The firm was founded in 1993 by classmates and friends David Kirby and John Edwards, along with attorney Mark Holt, who had worked extensively with John at his previous firm on several high profile cases. Bill Bystrynski joined as the firm's fourth lawyer the following year.
The firm quickly distinguished itself as the most successful plaintiff's firm in the state with a series of courtroom victories. In 1998, John Edwards left the firm after being elected U.S. Senator; Mark Holt was named a partner and the firm was renamed Kirby & Holt, LLP.
Isaac Thorp joined the firm in 1997, and concentrated his practice in non-medical personal injury cases.
The firm's success continued unabated. David Kirby set a national record with the largest workplace violence verdict in U.S. history for a case involving an Asheville shooting. Mark Holt set a state record with the largest medical malpractice settlement. Mark and David were both named to Best Lawyers in America; David was named to the Inner Circle - the 100 top plaintiff's lawyers in the U.S.
Laurie Armstrong, who had been with the firm virtually since its inception working as a nurse, went to law school, and became an attorney in 2004. She brings a wealth of experience to the firm's medical malpractice cases.
Bill Bystrynski, who divides his time between malpractice and non-malpractice cases, was made a partner in 2009.
In recent years, the firm has remained a five-lawyer firm. The firm has resisted the pressure to expand, and monitors its caseload very closely so that it can continue to give highly personalized service to each of its clients. Kirby & Holt takes only one out of every 35 cases that come to the firm.
Kirby & Holt's best known areas of expertise continue to be medical malpractice, trucking and automotive negligence, and product liability cases, all involving catastrophic injuries. The firm has been named a nationally Preeminent Law Firm by Martindale-Hubbell, and each of the firm's lawyers has been honored by the publication Law & Politics in its Super Lawyers edition.