THE FIRM A major player in both Kansas City and St. Louis, this deep bench of general commercial litigators has the resources to deal with a full range of commercial disputes, including product liability, antitrust matters and high-level noncompete violation lawsuits. It remains one of the largest teams in the region and its attorneys impress clients with their trial experience, sound writing skills and highly strategic approach to matters. Notable clients include Arvest Bank, H&R Block and The Mutual Fund Store.
Sources say: "They are first-rate lawyers at a reasonable price. They really make us happy and do a very good job to keep ours easier."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Craig O'Dear is one of the leading trial lawyers in the firm's Kansas City office and "is simply a fabulous, business-oriented and incredibly effective commercial litigator," sources reveal. He is particularly sought for class action cases and, in a recent representative matter, successfully acted for Tyson Foods in defense of a $44 million wage and hour class action claim.
In addition to William Perry Brandt's well-regarded general business litigation practice, he is also known for his significant securities work. A recent highlight was his role as key adviser to a number of investment banking firms in municipal derivatives antitrust litigation. He wins much praise from the market, with sources referring to him as "scarily smart."
Managing partner Irvin Belzer leads the firm's litigation section in Kansas City and is described as "very smart and able to cut to the chase quickly." A recent key mandate is his role as adviser to Residential Funding with respect to numerous class actions concerning its purchase of second mortgage loans.
Laurence Frazen is a "talented and knowledgeable" commercial litigator who is especially recognized for his bankruptcy work, including loan workouts and restructurings to avoid bankruptcy. His significant work of late includes representing lenders in a large-scale commercial real estate workout.
Robert Thompson is a "go-to commercial litigator for his good strategic sense, sound judgment, and drafting skills." He represents a sound choice of counsel for class action work.
Top trial lawyer Dan Ball wins much acclaim from market sources, who say "he has a brilliant legal mind, is very professional at dealing with clients and personable in front of a jury." He enjoys a fine track record for his work in product liability defense. He operates out of the St. Louis office alongside Thomas Walsh. Walsh enjoys an excellent reputation for his commercial and employment litigation practice and has a strong focus on appeals. Clients enthuse that "he is very skilled and experienced - one of the best legal writers in the region." A recent key mandate is his role as adviser to a Fortune 100 company in connection with a class action racial harassment appeal.
Also in St. Louis, Robert Ebert is enjoying an increasing profile for his commercial litigation practice and continues to advise U-Haul International on its truck litigation.