Lamb McErlane founding member William Lamb is stepping down from his post as chair, the firm announced Tuesday, and managing partner Joel Frank will take on the job.
Lamb will now serve as of counsel at the 33-lawyer firm, working with its post-trial and appellate advocacy group. Lamb served on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court for a one-year appointment in 2003, and he is the only former justice with an active law practice, according to the firm.
Frank is accustomed to serving in dual positions, as he was already chairman of Lamb McErlane’s executive committee when he was named managing partner 10 years ago. The duties of chairman overlap with those of managing partner and executive committee chair, he said, so it will not make much difference in his day-to-day work. While he does not have a full-time law practice, he said, the amount of time he can devote to it will remain about the same.
The firm also has a new executive committee, Frank said, composed of Maureen McBride, Vince Donohue and John Cunningham IV.
He said Lamb McErlane is “energized and growing.” While it does not have a specific game plan for adding practice areas or lawyers, he said, the firm is open to expansion as opportunities arise. For example, he noted, the firm added a health care practice in 2016 when Vasilios “Bill” Kalogredis joined. It may add more, he said, while continuing to focus on key areas like municipal law and municipal finance.
“We have a really positive niche in the market,” Frank said, with a strong position in the Southeast Pennsylvania market as a general practice firm, and statewide with regard to appellate work.
Frank joined Lamb McErlane, based in West Chester, more than two decades ago, coming from Dilworth Paxson. He became part of the executive committee four years later. His practice is focused on commercial and civil litigation, election law, attorney discipline, judicial discipline and ethical matters.
Frank noted that Lamb, as well as his fellow name partner James McErlane, have been mentors to him over the years.
Lamb McErlane’s predecessor firm, Rogers & O’Neill, dates its history in southeastern Pennsylvania back to 1948. In 1971, Ted Rogers transitioned the firm to Lamb, McErlane and Susan Windle. Rogers had been appointed to the newly created Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court.
In addition to his time on the Supreme Court, Lamb has been highly involved in local government. He was the district attorney of Chester County from 1972 to 1980, and a special prosecutor for the county from 1981 to 1984. He won The Legal’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2014.