Wilson and Dover Firms Gain in Annual Rankings

There was no change in the rankings of the four largest law firms in the state last year, but there was quite a shakeup below that level.

By adding 12 lawyers, Wilson & Associates PLLC now ranks fifth with 33 lawyers on staff and appears to be closing in fast on No. 4 Rose Law Firm, which has remained steady with 35 lawyers.

Moving into the No. 6 spot is Dover Dixon Horne PLLC, now with 26 lawyers.

The Dover & Dixon firm merged with Horne Hollingsworth & Parker in January. The firm recently closed its Fayetteville office and relocated its northwest Arkansas tax partner to the 32nd floor of the TCBY building in Little Rock.

Last year, Dover & Dixon tied as the seventh-largest firm with 20 lawyers.

"Our firms complement each other in many important respects," said Darrell Dover, managing partner. "Now, we've seen how our clients benefit from the broader range of legal services that we are able to provide. We are more responsive to our clients' needs. With the relocation of the staff from Fayetteville, all of that expertise is now located under one roof."

Dover Dixon Horne handles business, corporate, litigation, real estate and commercial law, labor, tax, probate and family law, bankruptcy, administrative law, regulatory law, insurance, securities, governmental legislative affairs, construction, estate planning and environmental law.

The Friday Eldredge & Clark firm remains far and away the largest in the state with 83 lawyers. That's a gain of three during the past year.

The second largest firm is the Wright Lindsey & Jennings LLP firm with 60 lawyers — a drop of four from last year. Mitchell Williams Selig Gates & Woodyard PLLC, with 51 lawyers, ranks third on the list.

New to the list this year is Quattlebaum Grooms Tull & Burrow PLLC. The firm has 15 lawyers this year and should have been included in last year's list, but was overlooked.

Also new to the list is Womack Landis Phelps McNeil & McDaniel, P.A. The Jonesboro firm has 12 lawyers.

Jonesboro joins Pine Bluff and Fayetteville as the only cities in the state outside of Little Rock that have more than a single firm making the list. The other Jonesboro firm making the list is Barrett & Deacon with 14 lawyers.

The top 14 firms in the state are all based in Little Rock.

Bar Speakers

The Arkansas Bar Association begins its 104th annual meeting on June 12 at the Arlington Hotel at Hot Springs. The meetings continue through the 15th.

Speakers on the program include:

• Dennis W. Archer, who will become the first black president of the American Bar Association in August 2003.

• Michael Chertoff, assistant attorney general, criminal division, U.S. Department of Justice.

• Retired Army General Wesley K. Clark of Little Rock, the former Supreme Allied Commander for Europe from July 1997 to May 2000, now with Stephens Group Inc. working with high technology venture capital and also serves as military analyst for CNN.

• Bryan Stevenson, director of the Equal Justice Initiative of Alabama, who is said to be one of the most effective public service lawyers in the United States.

• Gov. Mike Huckabee.

• Rod Englert, a 38-year veteran of law enforcement who conducts training on crime scene reconstruction and blood spatter interpretation, will conduct a continuing legal education session on "Crime Scenes: How We Can Tell What Isn't So."

• Christy D. Jones, who practices primarily in the areas of pharmaceutical and medical device litigation, product liability, professional liability, toxic tort (environmental) litigation and mass tort litigation.

• William E. Penn, an expert on agricultural regulations.

• Irmo Marini, who was the life care planner in the largest medical negligence verdict in Arkansas' tort history.

• Eric Oliver, who specializes in nonverbal, verbal and implicit communication skills.

• Richard T. Rodgers, who teaches the only required accredited course in law office operation and management in the United States.