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Business and Corporate Practice Area

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The increasingly complex nature of today’s business law arena requires a steady hand on the tiller and knowledgeable counsel.

Robinson & McElwee is dedicated to providing our clients with excellent advice and representation pertaining to all areas of business law. We are proud to represent individuals, small businesses, and multi-national companies throughout West Virginia.

Robinson & McElwee has a long history of working with our clients on every aspect of business law from planning an estate to guiding our clients through complicated business transactions. The corporate lawyers at Robinson & McElwee have broad experience that enables them to provide our clients with outstanding service.

For more information regarding our business law practice, please contact Lynn A. Smith at las@ramlaw.com or 304-347-8314.

Robinson & McElwee has represented a wide variety of clients in bankruptcy actions. We have extensive experience in helping creditors, representing many types of businesses, recover as much as possible from bankrupt entities. The outstanding business lawyers at Robinson & McElwee are ready to partner with our clients to address any issue in today’s ever-changing and challenging business climate. We have seasoned lawyers from diverse practice areas when a business matter requires a team of lawyers from different disciplines. Robinson & McElwee is dedicated to providing excellent legal service at the lowest reasonable cost.
From the birth of a business, through the everyday formalities, to termination and dissolution, Robinson & McElwee’s attorneys guide and counsel clients on all phases in the life of a business. Our attorneys work with our clients to determine the best structure for a business (e.g. corporation, limited liability company, or other structure), taking into consideration the concerns of the clients, as well as the tax and other ramifications of the structure under consideration. The selection of the legal structure and the initial organizational documents for a business (e.g. bylaws, operating agreement or other organizational document) are the first keys to avoiding future disputes. We also counsel businesses and business owners as to the advantages and disadvantages of buy-sell agreements in order to minimize the disruption and conflict that may arise when an owner leaves a business. The lawyers of the Business & Corporate Practice Group provide guidance on proper tax planning and structural strategies. We assist your business as it evolves, settling disputes among business owners and shareholders, discussing succession planning and more. Our attorneys have represented both business entities and groups of owners in such matters. Robinson & McElwee’s Business & Corporate attorneys also assist in startup funding, mergers and acquisitions and the dissolution of businesses.

All businesses, whether sole proprietorships or Fortune 500 companies, are involved in commercial transactions and the firm’s Business & Corporate lawyers help our clients navigate these often complex waters that are important to them. Whether it is negotiating the terms of a financing transaction or preparing contracts for the marketing and sale of goods domestically or abroad, our attorneys are available to provide the advice and guidance our clients need. 

The Robinson & McElwee Business & Corporate Practice Group advises and provides counsel to its clients on all business-related decisions. In connection with financing transactions, we represent both lenders and borrowers.

In addition, our services cover:

  • Leases for both real and personal property
  • Sale and purchase agreements
  • Disputes involving negotiable instruments
  • Perfection of security interests
  • Contracts
Robinson & McElwee provides its clients with the security that comes from responsible wealth strategies. Asset planning and protection ensures your assets will be passed to your beneficiaries responsibly as you intended. Depending upon your needs and wishes, your estate planning may include wills, powers of attorney, living wills, medical powers of attorney, living trusts and documents relating to guardianship. Proper tax planning to minimize estate and other taxes upon your death and/or the death of a spouse is an important consideration for most people. The lawyers of the Business & Corporate Practice Group will guide you as to whether your estate planning should include irrevocable life insurance trusts, charitable remainder trusts, and other techniques to minimize such taxes. Such additional techniques may include ways to efficiently transfer ownership of a closely held business from one generation to the next with the lowest possible tax impact. In addition to preparing estate planning documents such as wills, trusts, and powers of attorney (with corresponding federal estate tax planning), the lawyers of the Business & Corporate Practice Group are also involved in will contest litigation and breach of fiduciary duty claims.
Robinson & McElwee represents both individuals and businesses before the West Virginia Tax Department. In the area of federal taxation, our attorneys handle petitions before the United States Tax Court, as well as refund suits in federal district court. Members of the Business & Corporate Practice Group have argued numerous cases concerning West Virginia tax matters before the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia. The Business & Corporate lawyers also regularly represent business clients with regard to property tax assessments and appeals. Aside from litigation, the Business & Corporate Practice Group provides planning and guidance in commercial and corporate transactions, including sales of stock, sales of assets, reorganizations and mergers. The Business & Corporate Practice Group also regularly represents entities seeking 501(c) status from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
Robinson & McElwee’s Business & Corporate attorneys regularly advise clients in the oil, gas, coal and timber industries. They routinely handle natural resource matters relating to title certifications, taxes, land acquisitions and leases, contracts, and matters involving commercial and corporate transactions, including stock and asset purchase and sale agreements and mergers and acquisitions. Our attorneys focus on coal, timber, and oil and gas leases, as well as contract mining agreements, overriding royalty agreements, trucking agreements, sales agreements, and transloading agreements. The firm represents timber, coal, and oil and gas companies, as well as individual land owners in natural resource matters. Our attorneys also work with companies and individuals to obtain the financing needed to operate in the natural resource industries. As Marcellus Shale matters present legal questions, we meet the needs of our clients with title certification issues. In addition, attorneys within the firm’s Business & Corporate Practice Group work closely with lawyers in the Energy & Environment Practice Group on matters relating to environmental and administrative law issues, including permitting and licensing, groundwater and surface water uses, due diligence and other issues.

