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Lance J. Nelson

Family Attorney at West Chester, PA

5.0   30 reviews

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About Lance

Learn Lance’s areas of practice.

5
Practice areas
  1. Family
    30%

    32 years

  2. Commercial real estate
    25%
    I handle a variety of areas of Commercial Litigation including: corporate disputes, contract litigation, employment related counseling, real estate litigation and others.

    32 years

  3. Divorce and separation
    25%
    I handle all areas of Family Law including: divorce, property distribution, alimony, child support, child custody, grandparents' rights, and adoption.

    32 years

  4. Child custody
    10%
    I handle all areas of Family Law including: divorce, property distribution, alimony, child support, child custody, grandparents' rights, and adoption.

    32 years

  5. Child support
    10%
    I handle all areas of Family Law including: divorce, property distribution, alimony, child support, child custody, grandparents' rights, and adoption.

    32 years

I counsel individuals and companies in a variety of litigation-related areas. With regard to individual clients, I counsel them with regard to divorce, support, custody, contract issues, business disputes, pre- and post- nuptial agreements and adoption. With business clients, I assist them in navigating a variety of issues including contract disputes, construction issues, corporate control issues and other aspects of day-to-day business disputes.

 

Snce joining MacElree Harvey in 1992, I was elected to be a shareholder in 1998 and chosen to serve on the Executive Commitee, and ultimately, as the Managing Partner from 2001 to 2011.

 

Practice Areas:

  • Alimony
  • Divorce
  • Legal Custody
  • Mediation
  • Child Support
  • Legal Malpractice
  • Litigation
  • Family Law

 

Recent Representations:

  • Successfully represented in a non-jury trial a non-profit organization to resolve certain corporate governance issues that were raised by a dissident group of members.
  • Counseled a father with a significant interest in a family-owned business. Worked with client and client’s spouse’s counsel to resolve issues related to the value of the family-owned business, the division of the marital property, an equally shared custody arrangement and ongoing support obligations without resorting to any court intervention.
  • Worked with a mother whose husband owned a substantial business. Through many court hearings in the litigation process, successfully resolved for this mother all of the issues related to the value of the husband’s business, a custody schedule, appropriate support payments and the division of the marital property.
  • Counseled children who own significant portions of multigeneration family-owned business through the prenuptial process. Helped young man navigate an already stressful pre-wedding situation and address the consequences of his ownership in a multi-million dollar family business without injecting more stress with his fiance.
  • Represented a professional service firm through the arbitration process when a former owner left taking many clients with him. Through the arbitration, successfully secured for the majority owner enforcement of certain financial and other obligations of the departing shareholder.
  • After a multi-day non-jury trial, successfully secured a substantial judgment for a custom builder that included not only sums that were due under the contract, but lost profits.

 

 

Photos and videos

Licensed for 32 years
State PA
Status Active
Acquired 1991
Updated 12/04/2022
State DE
Status Active
Acquired 1991
Updated 06/28/2022

We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.

Contact Lance

MacElree Harvey Ltd
17 W Miner Street
PO Box 660
West Chester, PA, 19382
MacElree Harvey Ltd
211 East State Street
Kennett Square, PA, 19348
MacElree Harvey Ltd
5721 Kennett Pike
Centreville, DE, 19807
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Reviews

