Vt. law firm opens Manchester office; adds Wiggin & Nourie attorneys

A Vermont-based law firm has opened a new office in Manchester and hired several attorneys from the now-shuttered Wiggin & Nourie law firm, including its president.Primmer Piper Eggleston & Cramer PC, which is headquartered in Burlington, Vt., already has had a New Hampshire presence in Littleton but has opened a second Granite State office at 900 Elm St. in Manchester.There are 19 employees working out of the new Queen City office, including 11 attorneys. There are also four new shareholders based in the Manchester office — Gary Burt, Tom Pappas, L. Jonathan Ross and Doreen Connor, all of whom previously practiced at Wiggin & Nourie until the firm announced in late January that it would be closing.Ross was president of Wiggin & Nourie at its closing.There were 20 lawyers working at Wiggin & Nourie when it closed, some of whom have struck out on their own and others who have moved on to other firms, said Ross.The Wiggin & Nourie closing brought an end to a firm that got its start in Manchester in 1870.”To the best of my knowledge, all the lawyers in the Manchester and Portsmouth offices (of Wiggin & Nourie) have landed somewhere,” he said.Primmer, which serves clients throughout northern New England, was founded in St. Johnsbury, Vt., in 1982 under the name Primmer & Piper. In 2006, it merged with Eggleston & Cramer in Burlington and moved its headquarters there. That was a good move for the firm, Ross said, adding that he believes they are emulating it in New Hampshire with the expansion to Manchester.”I think that they’ve been looking at Manchester for a while. They look at Manchester as the commercial hub of New Hampshire,” said Ross.Jeffrey Johnson, Primmer’s board chair, said that a number of the firm’s commercial clients already do business in Vermont and New Hampshire, and that the regional expansion poises the company to better serve these clients.The addition of the Manchester office brings the firm’s attorney count to 41. Its practice areas include commercial litigation, insurance defense, corporate, health care, energy & telecommunications, employment, banking and financial services, bankruptcy, business entity/ commercial, commercial real estate, government relations, domestic relations, captive insurance, environmental and land use, estate planning and probate, taxation and mediation and arbitration. — KATHLEEN CALLAHAN/NEW HAMPSHIRE BUSINESS REVIEW

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