Our Business & Corporate lawyers have extensive experience with complex real estate transactions involving retail, industrial, resort and other commercial real estate development projects.

Robinson & McElwee assists and advises clients on

  • Finance
  • Leasing
  • Acquisition
  • Construction
  • Tax-free exchanges
  • Eminent domain
  • Land use planning

Our attorneys belong to leading retail and development associations, including the International Council of Shopping Centers and ALFA International’s Retail Practice Group and Construction Law Practice Group.

Other related experience includes significant work with transactional documents during all phases of the real estate development process, including conceptual planning, leasing and sales arrangements, acquisitions of property, construction contracts, road infrastructure and easements.

Participating Lawyers

Mr. Beeson received his Bachelor of Arts degrees (Business Administration and Psychology) from Washington and Jefferson College and his Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from West Virginia University. Mr. Beeson has experience with securities law, arbitration and related litigation. Mr. Beeson also has experience handling disputes concerning the application of trusts and estates.
Mr. Beeson received his Bachelor of Arts degrees (Business Administration and Psychology) from Washington and Jefferson College and his Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from West Virginia University. He litigates cases including property damage, trespass, mineral ownership disputes, products liability, personal injury, “deliberate intent” and breach of contract claims. Mr. Beeson also has experience handling Benzene and “float-sink” chemical exposure cases. Mr. Beeson is a member of the Kanawha County Bar Association, the Defense Trial Counsel of West Virginia and the Defense Research Institute, and regularly prepares the ALFA International State Law Compendium for the Products Liability Practice Group.
Mr. Dillon is a member of the Business & Corporate practice area. Mr. Dillon routinely assists clients with corporate formation and other organizational matters, asset sales, and business acquisition.
Mr. Dillon is a member of the Financial Services practice area. Mr. Dillon has provided a variety of services to financial institutions, including drafting loan documents and contracts, performing loan closings, and collection litigation. Before entering the legal field, Mr. Dillon’s professional work experience included several years as a commercial lender and accountant. Mr. Dillon has extensive knowledge with regard to analysis and commercial banking. This prior experience, as a lender and accountant, provides Mr. Dillon with a unique perspective and insight when representing financial institutions and developers.
Mr. Dillon is a member of the Real Property practice area. Mr. Dillon has represented real estate developers with the development of commercial office condominiums, and residential townhomes and condominiums, as well as the acquisition and sale of commercial real estate. Mr. Dillon has significant experience working with mineral property owners, and mineral exploration companies performing title examinations, preparing title opinion letters and purchase contracts, performing curative work, and real property closings.
Mr. Gallagher is a member of the Business & Corporate practice area. Mr. Gallagher serves Robinson & McElwee as Chair of the firm's Litigation Department. Mr. Gallagher has practiced law for more than 30 years and is well-positioned to help clients with navigating this area of the law.
Mr. Gallagher serves Robinson & McElwee as Chair of the firm's Litigation Department. Mr. Gallagher has defended major companies during the past 30 years in a variety of labor and employment litigation matters involving both class actions and individual claims alleging violations of both federal and West Virginia wage, hour and discrimination statutes. These major companies have included those in the communication, manufacturing, forestry, wood products and chemical industries.
Mr. Gallagher serves Robinson & McElwee as Chair of the firm's Litigation Department. Mr. Gallagher has defended large and small companies in major injury, construction, predatory lending, insurance and toxic tort matters at both the trial and appellate levels. These cases have included allegations of overweight truck accidents, defective construction, manufacturing injuries, defective automotive claims, intentional injury causes of action and toxic torts involving environmental and property damage claims.
Mr. George is the Chief Executive Officer of Robinson & McElwee PLLC. Mr. George’s practice focuses upon commercial transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, business litigation, arbitration and dispute resolutions, and real estate transactions involving retail, industrial, resort, and other commercial real estate development projects. Mr. George's work in this regard involves finance, leasing, sales, acquisition, construction, tax-free exchanges, eminent domain and land use planning. Mr. George’s practice also includes transactional representation involving timber, coal, oil, and gas interests and litigation in the areas of real estate, construction, and eminent domain. His practice in connection with eminent domain litigation has included both direct takings and inverse condemnation. Mr. George is AV peer review-rated by Martindale-Hubbell. Mr. George is a graduate of Swarthmore College (B.A.), Oxford University, University College (B.A., M.A. in Law) and The University of Chicago (J.D.).
