CHARLESTON – Benchmark Litigation, a publisher in the legal niche, has named Bowles Rice its West Virginia Firm of the Year at a recent awards ceremony at Essex House Hotel in New York in February.
Stuart McMillian, chairman of the Bowles Rice Litigation Department, responded to the recent award in an email interview with The West Virginia Record.
Almost 100 other private practice firms were represented at the ceremony. Bowles Rice attorneys Gerard R. Stowers and Jill E. Hall accepted the award on Bowles Rice’s behalf.
“We are honored to be the recipient of this distinction from Benchmark Litigation, which recognizes our litigators as among the very best in West Virginia,” said Tom Heywood, Bowles Rice managing partner, in a press release. “More than 50 of our lawyers litigate in state and federal courts and administrative forums across our region. They have certainly earned this recognition through their outstanding advocacy for our clients, day in and day out.”
Benchmark publishes a guide to America’s leading litigation firms and attorneys. It is the only publication that focuses exclusively on litigation practice in North America.
McMillan explained the significance of the award.
"For 10 years, Benchmark Litigation has been recognizing litigation firms and attorneys throughout North America in an annual publication," McMillan told The West Virginia Record. "That publication ranks firms in two categories: recommend and highly recommend. According to Benchmark, they include firms that are viewed as the dominant players on a state level, the ones who are most often retained as local counsel with a proven bench of local stars attending to primarily local work. In addition, Benchmark’s state Firm of the Year awards recognize firms that have worked on, tried and perhaps appealed case matters that have made headlines with regards to legal precedent set, notable dollar amounts, and that remained at the forefront of conversation. They conduct extensive research that includes peer and client reviews and client references."
McMillan described what it takes to be recognized by this publication and what it means to the industry as well.
"Being consistently listed among the Highly Recommended firms in Benchmark Litigation is already an honor," McMillan said. "We also have three attorneys recognized in 2017: Gerard Stowers is named a Local Litigation Star, J. Mark Adkins is named a Future Star and Jill Hall is recognized as a Top Litigator Under 40. But, for the firm to be shortlisted for this award, and then receive it, is an incredible achievement. It is a distinction that reflects the depth of our litigation practice and Bowles Rice’s advocacy for our clients and the work our entire team of litigators do, day in and day out."
McMillan also detailed the pride and honor that comes with the distinction in this award.
"As a full service law firm, Bowles Rice is able to take on not only our clients’ business matters and transactional work, but we are also able to provide highly effective and efficient representation when disputes and litigation matters arise," McMillan said. "This award is a testament to the type of work we’re able to do and the results we’ve been able to achieve."
According to McMillan, their litigation department is staffed by around 50 team members and he wanted to make sure all were recognized for their work on the team.
"When Gerry Stowers and Jill Hall accepted this award in New York City, they were representing nearly 50 Bowles Rice lawyers who are members of our Litigation Department," McMillan said. "We have incredible litigators working across our entire firm, and they all share in this recognition."