CASPER — One of Casper’s most venerable law firms, at one time staffed by more than 20 attorneys, will dissolve on Dec. 30. Brown Drew & Massey has been in business for more than 50 years.
According to Morris Massey, the senior partner, "Denver and Billings firms have hired away too many attorneys, and there aren’t enough of us to carry the existing overhead." Oil and gas clients have been a major part of the firm’s business, along with corporate law.
Massey plans to join Harry Durham and "maybe one or two other attorneys" in a new practice in the same location in the Ohio Building on Wolcott Street, but in a "much smaller space" that is more affordable. A name for the new firm hasn’t been chosen yet, Massey said.
The exodus seemed to accelerate when State Rep. Tim Stubson announced on Oct. 1 that he was leaving to become the senior counsel for Crowley-Fleck in Billings, Mont. Stubson will relocate to the Pan Am building, which is east of the Ohio Building. Both buildings are owned by developer Bob Ide.
Stubson was with Brown Drew & Massey for 13 years. He will be joined in the new office by his wife Susan Chapin Stubson, who will work part-time. Additional attorneys will be hired as the business grows, with available space for five lawyers.
"Crowley-Fleck has a number of local clients in common with Brown Drew, and most of my current clients will move with me to the new firm," Stubson said. The practice will cover banking, commercial and oil and gas matters.
The company, Stubson added, also is opening a new office in Sheridan. Crowley-Fleck has five offices in Montana and two in North Dakota.
Another departing Brown Drew lawyer is Eric Nelson, a former Natrona County attorney. He has been with the firm for several years, but has not chosen a new working relationship. He is in discussions with a regional firm; Nelson’s practice is largely related to oil and gas matters with some commercial litigation in the mix.
About the changes at Brown Drew & Massey, Nelson said, "The legal market has changed with regional firms coming into town and hiring attorneys. It is difficult for Casper firms to compete with the larger regional firms."
For more Daily news click here and look under 'Breaking News'