Mr. George is the Chief Executive Officer of Robinson & McElwee PLLC. Mr. George’s practice focuses upon commercial transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, business litigation, arbitration and dispute resolutions, and real estate transactions involving retail, industrial, resort, and other commercial real estate development projects. Mr. George's work in this regard involves finance, leasing, sales, acquisition, construction, tax-free exchanges, eminent domain and land use planning. Mr. George’s practice also includes transactional representation involving timber, coal, oil, and gas interests and litigation in the areas of real estate, construction, and eminent domain. His practice in connection with eminent domain litigation has included both direct takings and inverse condemnation. Mr. George is AV peer review-rated by Martindale-Hubbell. Mr. George is a graduate of Swarthmore College (B.A.), Oxford University, University College (B.A., M.A. in Law) and The University of Chicago (J.D.).
Mr. George is the Chief Executive Officer of Robinson & McElwee PLLC. Mr. George’s practice focuses upon commercial transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, business litigation, arbitration and dispute resolutions, and real estate transactions involving retail, industrial, resort, and other commercial real estate development projects. Mr. George's work in this regard involves finance, leasing, sales, acquisition, construction, tax-free exchanges, eminent domain and land use planning. Mr. George’s practice also includes transactional representation involving timber, coal, oil, and gas interests and litigation in the areas of real estate, construction, and eminent domain. His practice in connection with eminent domain litigation has included both direct takings and inverse condemnation. Mr. George is AV peer review-rated by Martindale-Hubbell. Mr. George is a graduate of Swarthmore College (B.A.), Oxford University, University College (B.A., M.A. in Law) and The University of Chicago (J.D.).
Mr. George is the Chief Executive Officer of Robinson & McElwee PLLC. Mr. George’s practice focuses upon commercial transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, business litigation, arbitration and dispute resolutions, and real estate transactions involving retail, industrial, resort, and other commercial real estate development projects. Mr. George's work in this regard involves finance, leasing, sales, acquisition, construction, tax-free exchanges, eminent domain and land use planning. Mr. George’s practice also includes transactional representation involving timber, coal, oil, and gas interests and litigation in the areas of real estate, construction, and eminent domain. His practice in connection with eminent domain litigation has included both direct takings and inverse condemnation. Mr. George is AV peer review-rated by Martindale-Hubbell. Mr. George is a graduate of Swarthmore College (B.A.), Oxford University, University College (B.A., M.A. in Law) and The University of Chicago (J.D.).
Mr. George is the Chief Executive Officer of Robinson & McElwee PLLC. Mr. George’s practice focuses upon commercial transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, business litigation, arbitration and dispute resolutions, and real estate transactions involving retail, industrial, resort, and other commercial real estate development projects. Mr. George's work in this regard involves finance, leasing, sales, acquisition, construction, tax-free exchanges, eminent domain and land use planning. Mr. George’s practice also includes transactional representation involving timber, coal, oil, and gas interests and litigation in the areas of real estate, construction, and eminent domain. His practice in connection with eminent domain litigation has included both direct takings and inverse condemnation. Mr. George is AV peer review-rated by Martindale-Hubbell. Mr. George is a graduate of Swarthmore College (B.A.), Oxford University, University College (B.A., M.A. in Law) and The University of Chicago (J.D.).
Mr. Hamb is a member of the Business & Corporate practice area. Mr. Hamb has practiced law for more than 15 years and is well-positioned to help clients with navigating this area of the law.
Mr. Hamb is a member of the Financial Services practice area. Mr. Hamb has practiced law for more than 15 years and is well-positioned to help clients with navigating this area of the law.
Mr. Hamb is a member of the Litigation practice area. Mr. Hamb has practiced law for more than 15 years and is well-positioned to help clients with navigating this area of the law.
Mr. Hamb is a member of the Real Property practice area. Mr. Hamb has practiced law for more than 15 years and is well-positioned to help clients with navigating this area of the law.
