People have posed the “what’s next” question to Kent Henslee again and again in recent weeks, he said, since his plan to retire in his 58th year of legal practice became known in the community he has served.
“I have no idea,” Henslee said, “I’m not going to be able to sit at home. I know that.
“I have a fine office at home,” he said, that will allow him to continue to serving some pro bono clients he’s worked with for years, such as the Etowah Baptist Association, Baptist Health Systems, The Chamber of Gadsden & Etowah County and the Industrial Development Authority.
Being a tax attorney, he said, he did a lot of work to ensure IRS matters were dealt with for the religious organizations.
During those years, Henslee has done much more than tax law. He served as a deputy district attorney with Bill Rayburn for almost 10 years.
But it is business law that took Henslee all over the world — from the Kremlin to the Cayman Islands.
“I’ve practiced law — physically went there and practiced — in nine countries beside the U.S.,” he said.
Henslee was appointed by the U.S. attorney general to go to Russia and China work toward regulation of trade efforts between the U.S. and the two countries.
“I actually worked in the Kremlin and the People’s Palace,” he said. At the time, it was just taking the next step, he said. In hindsight, however, it seems like a pretty big deal for a Gadsden lawyer.
“Me and a bunch of lawyers met with Gorbachev and the Chinese leader,” he said.
It was a great way to see parts of the world others didn’t get to, and most of the time his wife, Mary, was able to go as…
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