5.0 / 5.0
  30 customer reviews
5 Star
 
100%
4 Star
 
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Posted by anonymous | August 9, 2022
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Excellence in action
Lance’s expertise in the law is invaluable. His admirable penchant in navigating my difficult, long divorce, resulting in a positive outcome, is vastly appreciated. For many years, his professional manner and attentiveness kept me confident and peaceful. I am grateful to Lance and his top-tier firm for their capability and for giving me a favorable conclusion to that chapter in my life.
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Posted by Kevin | May 19, 2022
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Excellent
I had a very difficult divorce and custody battle. I stuck with Lance through the entire process and I'm so glad I did. Lance took the time to fully understand my case and worked hard to navigate complex issues. He has excellent knowledge of the law and his recommendations were spot on. When we had to go to court Lance clearly explained the strategy and reasoning behind it and we always walked away with a positive outcome. I highly respect Lance's ability as a lawyer and found his advice to be very valuable. Going through divorce and custody issues is an extremely emotional process and I found Lance to be very level-headed and even throughout the process. Lance guided me in the right direction during times when I wanted to go a more adversarial route, which in the end produced a better outcome for less money. I highly recommend Lance as a divorce attorney, he is worth every penny.
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Posted by Jacqueline | May 3, 2022
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Compassion and excellence in the law
Lance stood by me in what turned out to be a somewhat ‘difficult’ and long divorce, my ex being a lawyer himself was challenging but Lance’s resilience, patience and skill in the law ultimately prevailed. His professional and personal manner with his attention to detail kept me informed and confident along the way. I will be eternally grateful to Lance and his Law firm they gave me the ability to move on with my life…. Thank you!
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Posted by anonymous | April 9, 2022
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Former client
Lance is an outstanding attorney that represented me in a difficult divorce and custody case. Lance from the beginning emphasized doing what was right, not expedient, and in hindsight I am so grateful that I listened to him. This fundamentally changed - or broadened - of the difference between a good family law advocate, and a not so good one. Lance is one of the best.
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Posted by anonymous | March 10, 2022
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Divorce and child custody
I hired Lance to be my attorney for my divorce and child custody. My case itself was not too complex because I was only married for a few years however my ex-wife made it difficult and continues to do so. He continues to provide recommendations that are reasonable, practical, long term and more importantly moral. He is calm, communicates clearly, and assertive in difficult situations. He is very responsive and easily accessible which helped tremendously in certain emergencies. He is knowledgeable and was able to quickly come up with resolutions when drafting child custody and property settlement agreement as well as helped me make informed decisions at various points in time during this process. Overall, he did a great job in all aspects and would hire him again if I had to do this all over.
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Posted by Lee | February 20, 2022
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Mr
Lance was most impressive in the courtroom, but all other aspects of my divorce were handled quickly and professionally. Lance also made time to guide me through the process with clear answers and some humor.
Posted by anonymous | February 17, 2022
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Earned my trust
After interviewing several attorneys to handle my divorce, Lance was the clear choice in assuring my needs and interests would be secured. All throughout the process, Lance was calm, confident, thorough and understanding in helping navigate through this difficult time. When so much is on the line, having a solid rock to ground you is essential. Lance was that rock and instilled the required confidence and care in preserving sanity until the process was complete. In the end, this was my divorce and Lance earned my trust and was the asset needed to close that chapter in my life.
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Posted by Tom W. | December 6, 2021
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Best Attorney in the Court Room
From the start, Lance was warming and responsive to my situation. He worked diligently (both during office hours and outside of work) to quickly resolve many unusual divorce issues presented in my case. His demeanor and professional conduct was of the highest regard. Lance has the knowledge and expertise of the process of divorce to quickly close this chapter. His highly regarded in my book.
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Posted by Jim | November 16, 2021
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Outstanding West Chester Attorney!
Lance was an incredible attorney to work with during the entire divorce process. His knowledge of law, the courts and how thing moved along was second to none! He was always two steps ahead of everyone else in the room. When numbers were flying, situations were changing or when emotions were high, Lance always had a plan. He would suggest times to refrain from talking or debating and every time he stopped me, it was for the best. I found it amazing that an attorney would know so much about accounting principles, taxes, and business decisions. He would present issues or concepts that were reasonable and the Hearing Officer or other attorneys accepted. Lastly, he would make suggestions to me on the side about keeping the children first, looking at the big picture and how to possibly avoid additional hearings or attorney fees. Lance kept my case out of the courts with his negotiations skills I was not disappointed at any moment during the divorce process that I had Lance represent me!
