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List of largest law firms in Arkansas gains three; growth seen.

THIS YEAR'S LIST OF LARGEST law firms in Arkansas gained three that probably should have been on Arkansas Business' lists for at least the last few years: the Law Offices of Gary Green, Rainwater Holt & Sexton PA and the Brad Hendricks Law Firm.

All three firms are based in Little Rock, and all are largely--though not exclusively--plaintiffs firms, focusing on areas of the law such as personal injury and product liability.

Otherwise, the list remained remarkably stable with the top five firms holding onto their rankings from the year before. In terms of the number of licensed attorneys in Arkansas, No. 1 Friday Eldredge & Clark LLP of Little Rock maintains its wide lead over No. 2 Mitchell Williams Selig Gates & Woodyard PLLC of Little Rock--96 lawyers compared with 69.

Representatives of several of the firms said business was either stable or looking up compared with last year. However, as Gordon Wilbourn with fourth-ranked Kutak Rock said, "I just feel like in Arkansas we're insulated a little bit from the national scene, and I don't really see that we've had that much change."

"Last year really wasn't down significantly like maybe you read in the national press about some other law firms," Wilbourn said. "We had a good year last year, and I would expect we're on track this year to do just as well or better.

"Sometimes it's a little different work than in the past," he said. Kutak Rock, a national firm with offices throughout the United States, has a focus in banking law, and on that front, it's doing more on the workout side of the loan equation rather than the new loan side, Wilbourn said.

Wright Lindsey & Jennings LLP of Little Rock added four lawyers in the last year. "Business is better," said Edwin L. Lowther, Wright Lindsey's managing partner.

"We are just seeing more litigation, more complex litigation, and it's placing more demand on our services," he said.

Lowther said the effect of the recession on the Wright firm was "sort of counterintuitive. In the practice of law, firms tend to prosper when there's a downturn in the economy. For example, there are more bankruptcy filings during a recession or a depression than there would be in good times, and when there are bankruptcies, there are attorneys that get involved. Typically, we represent the creditors in bankruptcy actions, but occasionally we'll take on a major corporate debtor as well. Those are not the type of cases you ordinarily see when the economy is doing well."

Lowther added, "I would hope we do come out of the recession. Bad times are not necessarily good for lawyers. Law firms are not immune from bad times. But there are areas of the legal practice that tend to do well in economic hard times. Bankruptcy happens to be one of them, and we have a strong bankruptcy practice over here.

"Just so there's no misunderstanding, we would prefer a strong, healthy economy, no question about it," he said.

Rainwater Holt & Sexton evolved in 2006 out of Duncan & Rainwater, said CFO Rick Gunther. At that time it had five or six lawyers, Gunther said. Now, the firm has 12, with three of those hired just this year.

Gunther said Rainwater Holt & Sexton was seeing explosive growth. The firm started a bankruptcy practice this year. It opened an office in Conway a year ago and one in Hot Springs in April. It also maintains an office in Rogers.

"Our main goals are to continue to increase our Social Security disability cases and our bankruptcy cases and continue to spread through Arkansas," he said. "I'm not sure where we're going to open our next office, but we don't have any plans to slow down growth anytime soon."

J. Bruce Cross with 11th-ranked Cross Gunter Witherspoon & Galchus PC of Little Rock, said his firm's business was "probably pretty steady" compared with last year.

"I think clients are much more attuned, obviously, to costs," he said. "I think there's some recovery in some industries. Some are still struggling pretty bad. The construction industry is still struggling. But there are other industries that are picking up the pace," Cross said, citing manufacturing. Cross Gunter represents clients such as ABF Freight System, Nabholz Construction, Welspun and Dassault Falcon Jet.
Largest Law Firms

Ranked by licensed attorneys in Arkansas
 Firm Name
 Phone, Fax, Website
 Other Locations No. of Managing Sample Client
 Lawyers Partner(s) List/Services

1 Friday Eldredge & Clark 96 Byron M. Union Pacific,
 LLP Eiseman Dillard's,
 400 W. Capitol Ave., Entergy, Acxiom,
 Suite 2000, Little Rock Oaklawn, Tyson
 72201-3522 Foods, USA Drugs,
 (501) 376-2011, Browning Arms,
 (501) 376-2147, Brass Eagle, Daisy Outdoor Products,
 Fayetteville and Rogers Windstream
 GDI Contractors,
 Liberty Mutual
 Hospital, Baptist
 Health, University
 of Arkansas

