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How do you grow a commercial law practice within a traditional defense firm? That’s the question I posed Rich Blaiklock and Jason Lee of Lewis Wagner, LLP. You are familiar with Lewis Wagner: Robert Wagner (“Mr. Wagner,” more likely), former DTCI presidents John Trimble and Tom Hays, well-respected defense lawyers such as Dina Cox; its roster is full of talented lawyers. It is a venerable law firm in the Indianapolis legal community, known for its insurance defense- and injury-based practice areas. In this, it is similar to DTCI, whose membership is replete with well-respected lawyers, traditionally focusing on insurance defense- and injury-related matters. Still, within such well-established organizations, there can be room for diversity of subject matter, for pursuit of new practice areas.

Rich Blaiklock and Jason Lee are partners of Lewis Wagner. During their tenure neither has worked within the firm’s traditional insurance and injury defense practice groups. Instead, over the course of more than a decade, together they have developed business litigation and transactional practice groups at their firm. In doing so, they have simultaneously veered from the norm but still fit comfortably within the firm’s longstanding structure. This article will, through one (of surely many) examples, provide insight into how to grow or build a commercial practice within a traditional defense firm.

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