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Posted by Caitlyn | November 5, 2021
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Custody case
Lance and his team did an absolutely wonderful job with my custody case. They are all fast and very efficient, making a difficult process run smoothly. I was always kept updated about my situation or with any changes. I would never go to anyone else.
Posted by Jennifer | October 20, 2021
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Competent, caring, and a credit to the profession
Several years after a divorce, new issues prompted me to seek counsel about child custody concerns. No longer confident in the divorce lawyer's practice, a recommendation led me to Lance Nelson. I truly cannot say enough good things about Lance. He is patient, pragmatic, professional, accessible. Exceptional communication and clear integrity. He laid out the options at every stage, with practical advice regarding the most logical next steps. It never needed to go to court — we were able to manage the situation well enough long enough, the kids aged out before needing more serious legal intervention. In addition to Lance, everyone I have interacted with in the office is equally competent and caring. I would not hesitate to recommend Lance specifically or the practice as a whole.
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Posted by Keith | May 22, 2021
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Chester County's TOP divorce attorney
Lance, has helped me navigate not one but two divorces. He's brought common sense and a level of expertise to an otherwise emotional part of family law. Lance has given me very sound advise concerning my young children as well that was so very helpful. Lance is clearly a person you want on your side to navigate what can be a very difficult time not only for yourself but your family as well.
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Posted by Jody | May 20, 2021
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Family law case
Lance is a fantastic lawyer and I recommend him and his associates. He handled my very complicated and financially complex high- income child support adjustment. I received an increase in support and quite an education on PA child support law in the process. Lance’s ability to simplify confusing issues was key in helping me make important decisions for my family’s future. Highly recommend if you need legal help with any family law matter.
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Posted by Andra | January 6, 2021
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
The Best Divorce Attorney in Chester County
Lance is smart, savvy and goes the extra mile for his client. He is professional, well spoken, and very intelligent. Super efficient, he has patience and for the attorneys that’s rare. He explains what the process is no matter what process you’re involved in. His expertise in Family law is outstanding! He can handle anything! He’s truly the Best! I will be forever grateful the way he handled my divorce process that took 5 years!
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Posted by Ray | October 22, 2019
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Divorce
Lance was very calming when I was stressed out. He kept me focused but listened when I vented during the 2 years it took to finalize my divorce. He kept me informed and made sure things were moving toward a resolution when the it was stalled from opposing lawyer. Overall he kept me out of trouble when I made mistakes and was always there to help 24/7. I believe I made the best choice asking him to help me.
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Posted by Scott | October 22, 2019
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Protect manager
Lance handled my divorce, I am extremely satisfied with the outcome , his performance and professionalism was inspiring !!!! Of all of the lawyers in Chester county it is my opinion he is the best
Posted by Robert | October 7, 2019
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
You wont find a better lawyer thanLance
Lance provided me with legal advice and waived the fee based on my situation. Lance genuinely cares, he's still in the process of helping us, I am grateful there are still people willing to care enough to assist people in need, thanks Lance. RM
Posted by Kate | May 31, 2019
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Better than 5 stars
Lance was excellent at communicating in a timely matter. From our first meeting I knew I was in good hands. He was confident and helped me navigate a very difficult process by explaining things thoroughly every step of the way. He made it clear what I could expect as the process moved forward which was reassuring during a very stressful time. He is genuine, honest and a man of integrity. I knew I could count on him (and his incredible team)
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Posted by anonymous | December 28, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Best of the best
I hired Lance to represent me in my divorce after a bad experience with another lawyer. Lance was not only extremely professional, but more importantly he is very familiar with the law, sets reasonable expectations which ended up saving time, effort and money for me. I didn’t waste time and money disputing issues with my ex-husband that I wouldn’t have won. His preparation was second to none, which was critical when arguing in court. I would highly recommend Lance to anyone who is navigating through a divorce as his knowledge and preparation are critical for getting his clients a fair settlement.
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Posted by anonymous | October 20, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Top notch, pragmatic, and professional legal services
I was faced with a challenging divorce with complex estate implications. Lance provided clear practical advice ultimately allowing me to reach an agreement through mediation. He was accessible to answer questions - even during weekends - helping me map out strategic approaches to complex dispute areas. Despite the emotions being felt, Lance maintained focus on the "big picture" - advising where it made sense to fight and where it made sense to compromise. His team was also very professional and continue to guide me post divorce on things like estate planning to help put this event behind me.
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Cost