2 Mitchell Williams Selig 69 Harry Arkansas Electric
 Gates & Woodyard PLLC Hamlin Cooperative Corp.,
 425 W. Capitol Ave., Bank of America,
 Suite 1800, Little Rock Golden Ventures,
 72201-3405 Merrill Lynch
 (501) 688-8800, Insurance Group
 (501) 688-8807, Inc., Wyeth Pharmaceuticals.
 Rogers, New York and
 Austin, TX

3 Wright Lindsey & 62 Edwin L. Arkansas Blue
 Jennings LLP Lowther Cross Blue Shield,
 200 W. Capitol Ave., Baptist Health,
 Suite 2300, Little Rock Bayer CropScience,
 72201 GEICO, Ford Motor
 (501) 371-0808, Co., Deltic
 (501) 376-9442, Timber, Bank of
 Rogers America, Lion Oil,
 University of
 Arkansas, Entergy
 Corp., Hendrix
 College, Acxiom
 Corp., Chubb Group
 of Insurance Cos.,
 Southland Racing
 Weyerhaeuser Co.,
 Sisters of Mercy
 Health System of
 St. Louis, United
 Healthcare, Dow
 AgroSciences LLC,
 National Home
 Center Inc.,
 Countrywide Home
 Loans Inc.

4 Kutak Rock LLP 39 David Agribusiness,
 124 W. Capitol Ave., Jacobson banking,
 Suite 2000, Little Rock compensation and
 72201 employee benefits,
 (501) 975-3000, construction,
 (501) 975-3001, environmental, federal stimulus
 Fayetteville and 14 package,
 other offices government
 nationwide disputes and
 compliance, health
 care, insurance,
 labor and
 employment, public
 finance, real
 estate, records
 management and
 technology and

5 Quattlebaum, Grooms, 32 The Arkansas Community
 Tull & Burrow PLLC Partners Bankers, Arkansas
 111 Center St., Suite Press Association,
 1900, Little Rock 72201 Arkansas Realtors
 (501) 379-1700, Association, BASF
 (501) 370-1701, Corp., Entergy
 NW Arkansas, NE Corp., Koppers
 Arkansas Industries Inc,
 Simmons First
 National Bank,
 Tyson Foods Inc.,
 Dillard's, Moses
 Tucker Real
 Estate, The
 Phillips Cos.,
 Regions Bank,
 Osmose Inc., Texas
 Gas Transmission

6 Rose Law Firm PA 31 Stephen N. Acxiom Corp.,
 120 E. Fourth St., Joiner Alcoa Inc.,
 Little Rock 72201-2893 Arkansas Capital
 (501) 375-9131, Corp., Arkansas
 (501) 375-1309, Development Finance Authority,
 Arkansas Natural
 Commission, Arvest
 Bank, Bank of the
 Ozarks, Cooper
 Communities Inc.,
 Diamond State
 Ventures, First
 Security Bank,
 Mountain Valley
 Spring Co.,
 Mountaire Corp.,
 Charitable Trust,
 Pat Salmon & Sons

7 Williams & Anderson PLC 27 By Arkansas
 111 Center St.., 22nd Committee Democrat-Gazette
 Floor, Little Rock Inc., Arkansas
 72201 Development
 (501) 372-0800, Finance Authority,
 (501) 372-6453, Baldor Electric Co., Baldwin &
 Shell Construction
 Co., Metropolitan
 National Bank,
 Wehco Media Inc.

8 Wilson & Associates 26 Robert M. Foreclosures,
 PLLC Wilson deeds-in-lieu,
 1521 Merrill Drive, loss mitigation,
 Suite D-220, Little Rock bankruptcy
 72211 representation for
 (501) 219-9388, creditors,
 (501) 219-9458, evictions, title insurance, title
 Fayetteville, Newport, defense and
 Memphis, Nashville and resolution, real
 Knoxville, TN estate closings,
 asset recovery,
 reconveyance and
 other services for
 clients in
 Arkansas and

9 Barber McCaskill Jones & 24 Board of American,
 Hale PA Directors Continental and
 400 W. Capitol Ave., Delta Airlines,
 Suite 2700, Little Rock CNA Insurance
 72201 Cos., Federated &
 (501) 372-6175, Zurich Insurance
 (501) 375-2802, Honda, Toyota, Yamaha, Baptist
 Health, Frito-Lay,
 General Motors,
 General Motors
 Acceptance Corp.,

10 Dover Dixon Horne PLLC 21 Gary AFLAC, Arkansas
 425 W. Capitol Ave., Rogers Best Corp.,
 Suite 3700, Little Rock Mark Arkansas Blue
 72201 Allison Cross & Blue
 (501) 375-9151, John Peace Shield,
 (501) 375-6484, Aromatigue, Associated
 Industries of
 Energy, Companion
 Insurance Co.,
 J.B. Hunt
 Transport, Nucor,
 Old Republic
 National Title
 Insurance Co., St.
 Vincent Health
 System, Tyson
 Foods Inc., USAble

