Attorneys in Fort Smith, Arkansas

Phone: 479-782-8813

Benjamin H. Shipley III


Ben has an extensive background representing employers in a wide range of labor and employment law matters and related litigation. He has appeared before administrative agencies on behalf of employers on numerous occasions, including work before the National Labor Relations Board, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and the Arkansas Employment Security Division. He also represents clients in both state and federal court proceedings.

Ben has substantial experience with the federal and state statutes and regulations governing the employer-employee relationship. He has evaluated and addressed employer needs concerning a host of legal issues involving the workplace, from the drafting of employee handbooks to the management of complex, multi-party lawsuits. He has worked with employers in handling the all of the legal aspects of traditional labor-management relations, including union elections, contract negotiations, labor and employment-related arbitration, strikes, and litigation.

His legal work includes a full-spectrum business transactional practice, including the formation and organization of corporations, partnerships and limited liability companies. He advises clients on the preparation of corporate agreements and documents, the purchase, financing, and sale of assets, and issues involving reorganization, dissolution, and liquidations.

Ben has an active commercial litigation practice, and handles the preparation and trial of the full range of business and commercial disputes. He has represented business clients involved in controversies concerning contracts, real estate, construction, employee disputes, partnership controversies, shareholder actions, business torts, trade secrets, banking and finance, director and officer liability, business dissolutions, and other legal areas. When needed, he has continued to provide effective representation throughout appellate proceedings.

In addition to these areas of practice, Ben also has considerable experience advising retailer clients operating in Arkansas on all aspects of the state’s alcoholic beverage licensing and regulation. He provides assistance before state and local agencies to help clients obtain necessary liquor licensing, and advises on compliance with Arkansas statutes and regulations in this area.


University of Arkansas (Juris Doctor, 1980)
Southern Methodist University (B.S., with honors, 1976)

Admitted to Practice

Arkansas (1980)
United States District Courts of Arkansas (1980)
Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals (1980)
United States Supreme Court (2002)

Associations and Affiliations

Arkansas Bar Association

  • Labor and Employment Section
  • Foundation Fellow
  • Law School Committee

American Bar Association

  • Labor and Employment Law Section

Alliance of Alcohol Industry Attorneys & Consultants
Western Arkansas Human Resource Association (President 2012)
W.B. Putnam American Inn of Court (Master)


Best Lawyers in America - Labor and Employment Law, 2000-2022
Mid-South Super Lawyers, 2006-2022
Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business
Silver Beaver Recipient-Boy Scouts of America

Community Involvement

United Way of Sebastian County, Board of Directors (past Chairman)
Salvation Army, Board of Directors
Fort Smith Classic Board of Directors
Fort Smith Emergency Medical Services, Board of Directors
Fort Smith Symphony (past Vice-President)
Leadership Fort Smith, Board of Directors (past President)
Fort Smith Public Library Board of Directors
Westark Area Counsel Boy Scouts of America, Board of Directors
First United Methodist Church, Administrative Board (Chairman)

“AV® Preeminent™” Martindale-Hubbell Peer-Review Rating (highest rated)

Benjamin H. Shipley III
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