Celebrating 25 Years with Gratitude

Harman Claytor Corrigan & Wellman is celebrating its 25th Anniversary on December 1st.  We wish to thank all those who have made our success possible.  To our clients, thank you for your continued support and confidence in our firm as we endeavor to meet your needs with quality work.  To our colleagues in the legal community, thank you for your support and referrals.  To our staff, thank you for your hard work and dedication to a job well done.  And lastly, thank you to our families, who have supported us and sacrificed as we spent long hours in the office for the past 25 years.

The idea for this firm began in the fall of 1991, when Mike Harman, John Claytor, David Corrigan and Stan Wellman began talking about starting a new law firm.  The four had previously worked together at the well-respected full service firm Browder, Russell, Morris & Butcher, which dissolved in 1990.  Harman Claytor Corrigan and Wellman longed to re-create the collegiality, professionalism and culture of the Browder Russell litigation team.

On December 1, 1991, Harman Claytor Corrigan & Wellman was formed after Corrigan and Wellman talked Harman and Claytor into including them in the firm name to improve their ability to market for business and to ensure all four had “skin in the game.”  The four were willing to work long hours to make the firm a success, and no one can remember ever having to take a formal vote to make a decision for the firm.

In the beginning, there were the four lawyers, three secretaries, two paralegals and a receptionist.  The firm has been fortunate enough to have Deita Shook as the office manager since our start.  Her talents are virtually unlimited.

For several years, the firm built its reputation as liability and coverage specialists for personal line insurers, gradually expanding into commercial lines, then self-insured companies, local governments and individuals.  Soon, individuals and entities of all types began seeking the firm’s expertise in all manner of liability and insurance coverage cases.

Elizabeth Skilling was an important addition when, in 1993, she joined the firm (from McGuireWoods).  Her experience and expertise in insurance coverage and product liability litigation helped the firm handle more sophisticated cases as our practice expanded.  Over the ensuing years, former Browder Russell colleagues Dick Bennett, Lynne Blain and Jeff Barnes joined the firm and added to the firm’s expertise and depth in a variety of practice areas.

Important lateral hires included Jeremy Capps and John Owen, who joined in 1999 and 2000, respectively.  They have emerged to become firm leaders in management and business production, as well as recognized lawyers in employment law and product liability, respectively.  Danielle Giroux joined the firm in 2003.  She is a gifted litigator and will act as managing partner for the firm’s Washington DC Metro office, which is scheduled to open on January 2, 2017.  Each of Harman Claytor Corrigan & Wellman’s lawyers, whether a brand-new graduate or lateral hire, has brought special talents to contribute to the firm’s success.

In 2002, the firm was invited to join The Harmonie Group, a nation-wide affiliation of civil litigation firms.  As a result of this experience, the firm’s horizons expanded.  Both through the Group and as a result of the enhanced exposure, Harman Claytor Corrigan & Wellman lawyers became more regionally and nationally focused on marketing as well as professional expertise.  The Harmonie connection helped spur the firm’s consistent growth to its current size of 33 lawyers and 34 staff.

From the start, the firm’s goal was to provide excellent representation to the insurers, their insureds and the companies and individuals that hired it and to do so in the most ethical manner possible.  A collegial work environment that stresses family and community commitment alongside professional obligations is of equal importance.

Harman Claytor Corrigan & Wellman seeks to provide outstanding service to clients at reasonable rates, exceeding all expectations of communication and responsiveness, as well as excellence in preparation, written product and court performance.   As we recognize this 25-year milestone, we look forward to continuing to serve our clients and the legal community with the same high standards and excellent service.