Fennemore Craig

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Fennemore Craig, P.C.
Headquarters Phoenix, Arizona
No. of offices 6
No. of attorneys Nearly 200
No. of employees Nearly 400
Key people Stephen Good, Managing Partner;
Management Committee: Amy Abdo, Chris H. Byrd, Jay Kramer, James Goodnow, Sarah Strunk, Chair, Board of Directors;
Kathy Hancock, Executive Director
Jay Kramer, Chair, Commercial Litigation
Amy Abdo, Chair, Litigation Section;
Todd Kartchner, Vice Chair, Litigation Section;
Phil Fargotstein, Chair, Regulatory Section
Date founded 1885

Fennemore Craig, P.C., a leading American Mountain West regional law firm for businesses. With nearly 200 attorneys, the firm offers clients many legal services in both litigation and commercial transactions with offices in Phoenix, Arizona, Tucson, Arizona; Nogales, Arizona; Las Vegas, Nevada; Reno, Nevada and Denver, Colorado.

The law firm offers clients legal services in financial restructuring, bankruptcy, and Creditor's Rights, commercial litigation, estate planning, government relations, intellectual property, etc.[1]

Fennemore Craig is one of the oldest law firms in the Mountain West, first established in Phoenix in the Arizona Territory in 1885.[2] It is the oldest law firm in Arizona. In 2008, the firm was listed number 220 on the The National Law Journal 250 (NLJ 250),[3] a list of largest U.S. law firms by number of lawyers|list of the largest law firms in the United States by the number of lawyers.

Of Fennemore Craig's nearly 200 attorneys, the firm has 87 in Best Lawyers in America,[4] 66 is Super Lawyers,[5] and 98 rated as AV lawyers by Martindale-Hubbell. The firm was recognized as a "2013 Top Ranked Law Firm"[6] for having more than on in three lawyers with an AV Preeminent Peer Review Rating. The firm has 19 shareholders recognized in Chambers & Partners[7] legal directory. In addition, it has six "Litigation Stars" in Benchmark Litigation, six in Benchmark's Plaintiff Litigation Stars category, one in Benchmark's Appellate Stars category, and two in Benchmark's Top 250 Women in Litigation.[8]

Fennemore Craig was awarded a 2012 Gold Standard Certificate from The Women in Law Empowerment Forum (WILEF) which profiled six of the firms female directors. Fennemore Craig was one of three nationwide firms to meet or exceed all six criteria set by WILEF.[9] Approximately 8 percent of the firm's directors and 19 percent of the associates are members of minority groups.


Richard Sloan, one of the founding members of what is now Fennemore Craig, P.C., in his book, Memories of an Arizona Judge, recalls his arrival in Phoenix in 1884, "the train slowed down, and the brakeman stuck his head in the car door and shouted, 'Maricopa- all out for Phoenix!' I stepped from the train, somewhat surprised that I was the only passenger to do so."

Sloan was joined by a fellow Ohio law school graduate, Louis Chalmers. In January 1885 they presented their credentials to the Territorial Supreme Court. Sloan & Chalmers subsequently opened in downtown Phoenix at what is now the intersection of Washington and First Avenue. Sloan went on to serve as Associate Justice on the Arizona Territorial Supreme Court, and as the 17th and final Governor of the Arizona Territory. As Governor he oversaw Arizona’s transition from a territory to statehood.

When Arizona became a state in 1912, Edward Kent joined the firm after serving on the Territorial Supreme Court. Kent authored the "Kent’s Decree," which established water rights for nearly all of the Salt and Verde River systems. The "Kent's Decree" stood the test of time and still governs water rights in Central Arizona after seven decades.

Harry Fennemore joined the firm in 1916. Fennemore drafted Arizona's workmen's compensation law and sales tax act. Fennemore also brought with him as a client the Mountain States Telephone and Telegraph Company, the successor of which the firm represents to this day. For over a century, Fennemore Craig has been involved in the development of Arizona's telecommunications system through policy-making and shaping administrative regulation of communications companies.

