Brown Law Office in Carman has been serving clients in the region for over 30 years and will continue to offer their great service, and more, after owner Mona Brown decided to merge with Pullan Kammerloch and Frohlinger (PFK) out of Winnipeg last week.
“Since last fall I’ve been looking for a firm to merge with and I had some criteria that I was looking for,” said Brown. “I needed a firm that wasn’t too big. A lot of our work is farm tax and small business succession planning. I needed to find a firm that was big enough to have an in-house office manager, HR positions and tech people, but not so big that we would be a tiny cog in the wheel. I wanted a rural connection as I wasn’t confident that firms just in Winnipeg would understand.”
After a lengthy investigation, Brown concluded that PFK would be the firm she wanted to align herself and her fellow lawyers with. The group has been in Morden/Winkler full time since 2010 when they bought a previous firm in the area.
“There are only really a few lawyers who do farm tax planning at a high level and my firm has been one of them,” said Brown. “I think of every company I’ve incorporated as part of my family, and one of the most important things was to make sure we could offer our services locally in Carman, and wouldn’t end up closing ourselves off. PFK had the same mentality as myself, and Tom Frohlinger thought of all his clients and staff as extended family. So it looked like a great match for me with the criteria that I was searching for.”
The merged firm will have lawyers fluent in 9 languages. Lawyers include Gordon Pullan, the longest practicing lawyer in MB at 68 years of practice and Tom Frohlinger, who has worked as a geologist flying in the North for 14 years and became the Director of Mines for the province of Manitoba before he went to law school.
“I came out from Winnipeg in March of 1980 and have really enjoyed my time in the community so far,” said Brown. “I’ve been running my law firm in Carman, at first I was with Bob McKenzie and Tom Mooney. Eventually, Frohlinger said if I was ever interested in merging or selling to give him a call. We had some conversations and he has been dealing with branch offices which are a significant part of his firm for years.”
The new group, Brown Law Office, in association with PFK Lawyers, held their official first day to start off May.
“I’m really excited about everything,” she said. “I’m excited we’ll be able to offer the services we have in the past, and some new services we haven’t offered before. We’ll now have higher end criminal law, we never did that before, and also we’ll be doing traffic violations as cell phone rules and penalties for driving become more prevalent. I feel this will be a field that is up and coming and they have lawyers who specialize in those areas.”
Brown Law Office lost their family law lawyer, Shauna McCarthy, who was appointed to Manitoba’s Provincial Court, but PFK has lawyers in civil litigation that offer the service at a high level.
“I think it’s a good match for us and it’s good for Carman,” added Brown. “I’ll be continuing to practice and I’m choosing to be an associate lawyer as opposed to a partner by choice. I’m 64 and I want to practice law but not have all the demands of being a partner or an owner. Now I can maybe deliver my services at a better price point so this is very good for my clients and my staff because they have employment for the long term.”
She adds the group will continue to service and donate back to the town in the future. Brown Law Office has donated more than $100,000 worth of labour to the Boyne Care Holdings Project in Carman and several other charities and events held in the town since setting up shop in Carman.