Bricker & Eckler LLP announces the opening of the firm's newest location in Ohio at 258 Front St. in downtown Marietta.
With existing locations in Columbus, Cleveland and West Chester, the Ohio-based law firm represents a wide variety of clients, including businesses and corporations, nonprofit organizations, governmental agencies, health care entities, school districts, local governments, banks and insurers.
Bricker & Eckler has more than 25 attorneys who were born in or have family connections to the area. Many of them have devoted a significant portion of their professional lives to working with clients in the region.
"Opening a Marietta office is a natural progression for our firm because of the work we have been doing in the region," said Kurt Tunnell, Bricker's managing partner. "We are one of the first law firms from outside the immediate area that has chosen to take this step, an important sign of the region's growing prosperity."
The office will initially include one attorney, Flite Freimann, a litigator with considerable experience in oil and gas and other matters. Freimann has practiced in the Marietta area and is experienced in lease forfeitures, lease negotiations, and mineral ownership disputes.
Christopher Slagle will serve as the partner in charge of the Marietta office. Slagle was born and raised in Gallipolis, where nearly all of his family still resides. He is chair of the firm's Government Relations group, focusing his practice on helping clients with issues surrounding energy, utilities, real estate and banking.
"We believe having a hometown office in Marietta will allow us to help folks in the region in a variety of ways," said Slagle. "We are fully committed to southeast Ohio and giving back to the region and its communities. For many of us, this effort is a truly personal investment in the places we are from and where our families still live."
Matt Warnock will also work frequently at the Marietta office. Warnock has spent a significant amount of time in Marietta and other parts of southeast Ohio over the past several years working on oil and gas matters. Through the Southeastern Ohio Landowners Association (SEOLA), which the firm helped organize, Bricker & Eckler has successfully negotiated and closed 10 leasing deals with six different oil and gas companies involving nearly 70,000 acres.
"There is a true sense of community in this area," said Warnock. "We are anxious to give back to a region in which we've been privileged to work for so long."
Bricker & Eckler has more than 350 active clients in the southeast Ohio region, including 40 clients it has represented for 25 years or more. For example, through its Health Care practice, the firm has represented a significant number of the hospitals in southeast Ohio; and through its Education Law practice, the firm represents roughly 80 school districts, colleges and other educational clients in southeast Ohio. Through its public sector practice, the firm represents 35 other public sector clients - counties, cities, townships, water districts and port authorities. In addition, the firm works with numerous private sector clients in manufacturing, banking, and other industries.
In Washington County alone, the firm has worked with Marietta Memorial Hospital and Marietta College, as well as the Belpre, Wolf Creek and Frontier school districts and the Washington County Career Center. The firm anticipates its work will continue to intensify in the oil and gas arena, especially litigation matters, pipeline right-of-way negotiations, and the economic development opportunities and challenges that public sector entities - as well as businesses - will encounter in the region.
Bricker & Eckler also has been closely involved for many years in a variety of charitable and economic development efforts. The firm works closely with the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio (FAO), a regional community foundation serving 32 counties in Appalachian Ohio, and recently helped the Ohio Appalachian Business Council in the formation of the Appalachian Partnership for Economic Growth (APEG), the regional economic development agency working directly with JobsOhio to create jobs and economic development opportunities in Southeastern Ohio. Bricker & Eckler has also been a proud sponsor of the iBelieve Foundation and its mission to help children in Southeastern Ohio achieve their dreams of going to college.
An open house event is being planned for Sept. 10.