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Our History

Our History

History of Our Firm

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As one of the oldest continuously operating law firms in the state, Powell & Bredice PLC has a long and proud history of delivering legal services to Vermonters.

The firm was founded in the 1930s when attorneys Charles F. Black and J. Boone Wilson formed a partnership for the general practice of law in Burlington, Vermont. Mr. Wilson took leave from Black & Wilson to serve in World War II. When he returned, the firm grew, eventually becoming Black, Wilson & Hoff with the arrival of Phillip H. Hoff, Esq., first as an associate and then as a partner.

In the early 1970s, Attorney Bret P. Powell joined the firm as an associate, and upon his elevation to partner, it became known as Hoff Wilson & Powell.  Attorney Richard A. Lang then joined the firm on an of-counsel basis before also becoming a partner, and the firm became known as Hoff, Wilson, Powell & Lang.  After the departure of attorney Hoff, the first Democrat ever elected Governor of Vermont, the firm was known as Wilson Powell & Lang.  Attorney George T. Faris was subsequently hired as an associate and then made a partner, resulting in the formation of Wilson Powell Lang & Faris.  In the late 1990s, following the departure of attorneys Faris and Lang, associate attorneys Patricia S. Orr & Steven A. Bredice were elevated to partnership status in the firm, forming Powell Orr & Bredice PLC.  Attorneys Powell, Orr and Bredice briefly practiced in Essex Junction before establishing themselves in their current offices. Attorney Michael I. Stern joined the firm in 2014, attorney Orr departed, and the firm was known as Powell Bredice & Stern until Stern left in early 2016. The firm is now known as Powell & Bredice PLC.

From the 1950s through the 1990s the firm represented clients in many aspects of law, including personal injury, insurance and commercial litigation, estate planning, probate, real estate and business transactions, commercial lending, and bankruptcy, and it was the Vermont office for nationwide services to corporations and other business entities. Its lawyers served the community on the boards of businesses, nonprofit corporations, in public office and in the local and state bar associations.

Over the decades, firm alumni have included—in addition to a Vermont governor—a United States senator, a federal judge, a state Supreme Court justice and three Superior Court judges.

Since 2004 the firm has been located in Williston, a suburb of Burlington, where its practice is primarily in the areas of personal injury, insurance-related cases, wills, trusts and probate.

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