Henry R. Chalmers

Partner

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

Biography

Henry solves business disputes. He works with clients to enforce their legal rights, resolve disputes, and achieve business goals through litigation, arbitration, mediation, and strategic counseling.  He focuses his practice on complex litigation and alternative dispute resolution on behalf of public and closely-held companies, consumer reporting agencies, educational institutions, fiduciaries, and government entities, for whom he handles a wide-variety of matters including contract disputes, business torts, class actions, fiduciary duty disputes, privacy and PCI compliance, real estate and affordable housing disputes, and fraud and misrepresentation claims. Henry has successfully represented clients as plaintiffs and defendants in trials, appeals, arbitrations, and mediations across the country, with a particular concentration on, and familiarity with, the state and federal courts in Georgia and the metropolitan Atlanta area.

Henry is the former co-chair of the firm’s Litigation department and currently co-chairs the firm’s Background Screening industry team, regularly defending consumer reporting agencies (CRAs) and employers against claims under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), including individual claims, nationwide class actions, and indemnification demands.  Henry is a frequent speaker at the Professional Background Screening Association (PBSA, formerly NAPBS) conferences, and he regularly coaches clients on best practices for FCRA compliance.

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 ABA Section of Litigation’s Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee.  Henry also is a certified mediator in the State of Georgia, and he writes and speaks frequently on business litigation and alternative dispute resolution topics.

Before joining Arnall Golden Gregory, 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.  For the past decade he has held various leadership positions in the American Bar Association’s (ABA) Section of Litigation.

Henry also provides pro bono legal services to indigent clients.  And when he’s away from work, he enjoys whitewater kayaking, mountain biking, camping, and spending time with his family.

Experience

  • Won $3.3 million jury verdict for international retailer, W.H. Smith, after two-week trial against the City of Atlanta and the world’s busiest airport. Secured affirmance of entire verdict on appeal. Served as lead counsel at trial and on appeal.

  • Secured $850,000 judgment on behalf of investor against vigorously-defended perpetrator of complex pyramid fraud scheme. Negotiated arrangement with United States Attorney’s office for client to receive 100 percent of all revenue generated, up to amount of judgment, from government’s forfeiture sales of defendant’s properties.

  • Secured summary judgment, affirmed on appeal, for national bank in lawsuit alleging claims under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1681 et seq. Defeated petition for writ of certiorari before the United States Supreme Court.

  • Secured a complete defense judgment at trial for the Atlanta Housing Authority in a contract dispute involving a limited liability company that rented property to participants in the Authority’s Housing Choice Voucher program.

  • 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).

  • Serves as lead counsel for a large consumer reporting agency handling all indemnification demands received from end users.

  • Presented a successful amicus brief before the Georgia Court of Appeals on behalf of the Development Authority of Fulton County, affirming the right of private companies to exclude weapons at properties they lease from the government.

  • Argued and secured a unanimous ruling from the Georgia Supreme Court for his Washington, D.C.-based public interest client, Campaign for Accountability, reversing a Georgia Court of Appeals decision and establishing broad, new precedent in a case of first impression involving the scope of Georgia’s Open Records Act.

  • Successfully represented 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: collection of over 2.3 terabytes of electronic data from approximately 150 custodians; review and categorization of responsive documents by over thirty contract attorneys; and related obligations imposed by court-appointed Discovery Special Master. Secured multi-million dollar settlement for client.

  • Successfully represented one of the nation’s leading universities in an arbitration regarding alleged breach of a multi-million dollar program management agreement. Secured settlement for client.

  • Lead counsel defending corporate and individual trustees against multi-million 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 clients’ legal fees.

  • Successfully represented 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.

  • Has served as a solo Arbitrator and as part of a three-member arbitration panels, including as Panel Chair, in numerous cases involving a wide-variety of business disputes.

  • Successfully represented 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 (307 Ga.App. 136, 706 S.E.2d 84 (Ga. App., 2010)).

  • Successfully represented United States subsidiary of German international construction company in dispute with sub-contractor involving construction of Volkswagen automobile manufacturing plant in Chattanooga, Tenn. Secured advantageous settlement for client.

  • Represented Colorado check collection and processing company in multi-state litigation concerning alleged breach of, and misrepresentations in, an asset purchase agreement.  Secured transfer of lawsuit to client’s home state and eventual settlement of claims.

  • Represented Austria’s leading provider of aluminum for the manufacturing industry in action on account against South Carolina company regarding non-payment of invoices for shipments of aluminum products. Secured settlement for client.

  • Represented national food distribution company in lawsuit alleging breach of a loan agreement and a no-offset agreement. Secured settlement for client.

  • Defeated Petition for Certiorari to United States Supreme Court.

  • Secured appellate affirmance of summary judgment for national bank in lawsuit alleging claims under 15 U.S.C. § 1681s-2 (FCRA Section 623). Defeated petition for writ of certiorari before the United States Supreme Court.

  • Secured reversal on appeal of dismissal on res judicata and collateral estoppel ground of constructive trust and cy pres claims against recipient of $1.5 million special purpose gift.

  • Secured reversal on appeal of trial court order awarding attorneys’ fees pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 9-15-14.

  • Secured reversal on appeal of trial court ruling that a government policy violated the state and federal Due Process Clauses. The client turned to Henry after the trial court ruling to successfully vindicate its policy on appeal.

  • Successfully represented Fortune 100 company’s emergency response to FTC document request as part of an anti-trust review of an $8 billion merger. Created privilege review strategy and managed team of 25 contract attorneys.

Credentials

  • University of Michigan Law School, Juris Doctor — 1992,

    cum laude

    • Articles Editor, University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform, 1991–1992
    • Bates Fellow, Human Rights Commission of Belize, 1994–1995
  • Swarthmore College, Bachelor of Arts — 1986,

    with High Honors

  • State of Georgia 1992
  • United States District Court for the Middle District of Georgia 2008
  • United States Supreme Court 2008
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit 1996
  • United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia 1993
  • Georgia Court of Appeals 1993
  • United States District Court for the District of Colorado
    • American Bar Association – Section of Litigation, Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee, Co-Chair, 2018 – present
    • American Bar Association – Section of Litigation, Communications Committee, Co-Chair, 2016 – 2017
    • American Bar Association–Section of Litigation, Division III (professional Development & Programs), Director, 2014 – 2016
    • American Bar Association – Section of Litigation, Content Management Committee, Co-chair, 2011 – 2014
    • American Bar Association–Section of Litigation, Ethics and Professionalism Committee, Co-Chair, 2008 – 2011
    • American Bar Association Litigation News, Associate Editor, 1999–2014
    • American Arbitration Association, Arbitrator
    • Georgia Commission on Dispute Resolution, Registered Mediator
    • Member of the Professional Background Screening Association (PBSA, formerly NAPBS)
    • Lawyers Club of Atlanta, 2011 – present
    • Master in the Lamar American Inn of Court, Emory University School of Law
    • N.D. Ga. Ad Hoc Committee on E-Discovery, Member, 2008–09

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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