11 Cross Gunter Witherspoon 20 Rick ABF Freight
 & Galchus PC Roderick System, Central
 500 President Clinton Arkansas Transit
 Ave., Suite 200, Little Authority
 Rock 72201 Clearwater Paper,
 (501) 371-9999, Dassault Falcon
 (501) 371-0035, Jet, Entergy
 Fort Smith, Northwest Arkansas, Flowers
 Arkansas Foods,
 Little Rock
 National Airport,
 Little Rock
 Nabholz, St.
 Healthcare, St.
 Edward Mercy
 Health Center,
 Tyson Foods

12 Hilburn Calhoon Harper 18 By Centennial Bank,
 Pruniski Calhoun Ltd. Committee Merrill Lynch, US
 One Riverfront Place, Bank, IBM, Chicago
 North Little Rock 72114 Title Insurance
 (501) 372-0110, Co., Bank of
 (501) 372-2029, Oklahoma, Deere & Co., Kroger Co.,
 Candy Bouquet
 Lexicon, Russell
 Chevrolet, Rineco
 Navistar Financial
13 Bassett Law Firm LLP 17 Woody Tyson Foods,
 221 N. College Ave., Bassett George's Inc.,
 Fayetteville 72701 Tod Lloyds of London,
 (479) 521-9996, Bassett Hartford
 (479) 521-9600, Insurance, Simmons Industries, St.
 Paul Insurance,
 State Auto

13 Gill Elrod Ragon Owen & 17 Charles C. WND
 Sherman PA Owen
 425 W. Capitol Ave.,
 Suite 3801, Little Rock
 (501) 376-3800,
 (501) 372-3359,

13 Huckabay Munson Rowlett 17 Tim Boone State Farm,
 & Moore PA Shane Allstate, AIG, St.
 400 W. Capitol, Suite Strabala Vincent Health
 1900, Little Rock 72201 Sarah System, Health
 (501) 374-6535, Greenwood Care Indemnity,
 (501) 374-5906, Farmers, American National Property
 & Casualty, Jaeger
 + Haines,
 National, Tango
 Community Health
 Regency Hospital
 Co., Scottsdale

13 Laser Law Firm PA 17 J. Cotten AT&T, Southern
 101 S. Spring St., Suite Dan F. Cunningham Farm
 300, Little Rock 72201 Bufford Bureau, State Farm,
 (501) 376-2981, Farmers Insurance
 (501) 376-2417, Group, Progressive, Allstate,
 Fayetteville, Texarkana Nationwide,
 Chartis, CNA,
 GEICO, Lowe's Home
 Scottsdale, Utica,
 Southwestern Bell

17 Jack Nelson Jones Fink 16 (1) Donald T. St. Vincent Health
 Jiles & Gregory PA Jack Jr. System, North
 425 W. Capitol Ave., Gary Jiles Little Rock School
 Suite 3400, Little Rock District Conway
 72201-3405 Regional Medical
 (501) 375-1122, Center, Crews &
 (501) 375-1027, Associates, Dallas Cowboys,
 Conway, Malvern University of
 Central Arkansas,
 First Security
 Bank, NovaSys
 Health, Chubb

18 Barrett & Deacon PA 15 J. Barry St. Bernards
 300 S. Church St., Deacon Healthcare.
 Jonesboro 72403 Riceland Foods,
 (870) 931-1700, Nucor Yamato
 (870) 931-1800, Steel, BNSF Railway, Hytrol
 Fayetteville Conveyor, Denso
 Manufacturing, MBC
 Holdings, American
 Allstate Insurance
 Co., Progressive
 Insurance Co.,
 Indemnity Co.

18 Womack Landis Phelps & 15 Tom Womack Allen Engineering,
 McNeill PA Arkansas State
 301 W. Washington Ave., University,
 Jonesboro 72403 Case/New Holland
 (870) 932-0900, Corp., L.A.
 (870) 932-2553, Darling, E.C. Barton, E. Ritter
 & Co., Federal
 Express Corp.,
 Monroe Auto
 Northeast Arkansas
 Clinic, Roach
 Corp., Simmons
 First Bank

20 Law Offices of Gary 14 (1) Gary Green Practice areas
 Green include personal
 1001 La Harpe Blvd., injury, product
 Little Rock 72201 liability, medical
 (501) 224-7400, malpractice,
 (501) 224-2294, nursing home neglect and abuse,
 Memphis, Springfield, drug and medical
 Mo. device claims,

