Gang of McCandlish Holton lawyers go their own way

Scott Ford and Brian Richardson have started their own firm. (Ford Richardson)

A group of lawyers has jumped from a larger downtown law firm to start their own operation – and they’ve come out of the gate with three offices statewide.

Scott Ford and Brian Richardson, previously of McCandlish Holton, earlier this month launched Ford Richardson, a firm focused on representing companies in workers compensation cases and related litigation.

The pair brought with them 18 employees, nearly all of whom came over from McCandlish Holton, where Ford and Richardson had been for 20 years and 12 years, respectively.

The new firm opened with three offices, including its headquarters on the 18th floor of Riverfront Plaza’s west tower, as well as outposts in Roanoke and northern Virginia.

Ford said its seven attorneys have a book of business of 50 clients, which warranted the geographical reach from day one.

“We have a fairly significant client base to support and we thought it important to continue to have that large presence,” he said.

Ford, who said he started the workers comp practice at McCandlish, said he and Richardson were pleased when their group agreed to make the leap with them.

“We were pleasantly surprised that the entire group has been enthusiastic and demonstrated an all-in attitude, which is required for success,” Ford said. “I think anytime you leave an established group to do something different obviously there are risks associated with it. But I don’t think any one of us second guessed ourselves.”

Their last day at McCandlish was April 30. Ford Richardson opened the next day.

McCandlish had about 40 attorneys prior to the Ford Richardson group’s departure. Ford and Richardson had been equity partners there. Ford also previously had served as the firm’s president in years past.

He said that while they’re focused on workers comp cases at the moment, the new company hopes to attract other attorneys with differing niches over time.

“Our goal is to grow additional practice groups,” Ford said. “We will add folks strategically.”

Ford Richardson took over the 9,100-square-foot office through a sublease, after it had initially been leased by local insurance brokerage The Hilb Group, which later scrapped its plan to use the space as its new downtown headquarters. Hilb Group was represented in the sublease by Commonwealth Commercial broker Fred Plaisted. Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer’s Brian Berkey and Jack Hoade represented Ford Richardson.

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