CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Frank Emory Jr. usually uses his powers of persuasion on juries and judges, but his audience at the Democratic National Convention kick-off party was a little different: 350 senior officials from countries around the globe.
The Hunton & Williams partner, who focuses on complex commercial litigation and arbitration at the firm, hosted prime ministers and other heads of state at a reception Monday for the National Democratic Institute, a nonprofit that works to strengthen democracies.
As the Chairman of the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce, Emory was there to convince the foreign officials that the city is a great place to locate a business. He told them how the convention shows the genius of the American system. He said he talked about how there could be peaceful protestors expressing their views, and that the little guy can stand up to the powerful.
Emory's closing argument: Charlotte is a place that has always played above its weight, doing things people don’t expect like getting NFL and NBA teams. "When we said we were going to go after the DNC, they laughed out loud. And yet here we are," Emory said.
Emory, who has lived in Charlotte since 1983 but also has a Hunton office in Washington, was also key to making that happen as a member of the local host committee.
The 45-member professional staff at the chamber has been acting as a liaison with the U.S. Secret Service all week between local businesses affected by security road closures or other DNC issues.
The Hunton & Williams office here was keenly aware of those issues. Just a few blocks from the arena, the office was open but running on a reduced crew because there was no mail service and the traffic made it difficult for clients to visit firm attorneys in person.