20 Matthews Campbell Rhoads 14 By Farmers Mutual
 McClure Thompson & Committee Insurance,
 Fryauf Arkansas Blue
 119 S. Second St., Cross & Blue
 Rogers 72756 Shield, Arkansas
 (479) 636-0875, Department of
 (479) 636-8150, Education
 Insurance Fund,
 AEP/Swepco, Rogers
 Public Schools,
 Arvest Bank at
 Rogers, Arvest

20 Perkins & Trotter PLLC 14 Scott Arkansas Game &
 101 Morgan Keegan Drive, Trotter Fish Commission,
 Suite A. Little Rock G. Alan Bass Cat Boats,
 72202 Perkins Brookshire Grocery
 (501) 603-9000, Co., Buffalo
 (501) 603-0556, Pumps, Carboline Co., Comcast of
 Co., Entergy
 Arkansas Inc.,
 Entergy Corp.,
 IESI Corp., Lamons
 Metal Gasket Co.,
 Oil Producers of
20 Taylor Law Partners LLP 14 Tim Myers Tyson Foods Inc.,
 303 E. Millsap, Cargill Inc.,
 Fayetteville 72703 Alpharma Inc.,
 (479) 443-5222, Bank of
 (479) 443-7842, Fayetteville, Arvest Asset
 Management, Tune
 Concrete, McBride
 Distributing Co.,
 George's Inc.

20 Warner Smith & Harris 14 G. Alan WND
 PLC Wooten
 400 Rogers Ave., Fort
 Smith 72901
 (479) 782-6041,
 (479) 782-0841,

25 Rainwater Holt & Sexton 12 Mike Practice areas
 PA Rainwater include all types
 6315 Ranch Drive, Little Stephen of personal
 Rock 72223 Holt injury, negligence
 (501) 868-2500, Bob Sexton and wrongful death
 (501) 868-2505, arising from auto accidents,
 Rogers, Conway, Hot defective
 Springs products, drug
 injuries and
 nursing home
 abuse. Additional
 practice areas
 include Social
 disability and

25 The Brad Hendricks Law 12 Brad Practice areas
 Firm Hendricks include personal
 500C Pleasant Valley injury,
 Drive, Little Rock tractor-trailer
 72207 collisions,
 (501) 221-0444, medical
 (501) 661-0196, negligence, commercial
 bankruptcy and
 Social Security

27 Bridges Young Matthews 11 Stephen Pine Bluff
 Drake PLC Matthews National Bank,
 P.O. Box 7808, Pine Jefferson Regional
 Bluff 71611-7808 Medical Center,
 (870) 534-5532, Watson Chapel
 (870) 534-5582, School District, Anthony
 Hot Springs Timberlands,
 Central Moloney,
 CNA Insurance

28 Davis Wright Clark Butt 9 Jack Butt CNA Insurance,
 & Carithers PLC Fireman's Fund,
 19 E. Mountain St., Ozark Orthopaedic
 Fayetteville 72701 & Sports Medicine,
 (479) 521-7600, Simmons First Bank
 (479) 521-7661, of Northwest Arkansas, AT&T,
 Toyota, United
 Bank, Walton Arts

29 Carney Williams Bates 8 Management Individual and
 Bozeman & Pulliam PLLC Committee institutional
 11311 Arcade Drive, plaintiffs in
 Suite 200, Little Rock litigation
 72212 involving
 (501) 312-8500, securities fraud,
 (501) 312-8505, class actions, consumer fraud,
 environmental law
 and corporate
 clients include
 the states of New
 Mexico and
 Mississippi and
 the Fayetteville
 Retirement Fund.

29 Ramsay Bridgforth 8 William Simmons First
 Robinson & Raley LLP Bridgforth National Bank,
 501 Main St., Pine Bluff McGeorge
 71601 Contracting Co.,
 (870) 535-9000, Pine Bluff Sand &
 (870) 535-8544, Gravel Co., KATV-TV, Combined
 Insurance Cos. of
 America, Jefferson
 Regional Medical

29 Roberts Law Firm PA 8 Mike Wal-Mart Stores
 20 Rahling Circle, Roberts Inc., Hino Motors,
 Little Rock 72223 Georgia-Pacific
 (501) 821-5575, Co., Fed-Ex Inc.,
 (501) 821-4474, Liberty Mutual

Source: the firms. WND: Would not disclose1 As indicated on the firm's

* On the web Purchase and download this list as a spreadsheet at Choose from more than 50 lists or subscribe for unlimited downloads.

By Jan Cottingham
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Title Annotation:Overview
Author:Cottingham, Jan
Publication:Arkansas Business
Date:Jun 7, 2010
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