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Philadelphia-based Weber Gallagher Simpson Stapleton Fires & Newby has opened a new office in New Castle, bringing on a solo attorney and his staff.

New partner Stephen Dryden will head Weber Gallagher’s 10th office, the firm announced Jan. 2. Dryden operated a practice in his own firm since 2012, as a general liability defense lawyer. His clients include car rental companies, restaurant chains, big box stores, drug stores and pharmaceutical companies, and his practice includes multidistrict litigation in various states.

Dryden said the new office will be beneficial to Weber Gallagher because New Castle County has more judges and more cases than Delaware’s other counties. He will be continuing in his own law office, but plans to add lawyers in the near future. To start, the firm will be relocating one existing lawyer to New Castle with Dryden, he said.

“The whole point is hopefully to grow this office and expand it as a result of the merger of my former firm to Weber Gallagher,” he said.

Working as a solo attorney has been challenging, said Dryden, who was a partner at four-lawyer Robinson Grayson Dryden & Ward before going solo.

“It’s a reality that to provide the best representation you can probably provide, the benefits of a large law firm are there. They can’t be denied,” he said.

Still, Weber Gallagher, with about 100 lawyers, is a bigger firm than Dryden has worked in before. He said he looks forward to sharing more resources and bouncing ideas off his new colleagues.

“Stephen is an excellent and highly experienced litigator who has for 30 years represented some of the largest and most respected brands across a spectrum of American industries,” said Weber Gallagher chair Paul Fires in a statement. “We are excited about expanding our footprint in Delaware where we have for years maintained a Dover office.”