One of the namesakes of a local law firm rang in the New Year this week by jumping to a downtown rival, bringing a few of his colleagues with him and prompting a rebranding at the firm he left.
Bev Crump joined ThompsonMcMullan on Jan. 1 after departing from DurretteCrump, which as a result is now known as Durrette, Arkema & Gill.
The move ends a six-year run for the firm as DurretteCrump, which took on that name in 2011 with the merger of DurretteBradshaw and McSweeney Crump Childress & Temple.
Crump said he made the move as Durrette had lately become more focused on litigation and he needed a deeper bench of attorneys to help with his business practice, which at age 76, is still going strong.
“It became time to change,” Crump said. “It allows me to have more help, but I don’t plan on retiring any time soon.”
Durrette’s director Wyatt Durrette said the bulk of the firm’s business is in litigation, as five of the seven lawyers that came over with Crump in 2011 have since moved on.
“He was kind of by himself here in that regard and he needed support,” Durrette said of Crump. “We’re all primarily litigators now.”
Joining Crump at ThompsonMcMullan are his Durrette colleagues Chip Temple and Buckley Warden. Randy Hutcheson is set to follow them in the coming weeks, said ThompsonMcMullan president and managing director Christopher Malone.
In addition to Crump’s business clients, which include real estate developers, software firms and manufacturing and distribution companies, Temple brings over a labor and employment practice and Warden handles civil litigation.
Malone would not comment on the size of the book of business the firm picked up with the new additions, which brings ThompsonMcMullan’s attorney headcount to more than 30.
“They bring substantial value and substantial opportunity to us,” Malone said.
Adding their names to the Durrette flag are Bruce Arkema and Sadiq Gill.
Arkema said everyone left on good terms and that Durrette is already eyeing new talent.
“We’re in deep talks with another business lawyer,” Arkema said, adding that they expect to have a commitment in the coming weeks.
With a smaller headcount than in recent years, Durrette said, his eight-attorney firm may also soon be in the market for a new, smaller office. The firm’s lease in the Bank of America building is up in March, he said.
As for no longer having his name on a law firm letterhead, Crump recognized that as a change of course from recent decades.
“This is the first time in 37 years that I will be in a law firm that doesn’t have my name on it – and I’m very happy about that,” he said.