Mr. Hamb has more than 40 years of experience in issues of real estate broker and salesperson liability, real estate title matters, corporate acquisitions and transactions, timber and mineral law matters, energy and mineral ownership issues. He has broad trial experience and has acted as an expert witness in significant matters involving real estate, gas, oil and mineral titles as well as lawyer malpractice/professional liability cases. Mr. Hamb has earned a Bachelor of Science in Economics and an LL.B degree from West Virginia University.
Mr. Hamb is a member of the Business & Corporate practice area. Mr. Hamb has practiced law for more than 50 years and is well-positioned to help clients with navigating this area of the law.
Mr. Hamb is a member of the Financial Services practice area. Mr. Hamb has practiced law for more than 50 years and is well-positioned to help clients with navigating this area of the law.
Mr. Hamb is a member of the Litigation practice area. Mr. Hamb has practiced law for more than 50 years and is well-positioned to help clients with navigating this area of the law.
Mr. Hamb is a member of the Real Property practice area. Mr. Hamb has practiced law for more than 50 years and is well-positioned to help clients with navigating this area of the law
Mr. Higgins limits his ADR practice to disputes involving will contests, trust interpretation and disputes among shareholders, partners or other owners of businesses. Because of his extensive experience in the area of state and federal taxation, Mr. Higgins is often able to suggest ways to settle disputes with due consideration to applicable tax considerations.
Mr. Higgins routinely assists clients with forming business entities including related planning with regard to the death, disability or retirement of owners in the future. He has experience with mergers and asset sales both from the standpoint of the seller and from the standpoint of the buyer. Mr. Higgins advises clients with regard to the proper operation of their business to ensure that the personal liability exposure of owners is kept to a minimum. He has experience in the area of trademark litigation, appraisal rights, and enforcement of restrictive covenants against competition and confidentiality agreements. Another area of his practice relates to asset protection and methods by which investments and property can be legally protected from creditors. Mr. Higgins also has considerable knowledge in the area of securities law compliance and has represented clients defrauded in their investments.
Mr. Higgins provides extensive document review assistance in connection with commercial and private lending and has been involved with economic development financing provided by various state agencies. He has experience in “work out” situations including refinancing, re-structuring and liquidation sales. Because of his banking law background, Mr. Higgins also assists clients with letters and lines of credit, stock and asset pledges of collateral and loan guaranty agreements. Mr. Higgins also has extensive experience in the performance of due diligence on behalf of business purchasers with corresponding contract protections. Because of his experience in the area of taxation, he also assists clients in “spin offs”, “split ups” and other types of reorganizations.
As a former member of the West Virginia House of Delegates, Mr. Higgins has “floor privileges” and a unique perspective on the committee system and its operations. In addition, he served for eight years as a member of Charleston City Council. In these areas, Mr. Higgins can often provide insight and recommendations on persons to contact and procedures to use.
Mr. Higgins has represented physicians in civil and criminal health care fraud and abuse investigations. He also has experience in structuring transactions to ensure compliance with certificate of need requirements before the West Virginia Health Care Authority. Mr. Higgins also assists health care providers with practice formation and related licensing requirements.
Mr. Higgins routinely prepares estate planning documents with related tax planning for clients. He also has experience with the creation and operation of private trusts and probate and estate administration. In the area of will contest litigation, he has successfully defended estate planning documents in litigation commenced by disinherited family members. Mr. Higgins also customarily handles federal estate tax returns and litigation involving the proper interpretation of wills and trusts.
Mr. McElwee is a member of the Business & Corporate practice area. Mr. McElwee has practiced law for more than 25 years and is well-positioned to help clients with navigating this area of the law.
Mr. McElwee is a member of the Real Property practice area. Mr. McElwee has practiced law for more than 25 years and is well-positioned to help clients with navigating this area of the law.
Mr. Porth is a member of the Business & Corporate practice area. Mr. Porth has practiced law for more than 30 years and is well-positioned to help clients with navigating this area of the law.
Mr. Porth is a member of the Health Care practice area. Mr. Porth has practiced law for more than 30 years and is well-positioned to help clients with navigating this area of the law.