Jubal Early Craig and Virgil Bledsoe joined the firm in 1927. Craig helped organize the State Bar of Arizona, contributed to the writing of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, and helped form the Maricopa County Legal Aid Society.

Jubal Craig's son, Walter Craig joined the firm in 1936. While with the firm, Walter served as the president of the Arizona Bar Association and, in 1963, became president of the American Bar Association, a rare accomplishment for an attorney from a then small western state like Arizona. Craig also served as special counsel to the Warren Commission, which investigated the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. In 1963, following his service to the Warren Commission, he served as a judge on the United States District Court for the District of Arizona until his death in 1986. The State Bar of Arizona’s Walter E. Craig Distinguished Service Award is named after Craig. It is awarded to the attorney who has manifested adherence to the highest principles and tradition of the legal profession and service to the public in the community in which he/she lives. The following Fennemore Craig attorneys have received this award: Philip E. Von Ammon – 1988; Calvin H. Udall – 1993; Kenneth Sherk – 1999; and Neal Kurn – 2014.

Phillip Von Ammon, who joined the firm after serving as counsel to one of the firm’s major clients, the AT&SF railroad. Von Ammon subsequently served as president of the Arizona Bar Association and as the firm's managing partner for many years.

Between 1954 and 1962, Calvin Udall served as the attorney for Arizona in the titanic legal and political battle between Arizona and California for control of Colorado River water. Udall was part of Arizona's legal team in 1963 when the United States Supreme Court allocated the rights to Colorado River water. Without Colorado River water, growth of Arizona's major cities, particularly Phoenix, would never have materialized. Udall also was a tireless supporter of diversity in the legal profession, chairing the American Bar Association Task Force on Minorities in the Legal Profession, which issued its report in 1986, highlighting the lack of opportunities for minorities as lawyers and judges. He later served with a small group of legislators, judges and lawyers as the Ad Hoc Committee for Minority Opportunities in the Arizona Judiciary, which subsequently became the Commission on Minority Opportunities in the Arizona Judiciary through an Administrative Order of the Arizona Supreme Court in 1990.

Continuing the firm's enduring presence on water issues facing the Southwest, Jim Johnson was a principal negotiator and drafter of the Arizona Groundwater Management Act, which was vital to balancing the growth in Arizona with the available water supply. Without the sustainable water supply that resulted from the state's Groundwater Management Act, growth in Arizona would have slowed decades ago.

In 1957, John O'Connor joined the firm. He met his future wife, Sandra Day, while they served as editors of the Stanford Law Review. Sandra Day O'Connor went on to serve as the first female justice of the United States Supreme Court. When Justice O'Connor was nominated for the Supreme Court in 1981, she relied on attorneys from the firm to help her prepare for her confirmation hearings. When Justice O'Connor joined the Supreme Court in September 1981, she hired Fennemore Craig attorney, Ruth McGregor as her first law clerk.

In 1974, Fennemore Craig hired its first two female attorneys, Ruth McGregor and Toni McClory. The firm subsequently became one of the first law firms in Arizona to elect females as shareholders.[citation needed]

The firm expanded into Tucson in October 1989 and then into Nogales in September 1999 with the addition of Kim and Hector Arana and a robust cross-border trade practice. Fennemore Craig opened a Las Vegas office in September 2006, welcoming attorneys from Morse and Mowbray, and later that year, it opened an office in Denver with the addition of intellectual property attorneys from the Dahl and Chetlin firm.

In July 2012, the firm welcomed 25 attorneys from Jones Vargas,[10] a law firm with offices in Las Vegas and Reno, Nevada. With this addition, Fennemore Craig established an even larger presence in the Mountain West; doubling the size of its Denver office in 2014,[11] with the addition of 13 health care litigators and four health care real estate lawyers.