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Contact for Details

Resume

AVVO RATING 10.0 (Superb)

Work Experience

  • Partner
  • MacElree Harvey, Ltd.
  • 1992 - Present
  • Associate
  • Sawyer & Akin
  • 1990 - 1992

Education

  • Villanova University School of Law
  • JD - Juris Doctor
  • 1990
  • Boston College
  • BA - Bachelor of Arts
  • 1987

Associations

  • West Chester Public Library
  • Treasurer
  • 2012 - Present
  • Pennsylvania Bar Association
  • House of Delegates
  • 2011 - Present
  • West Chester Public Library
  • Board Member
  • 2011 - Present
  • West Chester Downtown Foundation
  • Past President and Board Member
  • 2006 - Present
  • West Chester Business Improvement District
  • Past President and Board Member
  • 2003 - Present
  • Pennsylvania Bar Association
  • Member
  • 1992 - Present
  • Chester County Bar Association
  • President
  • 2011 - 2011
  • Chester County Bar Association
  • President-Elect
  • 2010 - 2010
  • Chester County Bar Association
  • Vice President
  • 2009 - 2009
  • Chester County Bar Association
  • Board of Directors
  • 2003 - 2012
  • Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
  • Hearing Committee Member
  • 2001 - 2008
  • West Chester University Presidential Scholorship Fund
  • Past Chair and Committee Member
  • 2000 - 2012
  • Chester County Bar Association, Young Lawyers Division
  • Chair
  • 1998 - 1998
  • Legal Aid of Chester County
  • Board of Directors
  • 1998 - 2000
View all associations

Languages Spoken

  • English

Honors and Awards

  • AV Preeminent Rated
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2015
  • Awesome Attorney
  • Suburban Life Magazine
  • 2015
  • Super Lawyer
  • Philadelphia Magazine
  • 2014
  • Best of the Main Line
  • Main Line Today Magazine
  • 2014
  • Best of the Main Line
  • Main Line Today Magazine
  • 2013
  • Super Lawyer
  • Philadelphia Magazine
  • 2012
  • Best of the Main Line
  • Main Line Today Magazine
  • 2012
  • Super Lawyer
  • Philadelphia Magazine
  • 2011
  • Best of the Main Line
  • Main Line Today Magazine
  • 2011
  • Super Lawyer
  • Philadelphia Magazine
  • 2010
  • Best of the Main Line Family Law
  • Main Line Today Magazine
  • 2010
  • Citizen of the Year
  • Greater West Chester Chamber of Commerce
  • 2009
  • Best of the Main Line Family Law
  • Main Line Today Magazine
  • 2007
  • Best of the Main Line
  • Main Line Today Magazine
  • 2007
  • Order of the Coif
  • Villanova University School of Law
  • 1990
View all awards

Publications

View all publications

Speaking Engagements

  • Bench Bar Conference
  • Family Law
  • 2008
  • Institute of Management Accountants Fall Conference
  • Divorce And Pre-Nuptial Agreements For Privately-Held Business Owners
  • 2006
  • Supreme Court's Disciplinary Board Fall Training Seminar
  • Attorney Discipline Process
  • 2006
  • Current Accounting Issues in Divorces
  • Tax Issues in Divorce
  • 2006
  • Introduction to Chester County Practice
  • Family Law
  • 2001
  • Fundamentals of Civil Practice
  • Litigation
  • 2001
  • State Bar Conferance
  • Drawing The Line: How To Have A Successful Law Practice And A Personal Life
  • 2001
  • Introduction to Chester County Practice
  • Family Law
  • 2000
  • Fundamentals of Civil Practice
  • Litigation
  • 2000
View all speaking engagements

Attorney endorsements

Received (4)
Given (3)
Endorse Lance
Family Attorney | May 21
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I've known and worked with Lance for a number of years. Not only is he an excellent attorney, but he is an excellent father of a wonderful family. He is my go to guy when it comes to family law."
Unknown Attorney | Sep 21
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer."
Family Attorney | Apr 10
Relationship: Co-worker
"Lance is a trustworthy and insightful advisor. He is a knowledgeable and experienced advocate, who is well-respected in the legal community."
Family Attorney | Feb 21
Relationship: Co-worker
"I have practiced law with Lance for over 15 years. I regularly refer clients to Lance for all types of Family Law cases, including Divorce, Child Custody and Child Support matters. Lance is extremely knowledgeable, experienced and professional. Clients are impressed with his negotiation and trial skills. I highly recommend Lance for any Family Law case!"
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