South Carolina law firm makes first move into Richmond

Brian Frame, Emily Bishop and RJ Williams. (Photos courtesy MGC)

Capping a busy summer of legal moves in the Richmond market, an out-of-town law firm has opened its first Virginia office in Innsbrook.

Columbia, South Carolina-based McAngus Goudelock & Courie set up shop Sept. 3 at 4301 Dominion Blvd.

The 25-year-old firm, which has 210 attorneys across 16 offices representing mostly insurance companies, has three lawyers on the ground in Henrico, two of which it lured from local competitors.

The new office is led by RJ Williams, who relocated after nine years at MGC’s Charlotte outpost. He’s joined by Emily Bishop and Brian Frame, who MGC lured from Harman Claytor Corrigan & Wellman, and McCandlish Holton, respectively.

JD Keister

JD Keister, who oversees the firm’s operations in North Carolina, Georgia and Virginia, said the commonwealth had been on its radar for some time. He said the firm had been servicing clients in Richmond from afar and it was time to formally plant a flag.

“As we’ve grown – and our business is primarily insurance-based – a lot of our clients have gotten into a comfort level with us and told us of the needs they have in other jurisdictions,” Keister said. “I was receiving a number of client requests to have a Virginia office. We have a very strong client base that writes business in Richmond and has physical offices in Glen Allen.”

Williams said he volunteered to move his family and help launch the firm’s Richmond office, as he was already making trips here from North Carolina to see his Virginia clients.

The firm is subleasing 3,500 square feet in the Dominion Boulevard building. (Michael Schwartz)

The firm for now is subleasing 3,500 square feet in the Dominion Boulevard building and has plans to lease more permanent space in the next few months. It will look to stay in or around Innsbrook to be close to its local clients.

While it starts with a roster of three attorneys in Innsbrook, MGC is looking to recruit another litigation attorney here in the near term. Williams said it will continue to watch for additional talent and future growth in Richmond.

“If the work is there, we will expand,” Williams said. “Once we plant the flag, people hear about it and are sort of intrigued with the way we do things. The word spreads.”

Bishop had been with Harman Claytor for nearly seven years and previously was an assistant commonwealth’s attorney for Henrico County. She is a 2008 UR law grad and has a master’s degree from VCU and a bachelor’s degree from Virginia Tech.

Frame, who had been with McCandlish Holton for nearly three years, is a 2016 UR law grad and has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Massachusetts.

Williams earned his law degree from Wayne State University and has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan.

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