In 2015, Fennemore Craig embarked upon its 130-year anniversary and added 19 lawyers in the Las Vegas and Reno offices from the prominent Lionel Sawyer & Collins firm.[12] The arrival of the Lionel Sawyer lawyers included the legendary Sam Lionel, who co-founded the Lionel Sawyer firm in 1967 with former Nevada Governor Grant Sawyer, who has since died. Sam Lionel has been instrumental in the evolution of the legal profession in Nevada. Joining Lionel was former U.S. Senator Richard Bryan, who also served as Governor of Nevada for two terms prior to serving in Washington, D.C. in the U.S. Senate.

History of name changes[edit]

Since its founding in 1885, Fennemore Craig has undergone the following name changes:

  • 1885, Sloan & Chalmers
  • 1889: Jamieson & Chalmers
  • 1902: Chalmers & Wilkinson
  • 1912: Chalmers & Kent
  • 1915: Chalmers, Kent & Stahl
  • 1918: Chalmers, Stahl, Fennemore & Longan
  • 1927: Chalmers, Fennemore & Nairn
  • 1934: Chalmers & Fennemore
  • 1935: Fennemore, Craig, Allen & Bledsoe
  • 1955: Fennemore, Craig, Allen & McClennen
  • 1968: Fennemore, Craig, von Ammon, McClennen & Udall
  • 1969: Fennemore, Craig, von Ammon & Udall
  • 1982: Fennemore, Craig, von Ammon, Udall & Powers
  • 1987: Fennemore Craig A Professional Corporation
  • 2004: Fennemore Craig, P.C.

The firm's namesakes, Harry Fennemore and Jubal Early Craig, teamed up with the law firm in 1912 and 1927, respectively.[13]

Practice Areas[edit]

Fennemore Craig, P.C. has a broad range of practice areas including antitrust and trade regulation; appeals; aviation, aerospace and autonomous systems; bankruptcy, creditor’s rights and restructuring; business and finance; business litigation; energy, telecom and utilities; environment, natural resources and endangered species; employment and labor relations; ERISA and employee benefits; estate planning and probate; government affairs; health care; immigration; intellectual property; land use planning and zoning; medical negligence defense; mining law and public lands; nonprofit and tax-exempt organizations; plaintiffs’ personal injury; real estate; renewable energy; and tax.

Honors and awards[edit]

In 2008, Fennemore Craig was listed as number 220 by The National Law Journal 250, a list of largest U.S. law firms by number of lawyers|list of the largest law firms in the United States by the number of lawyers.[3]

In 2007, Fennemore Craig was selected by BestCompaniesAZ as the fifth in the "Best Places to Work" among large employers in metropolitan Phoenix.[14]

Fifty-one Fennemore Craig attorneys in Arizona, including 46 in Phoenix, three in Tucson, one in Nogales, and one in Las Vegas, were selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America 2008.[15] Also, forty Fennemore Craig attorneys in Arizona were named to Southwest Super Lawyers 2008,[16] while two attorneys in Nevada were selected by their peers for inclusion in the Mountain States Super Lawyers 2008.[17]

Fennemore Craig ranked No. 1 in the "Environment" category of the 2010 Chambers and Partners USA Legal Guide.[18]

Fennemore Craig in Phoenix had 59 lawyers selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America 2015. Of these, five were selected as Lawyers of the Year: Robert D. Anderson, Timothy J. Berg, Timothy J. Burke, Lauren J. Caster and Jane A. Proctor.[19]

Fennemore Craig in Phoenix had six of its attorneys honored as Lawyer of the Year in Phoenix by Best Lawyers: Timothy J. Berg, litigation, municipal; Timothy J. Burke, ethics and professional responsibility law; Lauren J. Caster, litigation, environmental; Amdrew M. Federhar, litigation, land use and zoning; Laura A. LoBianco, non-profit/charities law; and Sarah A. Strunk, securities/capital markets law. Including these attorneys, Fennemore Craig had 60 lawyers in Phoenix listed in The Best Lawyers in America for 2016.[20]