Mr. Porth is a member of the Litigation practice area. Mr. Porth has practiced law for more than 30 years and is well-positioned to help clients with navigating this area of the law.
Mr. Porth is a member of the Real Property practice area. Mr. Porth has practiced law for more than 30 years and is well-positioned to help clients with navigating this area of the law.
Mr. Saffer is a member of the Business & Corporate practice area. Mr. Saffer serves as Chair for Robinson & McElwee's Business Law Department. Mr. Saffer has practiced law for 15 years and is well-positioned to help clients with navigating this area of the law.
Mr. Saffer is a member of the Business & Corporate practice area. Mr. Saffer serves as Chair for Robinson & McElwee's Business Law Department. Mr. Saffer has practiced law for 15 years and is well-positioned to help clients with navigating this area of the law.
Ms. Schmitt has more than 18 years of experience in real estate, including certifying and running land and mineral title searches, preparing title commitments and insurance policies as an agent of Chicago Title Insurance Company, conducting closings, performing foreclosures, and preparing legal documents in connection with both residential and complex commercial transactions. She is also involved in all aspects of property acquisition, financing, and development, and additional areas of expertise include corporate transactional work and estate/probate matters. She currently manages the firm’s Wheeling Office. Ms. Schmitt received a Bachelor of Arts degree (French, summa cum laude, with distinction) from Bethany College, a Masters in Business Administration degree from Wheeling Jesuit University, and a Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from West Virginia University.
Ms. Schmitt has more than 18 years of experience in real estate, including certifying and running land and mineral title searches, preparing title commitments and insurance policies as an agent of Chicago Title Insurance Company, conducting closings, performing foreclosures, and preparing legal documents in connection with both residential and complex commercial transactions. She is also involved in all aspects of property acquisition, financing, and development, and additional areas of expertise include corporate transactional work and estate/probate matters. She currently manages the firm’s Wheeling Office. Ms. Schmitt received a Bachelor of Arts degree (French, summa cum laude, with distinction) from Bethany College, a Masters in Business Administration degree from Wheeling Jesuit University, and a Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from West Virginia University.
Ms. Schmitt has more than 18 years of experience in real estate, including certifying and running land and mineral title searches, preparing title commitments and insurance policies as an agent of Chicago Title Insurance Company, conducting closings, performing foreclosures, and preparing legal documents in connection with both residential and complex commercial transactions. She is also involved in all aspects of property acquisition, financing, and development, and additional areas of expertise include corporate transactional work and estate/probate matters. She currently manages the firm’s Wheeling Office. Ms. Schmitt received a Bachelor of Arts degree (French, summa cum laude, with distinction) from Bethany College, a Masters in Business Administration degree from Wheeling Jesuit University, and a Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from West Virginia University.
Ms. Smith received her Bachelor of Science degree from The Ohio State University and her Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law. She has more than 30 years of experience in representing business entities and their owners in matters involving organizational issues, shareholder disputes, asset and stock transactions, and mergers and acquisitions. Complementing Ms. Smith’s business practice is her work in commercial transactions of all nature. Her commercial practice includes representing lenders and borrowers in financing matters, preparing contracts, including those involving natural resources, and advising clients on all aspects of the Uniform Commercial Law.
Ms. Smith received her Bachelor of Science degree from The Ohio State University and her Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law. She has more than 30 years of experience in representing business entities and their owners in matters involving organizational issues, shareholder disputes, asset and stock transactions, and mergers and acquisitions. Complementing Ms. Smith’s business practice is her work in commercial transactions of all nature. Her commercial practice includes representing lenders and borrowers in financing matters, preparing contracts, including those involving natural resources, and advising clients on all aspects of the Uniform Commercial Law.
Mr. Sorrells is a member of the Business & Corporate practice area, with almost 25 years of experience representing creditors, corporate debtors, and defendants in preference action in United States Bankruptcy Courts.
Mr. Sorrells is a member of the Litigation practice area, with almost 25 years of experience in all aspects of litigation and appellate work in state and federal courts.