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Bridgeport, Conn.-based Pullman & Comley is branching out in Fairfield County and over the border into Westchester County, New York — although it’s doing so in a most unusual way. Pullman formally opened an office in White Plains, N.Y., on Oct. 5. Staffing that office will be newly hired partner Keith Costa, previously a principal with Hartford-based Cohn Birnbaum and Shea. Pullman also announced that it has opened an office in Greenwich. But the space it has leased is currently only an empty office. Pullman announced that attorneys Cameron Hopper and Veronica Staplefield have joined it as of counsel. The pair operate Hopper & Staplefield — in an office directly across the hallway from Pullman’s ostensible new outpost. A staff member in their office said recently the firm continues to operate independently, but will support the Pullman venture. D. Robert Morris, Pullman’s chairman, said in a prepared statement that he welcomes Hopper and Staplefield “to the firm.” Pullman’s official announcement makes no mention of the fact that the two lawyers will not disband their own practice. In addition, Pullman recently hired seven more attorneys in the past weeks for its other various offices. The 72-lawyer firm has additional locations in Hartford, Stamford and Westport. “We’re trying to grow in Hartford and the South,” said firm executive committee member James Shearin. The expansion was “largely geographic” and allows for “more accessibility to our clients,” Shearin said. The moves are “consistent with the long-term strategic plan to expand our practice areas throughout Connecticut,” Morris added. The White Plains office will be used to expand Pullman’s bankruptcy practice, as well as grow its client base for other areas, Morris said. Greenwich has been an expansion market for several large Connecticut legal outfits in recent years. Day Berry & Howard and Shipman & Goodwin have all opened offices in the wealthy town within the past five years. Robinson & Cole has an office in Pullman’s other expansion market, White Plains. Hopper and Staplefield will continue practicing in the areas of trusts and estates and real estate. Hopper was the Greenwich judge of probate for 23 years, as well as serving for 13 years as secretary for the state Council on Probate Judicial Conduct. He formed his firm with Staplefield in 2003. Staplefield has been a probate lawyer in practice for 17 years.

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