Lamb McErlane Penalized $4.3 Million

Lamb McErlane Penalized $4.3 Million — Lamb McErlane, a law firm inextricably bound to Chester County’s Republican bosses and state GOP movers and shakers, is in the news and not in a good way.

The firm is chaired by William H. Lamb, who served as interim state Supreme Court Justice in 2003. Its managing partner is Joel Frank who is general counsel for the state Republican Party, while remaining the county party’s general counsel. State Sen. John Rafferty (R-44) works for them, as does Alan P. Novak who chaired both the state and Chesco GOPs.

Chester County Common Pleas Court Judge Mark Tunnell ruled, May 2, that Lamb McErlane must return $4.3 million in excessive fees charged for work relating to the estates of Chesco millionaires Sir John Rupert Hunt Thouron and his son  John J. “Tiger” Thouron.

Lamb McErlane “repeatedly and willfully failed to comply with several of this court’s orders regarding their production of the Estates’ administrative files and requisite privilege logs,” Judge Tunnel said.

“The Lamb firm’s fees are extraordinary when evaluated under any analysis, the Johnson Estate guidelines or the LaRocca factors,” he said.

The upside is that Lamb McFarlane is not getting hit as hard as the executor Charles Norris. He is being surcharged $4,915,224

Donna Ellingsen, the Elk Township Republican who was just elected chair of Chesco GOP’s Area 19 despite tenacious opposition from the crowd connected to Lamb McErlane, notes that political participation is not about party loyalty.

“A political party is merely a means to providing honest, responsive government,” she said. “It is not as an end to itself and it is especially not a means to a well-paying  job.”

Or getting filthy rich some other way.

Judge Tunnel’s decision is well written but it’s long and will make your blood boil with anger and stomach churn with disgust. Here it is.


Joel Frank says Lamb McErlane is appealing Judge Tunnel’s decision to the State Superior Court. It will make your blood boil with anger and stomach churn with disgust when you realize they might prevail.

UPDATE — It has been pointed out to us that Lamb McErlane represents numerous municipalies and governmental agencies within Chester County and throughout Pennsylvania as per its website.

Wonder if its fees are also “extraordinary when evaluated under any analysis” in that arena.

Lamb McErlane Penalized $4.3 Million

Lamb McErlane Penalized $4.3 Million


7 thoughts on “Lamb McErlane Penalized $4.3 Million”

  1. I remember Bill Lamb when he was a close cohort Of Chester County political power Teddy” Rubino who ended up in Federal prison. I was covering Chester County for the Late Philadelphia Bulletin. They– Lamb and Rubino– had me fooled. I liked both of them.

  2. Wow. that’s concerning, to say the least. The estate fought them and the judge really went through the bills and the files but WHO is doing it or will do that for the taxpayers who are getting billed? Bill points out that this politically connected firm is representing a lot of townships and boroughs in this region. Is it not prudent to check those bills and see if the fees are “extraordinary” just as Bill says? But are our elected officials doing that or are they too “cozy” with lawyers that they themselves hired (but who are paid by the taxpayers)?

    One has to give this judge a lot of credit. He obviously spent a lot of time and effort to develop the facts and render his opinion. And he did it although he is someone who was elected as a Republican in Chester County. That had to be hard to do. Kudos to the judge, he gives us all hope that the system will work as it should!

  3. Warren Reynolds loved this firm and was delighted to have them represent New Garden Township. And they STILL do. Enough said.

  4. I am intrigued that the author ignores and does not have his stomach turned by the fact the IRS penalized the estate $ 1 million dollars for checking a wrong box.
    Seems the author has no issue with an IRS that can stake its claim to ones wealth but has a big problem with a legal firm that bills by the hour after being hired to do so.
    I am also intrigued that the author does not take offense to what is in essence the judicial branch of government making law.
    Where is the protest of one judge, Judge Tunnel, disregard contract law and decide that because another judge made a ruling that is now the law?
    THe Larrocca Factor? THe Johnson estate? Since when does that supercede the legislative branch of government? What about the contract signed between the Lamb firm and the executor?
    S0unds like Mr Lawrence simply has a hard on for the Lamb firm and is not particularly concerned with true justice.

    1. I find your comments offensive
      and inappropriate in for a public dialogue. The level and degree of Kleptocracy & Technocracy in this case is staggering from which all “fiduciary duty” to the families was abrogated by the misconduct of those appointed.

    2. Sounds like you work for Mcerlane. Their disgusting behaviour should be frowned upon by anyone that has a sense of justice, which obviously you don’t . Thank God there is a judge who will look at these thugs and call a spade a spade. I hope you are not a lawyer, if you are, your support of such heneous behaviour, as that exhibited by Lamb Mcerlane , is disgrace to the practice of law. Shame on you.

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