Chambers USA Ranks McLane as a Top Tier Firm in Every Practice Area Rated, Three Years in a Row

June 12, 2009, Manchester, NH
– The law firm of McLane, Graf, Raulerson & Middleton, Professional Association is proud to announce that, for the third year in a row, it has received the highest rating from Chambers USA: A Guide to America’s Leading Lawyers in every practice area rated in the state of New Hampshire.* McLane is the only New Hampshire law firm, in the history of the prestigious annual ranking, to receive this honor.

Now in its seventh edition, the list ranks top U.S. law firms and individual attorneys in various practice areas. The relative weight of client feedback in their rankings makes the Chambers guides among the most respected of all law firm reference publications available.

Beyond McLane’s being given the top rating firm-wide in Corporate/Commercial, Environmental, Labor & Employment, General Commercial Litigation and Real Estate Law, 22 of McLane’s attorneys were individually recognized as “leaders in their field.”

Corporate / Commercial

Chambers’ Assessment:

The Corporate Group: This full-service firm has a group of 25 talented commercial corporate practitioners who have the capacity and strength to handle complex transactions. The group handles a range of corporate matters, from advising clients in the renewable energy sector to advising financial institutions on acquiring business within and outside of New Hampshire. It has a wide client base and regularly represents large energy, retail and manufacturing companies on M&A matters. The group is well respected by peers, one of whom admitted: “It’s so good we actually learn a lot from how it does things.”

The Lawyers: Richard Samuels leads the corporate department and is a top-class transactional lawyer. His practice covers a wide variety of corporate issues, such as governance, M&A transactions and securities. Clients say: “He’s a thoughtful, experienced, balanced lawyer who’s focused on delivering the goods.” Daniel Norris enjoys a fine reputation for his corporate practice, and concentrates on M&A, divestitures and corporate finance transactions. He represents many clients in the insurance, real estate, construction and professional services industries. Steven Burke is a down-to-earth, extremely capable lawyer with a strong background in tax-related matters; he represents small and midsized businesses. Joseph Foster chairs the firm’s bankruptcy group and covers all aspects of bankruptcy, reorganizations and restructurings. His corporate clients range from small private lenders to national financial institutions. John Hughes chairs the tax practice and specializes in advising closely held businesses on a wide range of tax matters. He is noted for building successful working relationships with clients. William Zorn concentrates on federal and state tax planning and is highlighted for his attention to detail and for adding a personal touch to his advice to clients.


Chambers’ Assessment:

The Environmental Group: This “intelligent, well-coordinated team provides quality, reliable advice to its clients” and handles many of New Hampshire’s most significant environmental matters. Supported by the firm’s commercial litigation department, the environment team advises large commercial clients on environmental liability issues. The team comprises five full-time and two part-time environmental specialists. It has a strong industrial client base in the state with a special focus on large energy companies, manufacturers and water supply companies.

The Lawyers: Trial lawyer Gregory Smith leads the group and brings valuable disputes experience to the table. His practice encompasses a wide range of matters, while also focusing on the energy and transportation industries. Barry Needleman represents a huge range of regional and national clients in environment-related matters, while Michael Quinn is well known for his practical advice and for representing policyholders in disputes with insurance companies.

Labor and Employment

Chambers’ Assessment:

The Employment Group: This comprehensive labor and employment practice is a strong force in the New Hampshire market, and is praised by clients for its great value for money. The 12-strong team advises regional companies on the full range of issues, including litigation and risk management; it is also highly regarded for its expertise in pensions and tax, and regularly represents professionals. Sources say the group is “proactive in avoiding things escalating to litigation.”

The Lawyers: Leading the group, Linda Johnson is “a very able and talented employment practitioner” who works in litigation and provides risk management advice. She is highlighted for her capabilities in discrimination claims and is “knowledgeable, confident and responsive.” Andrea Chatfield focuses on providing employment advice to corporate clients. Her work is praised for being reliable and practical. Jennifer Parent is a respected litigator and devotes a considerable portion of her time to employment-related matters. She defends employers against all kinds of claims and is particularly strong in sexual harassment, gender and pregnancy discrimination cases. Cameron Shilling brings his skills as a commercial litigator to his labor and employment work.

Litigation – General Commercial

Chambers’ Assessment:

The Litigation Group: This long-established and well-respected litigation group houses 40 skillful, business-minded attorneys who handle a wide range of litigation matters, especially in the environment, manufacturing and public sectors. The team enjoys an excellent reputation with interviewees, who say: “You only ever hear great things about them.” The practice is also increasingly active outside the state.

The Lawyers: “A smart and well-rounded attorney,” David Wolowitz specializes in healthcare-related matters, but also does general commercial counseling work. Although the vastly experienced Jack Middleton is not as active as he used to be, peers continue to recommend him as a “talented trial lawyer and a real gentleman.” Another interviewee added: “His contribution has made this team a commercial litigation powerhouse.” One of the top commercial litigators in the state, Bruce Felmly is respected by his clients for being highly accessible and responsive. In addition to his general commercial workload, his practice includes work for the financial sector. Wilbur Glahn is renowned for his “bright, thorough and thoughtful style in the courtroom,” and for his work in the corporate, shareholders dispute, tax and employment arenas. Thomas Donovan is a solid attorney with a strong understanding of commercial litigation and IP issues. Rising talent Scott Harris is a general commercial litigator focused on the local market. Peers respect his “aggressive and energetic way of doing things.”

Real Estate

Chambers’ Assessment

The Real Estate Group: As part of one of the largest firms in New Hampshire, this real estate practice has expanded significantly over recent years. Its widely acclaimed work focuses primarily on regional clients, and clients value its vast expertise and skillful practitioners.

The Lawyers: Peter Rotch is recognized as a top real estate practitioner. He has a wide-ranging practice and is much praised by clients for his experience and skill. Linda Connell is another experienced real estate lawyer. She advises institutional clients on a variety of work in this field and is especially adept in title, land use and development work. Thomas Hildreth devotes a considerable amount of his time to land use and zoning work. Clients say he is an intelligent lawyer and very easy to work with.

These 22 McLane attorneys have been named leading lawyers in New Hampshire in their areas of practice and are included in the book’s editorial. Chambers USA researchers conducted over 14,000 interviews with attorneys and clients across the U.S. in order to rank attorneys on a scale of one through six based on their reputation in the market. The New Hampshire section of the book ranks lawyers in five practice areas: Corporate/Commercial, Environmental, Labor & Employment, General Commercial Litigation and Real Estate Law. Qualities assessed included technical legal ability, professional conduct, client service, commercial astuteness, diligence and commitment. For each firm referenced, the directory provides detailed quotations from clients and peers, a list of practice strengths, an overview of recent work and a client listing.

About Chambers USA

The Chambers USA guide is published by Chambers and Partners-a London-based publisher that produces guides to the world’s top lawyers. The guide is available on-line at:

About the McLane Law Firm

Founded in 1919, McLane, Graf, Raulerson & Middleton, Professional Association is the largest full-service law firm in the state of New Hampshire, with offices in Manchester, Concord and Portsmouth, as well as Woburn, Massachusetts. Driven by the firm’s depth of sophisticated legal expertise and an unwavering commitment to client service, McLane has built collaborative and lasting relationships with a broad spectrum of domestic and international clients.

* In some states, a more comprehensive list of practice areas is measured.