  • Phoenix - 2394 E. Camelback Dr., Suite 600 Phoenix, AZ 85016
  • Tucson - One S. Church Ave., Suite 1000 Tucson, AZ 85701
  • Nogales - 420 W. Mariposa Road, Suite 200 Nogales, AZ 85621
  • Las Vegas - 300 S. Fourth St., Suite 1400 Las Vegas, NV 89101
  • Denver - 1700 Lincoln St., Suite 2400 Denver, CO 80203
  • Reno - 300 E. Second St., Suite 1510 Reno, NV 89501


  1. ^ "Full list of practice areas". Fennemore Craig. Archived from the original on 2009-02-10. Retrieved 2009-02-10. 
  2. ^ Berry, Jahna (2010-12-23). "Phoenix-based law firm Fennemore Craig celebrates 125th anniversary". azcentral.com. Retrieved 23 December 2010. 
  3. ^ a b "National Law Journal 250". Law.com. Incisive Media. 2008-11-10. Archived from the original (free registration required) on 2009-02-01. Retrieved 10 February 2009. 
  4. ^ "Eighty-seven Fennemore Craig Attorneyss Named to Best Lawyers in America 2013" (PDF). fclaw.com. 2012-09-05. Archived from the original (PDF) on 21 February 2014. Retrieved 5 September 2012. 
  5. ^ "Fennemore Craig Super Lawyers List". superlawyers.com. 2014-02-09. Retrieved 9 February 2014. 
  6. ^ "Top Ranked Law Firms" (PDF). amlaw.com. 2014-02-09. Retrieved 9 February 2014. 
  7. ^ "Chambers and Partners Attorney List". amlaw.com. 2014-02-09. Retrieved 9 February 2014. 
  8. ^ "Benchmark Litigation Press Release" (PDF). fclaw.com. 2012-07-17. Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 August 2012. Retrieved 17 July 2012. 
  9. ^ "Women Lawyer Leadership at @FennemoreCraig". http://azatty.wordpress.com. 2011-09-11. Retrieved 11 September 2012.  External link in |work= (help)
  10. ^ http://www.reviewjournal.com/business/jones-vargas-being-absorbed-phoenix-law-firm
  11. ^ http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/13_trial_lawyers_from_kennedy_childs_join_fennemore_craig_12_others_form_ne/
  12. ^ http://www.americanlawyer.com/id=1202714040016/Fennemore-Craig-Adds-18-From-Dissolving-Nevada-Mainstay?slreturn=20160426113921
  13. ^ Watts, Stan (2007). A Legal History of Maricopa County. Mount Pleasant, South Carolina: Arcadia Publishing. p. 122. ISBN 0-7385-4815-4. 
  14. ^ "Best Places to Work (2007)". BestCompaniesAZ. 2007. Archived from the original on 2009-02-10. Retrieved 10 February 2009. 
  15. ^ "Fennemore Craig". Best Lawyers. 2008. Archived from the original on 2009-03-10. Retrieved 2009-02-10. 
  16. ^ McClean, John (2008-07-03). "State Bar of Arizona Board has chosen five new officers". Arizona Business Gazette. Archived from the original on 2009-02-10. Retrieved 10 February 2009. 
  17. ^ "Press Release: Fennemore Craig Attorneys Christopher H. Byrd and Laurel E. Davis named to Mountain States Super Lawyers" (PDF). Fennemore Craig. Archived from the original (pdf) on 2009-02-10. Retrieved 2009-02-10. 
  18. ^ "Chambers Rankings for Fennemore Craig". Chambers and Partners. Archived from the original on 2009-02-10. Retrieved 2009-02-10. 
  19. ^ http://www.azcentral.com/story/money/business/abg/2014/08/30/osborn-maledon-promoted-three-attorneys-partner/14862683/
  20. ^ http://www.azcentral.com/story/money/business/abg/2015/08/30/valley-attorneys-listed-best-lawyers-america/71432364/

External links[edit]