After graduating from the University of Maryland School of Law in 2000, Brad Stover clerked for Judge William Carr, the administrative law judge for the Circuit Court of Harford County. That was followed by a decade working as an associate in a local law firm before joining forces with Gina Shaffer and Eric McLauchlin in May 2011.
Shaffer, McLauchlin & Stover LLC
Shaffer, McLauchlin & Stover LLC
Today Shaffer, McLauchlin & Stover LLC has five attorneys practicing from its office on Main Street in Bel Air. “Gina already had a solo practice established when Eric and I joined her. Gina handles elder law and asset protection, Eric – with whom I had previously worked for 10 years – handles estate administration, as well as corporate and estate planning, and I take care of real estate developments and business acquisition,” says Stover, who adds that of primary importance to both him and his partners is to provide quality legal services to everyone who comes through their door. “We definitely view ourselves as being part of a growing community.”
For Stover, his real estate development work pretty much covers the gamut. “I do everything from soup to nuts … my work includes handling contracts, development approvals, restrictive covenants and zoning,” he says. “I really like history, and this work makes it possible to look at the entire scale of a project starting with raw land that may grow into a 300-home residential subdivision or a 40,000-square-foot shopping center.”
And, Stover adds that even after a project is completed, he often remains involved in handling its residential and commercial leasing needs.
Not surprisingly, over the course of the past decade and in coping with the recession, there have been challenges. Stover has had to adjust to changes in the real estate market and to diversify his practice. “I do a lot of work with small businessmen and women,” he notes. “These are often people who want to open a franchise, whether that is a hair salon or a food venture.”
In those cases, Stover finds himself assisting his clients in making sure that they have the proper corporate entity and structure, reviewing franchise agreements, giving advice on financing, directing them to appropriate financial institutions, reviewing leases and taking the appropriate steps when a business is to be sold.
Furthermore, he assists the elder law arm of his practice by advising clients on titling of real property and, when necessary, representing clients in guardianship proceedings before the court.
But one thing that has not changed is Shaffer, McLauchlin & Stover’s dedication to Harford County. McLauchlin is involved with the Harford County Chamber of Commerce and the Harford County Economic Development Advisory Board. Shaffer has worked on behalf of the Harford Family House and the Harford County Community Foundation. Stover is a member of the Harford Community College board of trustees, chair of the board of the ARC Northern Chesapeake Foundation and pro bono counsel for Habitat for Humanity Susquehanna. Furthermore, in 2012 he participated in the Harford Leadership Academy.
“There is a lot of appeal to living in Harford County,” says Stover, a self-proclaimed history geek and Ravens and Orioles fan. “The county still has a small town feel and my roots are definitely here. And not having to commute to Baltimore means that I am able to spend more time with my family.
“We are a young, progressive firm and we plan on being here for a long time, whether that means diversifying what we do or bringing more attorneys on board.” I95
“We definitely view ourselves as being part of a growing community.”