 150 custodians, and review and categorization of responsive documents by over 30 contract attorneys. Secured multimillion-dollar settlement for the client.
  • Successfully represented one of the nation’s leading universities in arbitration regarding alleged breach of a multimillion-dollar program management agreement. Secured settlement for the client.
  • Lead counsel defending corporate and individual trustees against multimillion-dollar claims, including breach of fiduciary duty. After contentious discovery and lengthy, multi-day hearing, secured settlement of all claims and clients’ counterclaims, with the opposing parties reimbursing most of the clients’ legal fees.
  • Successfully represented an insurance company against claims of breach of contract and bad faith involving funeral industry in Hawaii. Convinced insured to dismiss claims without any payments based on aggressive discovery strategy into coverage issues.
  • Successfully represented an international sport and wildlife conservation nonprofit corporation against lawsuit involving claims of breach of contract and violation of Georgia’s Fair Business Practices Act. Secured summary judgment for client on all claims, upheld on appeal.
  • Successfully represented the United States subsidiary of German international construction company in dispute with subcontractor involving the construction of Volkswagen automobile manufacturing plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Secured advantageous settlement for client.

    Credentials

    • University of Michigan Law School, Juris Doctor,
      cum laude
      • Articles Editor, University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform
      • Bates Fellow, Human Rights Commission of Belize
    • Swarthmore College, Bachelor of Arts,
      with High Honors
    • State of Georgia 1992
    • United States District Court for the Middle District of Georgia 2008
    • Supreme Court of the United States 2008
    • United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit 1996
    • United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia 1993
    • Court of Appeals of Georgia 1993
    • Supreme Court of Georgia 1993
      • American Bar Association, 1999-present
        • Section of Litigation, Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee, Co-Chair, 2018-present
        • Section of Litigation, Communications Committee, Co-Chair, 2016-17
        • Section of Litigation, Division III (Professional Development & Programs), Director, 2014-16
        • Section of Litigation, Content Management Committee, Co-Chair, 2011-14
        • Section of Litigation, Ethics and Professionalism Committee, Co-Chair, 2008-11
        • Litigation News, Associate Editor, 1999-2014
      • American Arbitration Association, Arbitrator, 2009-present
      • Georgia Commission on Dispute Resolution, Registered Mediator
      • Judge Clarence Cooper Inn of Court, Emory University School of Law, Master
      • Lawyers Club of Atlanta
      • Professional Background Screening Association (PBSA)

    Recognition

    • Georgia Super Lawyers, Business Litigation, 2009-present
    • Best Lawyers in America®, Commercial Litigation Law, 2015-present
    • Fellow, Human Rights Commission of Belize, 1994-95
    • Law Clerk, Judge Robert H. Hall (N.D. Ga.), 1992-94

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