Firm History

Hamilton Delleney Grier & Cotten, LLC Celebrates Over 100 Years Serving South Carolina Residents!

PHOTO-HDGC-Law-PLAQUEwebAfter graduating from the University of South Carolina in 1904 and USC Law School in 1907, Milton’s grandfather, David “Mr. Dave” Hamilton returned to Chester to start his law practice as the founder of our firm. Mr. Dave served in the South Carolina Senate and was married and had two children, David Lee Hamilton and Thomas Booker Hamilton. Mr. Dave was active in his practice until his death on July 4, 1941.

Mr. Dave’s son, David Lee Hamilton graduated from the University of South Carolina in 1932 and USC Law in 1935. He was sworn in and licensed as an attorney; he joined his father in the law firm in 1935. David Lee served in the U.S. Army in the European Theater during WWII.

Thomas Booker Hamilton, David Lee’s brother, graduated from Furman College in 1936 and USC Law in 1940. Upon graduation, he joined the Army Air Corps. Tom, who had joined the Air Corps, served in the Pacific Theater during WWII.  Tom returned to Chester, South Carolina after the war and joined the law firm with his father and brother. Tom practiced until his death in 1972.

After graduating from the Citadel in 1975 and USC Law in 1978, Milton Earl Hamilton, son of David Lee, returned to Chester after being sworn in and licensed to join his father in the firm of Hamilton and Hamilton. After David Lee retired in 1985, Milton continued to practice law under the name of Hamilton & Hamilton.

Greg Delleney, Jr., graduated from The Citadel in 1974 and Cumberland School of Law at Samford University in 1981. After Greg was admitted to practice law in South Carolina in 1981, Greg joined Hamilton and Hamilton in 1988 when the firm became known as Hamilton, Hamilton & Delleney.

The firm had always been housed above the Commercial Bank on Gadsden Street in Chester, South Carolina. Needing more space to accommodate their growing practice, Milton and Greg bought the “Old Jail” on Center Street in Chester, South Carolina in 1989. The building had been condemned at the time and they spent the next two years refurbishing it to its former glory. During the renovation, a signature of a former prisoner was discovered written in a doorway to one of the offices – it was dated 1859. Milton and Greg moved their law practice into their “new” building in December, 1991.

Brian T. Grier earned his Bachelor’s degree from the University of South Carolina in 1999 and his J.D. from the University of South Carolina School of Law in 2003. Brian was admitted to the South Carolina Bar in 2003. He has worked with a law firm in Florence, South Carolina and the 6th Circuit Solicitor’s Office in Chester, South Carolina before joining the firm in 2008, when the firm changed it’s name to Hamilton Delleney & Grier, P.A.

F.M. Nick Cotten, Jr., earned his Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with emphasis in Financial Accounting in 1987 from Winthrop University and his J.D. from the Charlotte School of Law in 2011. Before attending law school, Nick worked ten years as an adjuster with Allstate Insurance Company in the upstate of South Carolina and left the company as a Senior Staff Claims Adjuster. Additionally, Nick worked as a negotiation strategist, claims consultant and civil court arbitrator and mediator, in addition to being a small business owner. After Nick was admitted to the South Carolina Bar in May, 2012, he joined the firm as a partner, changing our name to Hamilton Delleney Grier & Cotten, LLC.