Ann Rochelle is a bit of an institution in the world of Wyoming law. Her name has commanded respect in the hearts of her colleagues for a long time. For decades now, Rochelle has been a tour de force in the world of litigation. She is well regarded as an incredibly hard worker. She has also worked for years in estate planning, probate, and trust law, and complex family law issues. She is a professional in every sense of the word and now, after years of building a reputation as one of Wyoming’s finest attorneys, she is retiring.
But, as the old adage says, ‘when one door closes, another one opens’ and the doors of WPDN are now open for her clients. Kyle Ridgeway and Scott Murray, attorneys at Williams, Porter, Day, and Neville are accepting Ann’s clients and all parties involved couldn’t be more excited about the transition.
“I’m excited to start this new chapter in my life, and I can do so knowing that the clients I have served over the years are in good hands at WPDN,” Rochelle stated.
She should know, as once upon a time, Ann Rochelle actually worked for Williams, Porter, Day, and Neville. Throughout the ‘90s and ‘00s, Rochelle lent her talents to WPDN and developed a lot of relationships there which is why, when she decided it was time to retire, WPDN was the first place she thought of to transition her clients.
“When I came over to Williams, Porter, Day and Neville in 2014, I wanted to help build a corporate and transactional and estate-based practice,” Ridgeway stated. “I said, ‘I want to build something here,’ and after a few years, when I became a partner in 2018, I had a decent size practice. By that point, Scott was on his own as a solo practitioner. We were both on the Natrona County Bar Association as officers together, so I got to know him that way, in addition to law school. And I just told him ‘It makes sense for you to bring your practice over here [to WPDN] and we can grow things together and service clients better that way.’”
Ridgeway said that he, Scott Murray, and Alia Scott are working together to bolster and grow WPDN’s estate planning and transactional practice.
“We thought we could provide a better service by working together as a team,” Ridgeway stated.
As they were building that team, Ann Rochelle was in the preliminary stages of planning her retirement, so the timing couldn’t have been better.
“I came over to WPDN about two years ago after several conversations with Kyle and other WPDN attorneys.” Scott Murray said. “And I continued to talk with Ann about cases, getting advice, and discussing building onto our existing estate planning practice. . I do a lot of work with Kyle and we had talked with Ann about what her plans were for the future, and she mentioned wanting to help us in grow that part of our practice. It just went hand-in-hand that the clients we were looking to serve were the same types of clients that she has been working with before deciding to retire. Then she was looking to wind up her practice and it was just a pretty fortuitous thing.”
Taking over Ann’s clients is a big deal for Ridgeway and Murray, and it is not something they take lightly. They understand the reputation that Ann has built throughout the community and beyond, and they want to honor that reputation while continuing to build their own.
“I mean, she literally wrote one of the books on Wyoming Law–pick up the Wyoming Trial Handbook, and her name is right there on the cover” Murray laughed. “She is a very learned practitioner and knows her areas of the law very well. She is very professional,very client-focused, and has done a lot of work in terms of staying up to date with the current best practices and current trends. She is continually and consistently being educated, ensuring that she’s at the forefront of her field. More than that, though, she’s just a nice person and a pleasure to deal with. She has a lot of care and compassion for her clients, which is the really important thing, especially in this line of work.”
The shift will be gradual, keeping their clients and their comfort as the priority. Ann has drafted a letter to all of her clients, informing them of her plans and letting them know that WPDN has agreed to take her clients over. If the clients agree, Ridgeway and Murray, along with Alia Scott, will interview each client to discuss their needs and get updated on what is currently happening. They will separate the clients into two groups: one without any current files and one with active files. Murray, Ridgeway, Ms. Scott, and others will split the work between them, ensuring that each client is confident and comfortable with the transition. There will be kinks to work out, to be sure. But Ann wouldn’t have chosen WPDN to take her clients if she wasn’t completely confident in the job they would do. Likewise, Ridgeway and Murray wouldn’t have agreed to take her clients on if they didn’t believe in Ann and the work that she’s done.
“Ann is really well respected,” Ridgeway stated. “Because of that, if Ann asks you to do something, that says a lot about who you are. And when she asks you to do something, you kind of just don’t say no. You figure it out. She has a good client base and, you know, I would hope that I would be able to find somebody to do this for me at the end of my career so that I would know my clients were being taken care of.”
Ann Rochelle’s clients will be taken care of. WPDN has built its reputation on offering good service at a fair price. That is the base point for all of their dealings. And Murray, Ridgeway, and Scott intend to offer that same mission statement to Ann’s clients.
“Every client we serve has a different situation,” Ridgeway said. “We’re not a cookie-cutter practice. Each client has their own needs. Each client has their own goals, and each client might need something different. And so, what we’ve done for one person might not work for somebody else. Everybody’s needs are custom, and we take that into account. We want to know what’s going on with each person’s individual needs and have open lines of communication with them to make sure they’re getting the same level of service from us that they got from Ann – which is a prompt response, open communication, and good advice.”
Ann’s departure will leave a huge void in the world of Wyoming Law, but she has earned her rest and she can trust that her clients are in good hands. Because when one door closes…