Niche law firm lands in Richmond

Yvonne and Joseph Cordell

Jessica Boutwell and Scott Trout

A fast-growing national law firm with a singular focus of representing men in divorce cases has set up shop in Richmond, tapping a UVA and William & Mary grad to lead its first local office.

Cordell & Cordell opened for business in town last week with an office at 6802 Paragon Place, near the intersection of West Broad Street and Glenside Drive. It marks the St. Louis-based firm’s third office in Virginia, joining outposts in Fairfax and Virginia Beach.

The firm, founded by husband-and-wife Joseph and Yvonne Cordell, follows men through the process of divorce, often helping them fight for custody of their children.

Scott Trout, the firm’s managing partner and CEO, said its credo is to focus on “What matters before, during and after,” divorce.

When choosing a new market, Trout said the firm has ways of tracking interest and statistics, driven largely by inquiries on its aptly named website.

“We had offices elsewhere in Virginia and what we’ve noticed is that we got a lot of requests from Richmond,” he said.

He said once it finds a target city, it then goes after local talent. The talent it selected for the move into Richmond is Jessica Boutwell, a UVA grad who earned her law degree at William & Mary and most recently worked at The Law Office of Henry McLaughlin in downtown Richmond.

Boutwell is the lone attorney in the Richmond office for now, but Trout said the firm expects to continue to grow in the local market. He said attorneys from the firm’s Virginia Beach office will also work cases in Richmond.

The Richmond office is the firm’s 100th, joining 99 around the U.S. and one in the U.K. It has 235 attorneys firm-wide.

Trout said its largest offices are in Texas, Pennsylvania, Georgia and Utah.

It will continue to stay on a path of expansion, with eight new offices planned for this year in markets like Des Moines, Iowa; Buffalo, New York; Little Rock, Arkansas; and Columbia, South Carolina.

The impetus for Cordell & Cordell’s niche focus came in the early 1990s, Trout said, when the firm represented a husband and father in an international custody dispute in which the mom left the country with the children.

“We really saw an opportunity where we could focus on just one thing, just family law, and one area – representing guys,” Trout said. “That was the one gaping hole.”

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Frank Smith

I would love to know the ratio of Women initiated v. Men initiated divorces. I’m sure Mr. Trout’s firm knows, it’s and interesting marketing measure (in their case).