Lakin firm renamed SL Chapman; New offices in Alton, St. Louis, Phoenix

Ann Maher Feb. 1, 2012, 6:50am





Brad Lakin's law firm has a new name, new office locations, a leaner staff and a new managing partner.

"SL Chapman" announced on Tuesday that it has three new office locations. It has relocated to Alton and St. Louis, as well as Phoenix, Ariz., after recently closing its Wood River and Chicago offices.

Its Alton office is located at the same address as the Simmons law firm, Madison County's biggest asbestos firm.

According to a press release issued by the firm, Robert W. Schmieder II will serve as managing partner. He took over his new duties on Jan. 16.

In November, Wood River Mayor Fred Ufert told the Record that LakinChapman had laid off employees, saying he was told that it was a significant number.

Calls to the firm were not returned.

LakinChapman suffered a big hit in September when the Illinois Supreme Court reversed a $43 million verdict it reached against Ford Motor Co. in 2005. The case involved a woman whose husband died after a motorist slammed into their stationary Lincoln Town Car, causing the fuel tank to explode.

Lakin and the late retired Judge Charles W. Chapman formed LakinChapman - renamed from Lakin Law Firm - in 2009.

SL Chapman will employ fewer lawyers. At the end of 2011, LakinChapman employed 11, while SL Chapman employs eight, according to its website.

Jay Hoffman, a former state representative who is again seeking office, is no longer named as an of counsel attorney with the Lakin firm. Other former attorneys who are no longer associated with the new Lakin firm are Rodney Caffey, Gail Gaus-Renshaw, Marc Parker and Jonathan Piper.

Attorney Paul Johnson will work in the St. Louis office and attorney Colleen Manley will work in Phoenix.

Attorneys Mark Brown, Robert Butler, Robert Evola, Craig Jensen will remain with Lakin and Schmieder in Alton.

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