Chambers USA Recognizes Bowles Rice as “Top Ranked”: 2014

May 23, 2014

The newly released 2014 edition of Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business recognizes Bowles Rice as "Top Ranked" in each of the five areas of law evaluated by the publication's researchers in West Virginia: corporate/commercial law; labor and employment law; commercial litigation; natural resources law; and real estate law.

Chambers editors described Bowles Rice as a "highly respected full-service firm" and cited the firm's "strong bench of litigators…acting on a wide range of issues." The editors also noted the firm's "extensive experience" in Natural Resources Law, identifying it as "One of the most capable firms in the environmental area" with "a long-established reputation in the oil and gas and coal sectors."

In addition to recognizing Bowles Rice as "Top Ranked" in all five areas of law, Chambers editors also identified 21 Bowles Rice lawyers as "Leaders in their Field" and described them as follows:

Natural Resources Law:

Senior counsel Thomas Graff is a preeminent figure with extensive experience in natural resources. Sources highlight his depth of knowledge in coal-related M&A, property acquisition and capital funding.

Leonard Knee is singled out for his strong expertise in environmental law and is particularly praised for his litigation skills. He also has an active regulatory practice. 

Thomas Lane has substantial experience on oil, gas and mineral transactions and litigation. Recent work includes carrying out title searches for energy companies.

Sources confirm that George Patterson is doing "great oil and gas work." He offers strong expertise on regulatory and real estate work in the sector and has a long-standing relationship with the Independent Oil and Gas Association of West Virginia.

Morgantown-based Seth Wilson is head of the firm's energy team and frequently advises on M&A transactions for oil and gas and coal companies. Recent work has also included advising Range Resources and Noble Energy on titles connected with the Marcellus Shale formation.


"Well-respected" litigator Charles Love continues to be a key figure in the litigation practice. He is admired for his comprehensive expertise relating to mass tort and class action cases.

Gerard Stowers is a highly respected attorney in the litigation arena. He covers a wide range of cases including commercial, product liability and energy-related litigation. He is particularly well regarded for his defense work.

Martinsburg partner Charles Printz remains busy with commercial disputes and continues to represent clients in West Virginia and further afield. He is praised by clients who note that "he's a real thinker!"

Corporate/Commercial Law:

Senior partner Thomas Graff is singled out for his many years of experience handling commercial matters. He is held in high esteem by both peers and clients.

Sources praise Michael Caryl 's "very responsive" approach, as well as his excellent drafting skills. In the past year, he has advised on several high-profile state tax cases.

Thomas Heywood is a highly respected attorney whose corporate and commercial practice focuses on healthcare, banking and financial services.

John Moore maintains a strong reputation for healthcare matters. In a recent highlight he advised West Virginia Association of Free Clinics on preparations for the transition to the Affordable Care Act.

Sandra Murphy is known for her "excellent advice" on corporate and banking issues. In a recent highlight she advised United Bankshares on its $307 million acquisition of Virginia Commerce Bancorp.

Julia Chincheck is singled out for her skillful handling of bankruptcy matters as well as her experience on commercial lending matters. Sources appreciate her "very hands-on" approach.

Ellen Maxwell-Hoffman leads the firm's commercial and financial services group. Her practice covers financial services, banking, public finance and economic development.

Marc Monteleone advises on corporate and taxation matters in a wide range of sectors, including energy, oil and gas, and construction.

Camden Siegrist is a well-regarded practitioner with a broad commercial practice. He has a particular focus on transactional banking work.

Clients praise Amy Tawney 's sound capabilities in handling banking and commercial matters. She was part of the team that advised United Bankshares on its acquisition of Virginia Commerce Bancorp.

Real Estate:

Martinsburg-based Stephen Mathias is head of the firm's real estate group. He acts for a number of the firm's key clients, and has extensive experience advising companies on residential building ventures. He is particularly adept at title work.

Carl Andrews is praised for his expertise on title work, handling a large number of titles in the Marcellus Shale play for both national and international clients. Recently, he also advised Commonwealth Title on the refinancing of several JC Penney Company stores.

Labor and Employment Law:

Sources highlight Mark Dellinger 's sound expertise in the employment field. He focuses particularly on defending employers against grievance claims.

Brian Peterson in Martinsburg has a growing reputation for employment litigation. He represents employers on a range of disputes including harassment, wage and hour, and discrimination claims.

Chambers and Partners, based in the United Kingdom, has published directories of the legal profession for more than 20 years, including Chambers USA, Chambers Global, Chambers Europe and Chambers Latin America. Chambers researchers interview thousands of lawyers and clients around the world to identify those who perform best, according to the criteria most valued by clients.

Bowles Rice is a regional law firm with more than 140 attorneys and eight regional offices located in Charleston, Martinsburg, Morgantown, Moundsville and Parkersburg, West Virginia; Southpointe, Pennsylvania; Lexington, Kentucky; and Winchester, Virginia