Login | June 25, 2018

Roderick Linton Belfance gets a new managing partner

Legal News Reporter

Published: May 12, 2017

It’s been less than two months since Roderick Linton Belfance partner William Chris took the reins as manager partner, but he’s already laying out his vision for the firm’s future.

“I would like to add a few more attorneys to ensure that we are servicing all of our clients to the best of our ability,” said Chris, who took on his new role on March 16.

The firm, which has offices in Akron and Medina, currently boasts around 25 lawyers who handle matters ranging from business counseling and transactions, public and government law and litigation to family law and development and real estate.

“We are very fortunate that the people who come to work at Roderick, whether lawyers or staff, don’t often leave,” said Chris. “The firm provides a family atmosphere in which everyone works together and is willing to help one another out.”

Born in Akron and raised in North Canton, Chris received a bachelor’s degree in communication and rhetoric from The University of Akron and his juris doctor from The University of Toledo College of Law.

Chris joined Roderick Linton Belfance as a partner in 2001 and focuses on insurance defense and coverage and fraud investigation as well as matters involving real estate, collections and business litigation.

“In 1987 Roderick Linton partner Tim Fischer approached me about joining back when the firm was Roderick, Myers & Linton, but I really wanted to do my own thing,” said Chris. “Fortunately in 2001 partner Larry Bach had me meet with Bob Linton and two weeks later, I joined the firm.

“The last 16 years of practice have been the most enjoyable of my entire career.”

He currently serves as president of the Ohio Chapter of the National Society of Professional Insurance Investigators, which provides training and support to those who work in the insurance industry.

A longtime member of the Akron Bar Association, Chris has served as trustee, held numerous committee and chair positions and was bar counsel from April 2009 to September 2012. He’s also an Akron Bar Foundation fellow as well as being secretary of the foundation’s board of governors.

To become managing partner, an attorney must first be a member of the management committee. Members serve three-year terms, progressing to the position of managing partner.

“The partners must still vote to approve the selection,” said Chris, who was elected to a one-year term but expects to serve for two years.

Former managing partner Tim Truby described Chris as a “team player, adept in management.

“He accepts his role and duties completely and knows how to build a consensus.

“Bill is constantly in a growth mode, always looking for a new intern, associate or partner. The greater Akron community is important to him personally and professionally and he strives to give back whenever he can,” said Truby.

In addition to hiring more attorneys, Chris said he also plans to focus on employee training and growth, along with providing a foundation for the future of Roderick Linton Belfance.

“The firm’s history is amazing,” said Chris. “Two of our partners, Fred Corns and Kay Belfance, have been Professionalism Award winners and others have served on numerous foundations and boards.

“Robert Linton and Deborah Cook have given back to our community through their College Scholars program and Robert Pflueger was instrumental in starting the Stan Hywet Hall Foundation,” said Chris. “It is humbling to be able to work with such great people and with a firm that has such a rich history.”