Spotlight on Balch & Bingham

Balch Bleeds: Five Top Partners Bail on Embattled and Disgraced Law Firm

The hemorrhaging at Balch & Bingham has not stopped.

One of the few Hispanic partners at Balch & Bingham, Derek Anchondo, lasted a little over a year before he headed out the emergency exit in Houston.

Another Balch partner in Houston, Lloyd Lim, left in January after only 18 months to become a partner at Kean Miller.

Another legacy partner in Birmingham, Phillip A. Nichols, who had been at Balch for over three decades, left in February to become General Counsel at Red Diamond Coffee & Tea.

Unannounced Exits: Palacios and Lawrence

Although still unannounced, Balch partners Chezare Palacios and Craig Lawrence have recently left after about two years at the firm. Palacios was another one of Balch & Bingham’s few Hispanic partners. Their Balch web profile pages have already been removed.

With the surprise exit in November of Balch legacy partner Robert Fowler and the December exit of Balch’s most senior female attorney and partner Jennifer Powell Decker, a total of at least seven partners have left the firm in less than a year.


The embattled law firm was disgraced with the arrest of ex-Balch attorney and alleged pedophile Chase T. Espy last August.

And now, late last month, Espy was indicted on federal charges including possession of child pornography of a child under 12 years of age. The scandal of kiddie porn and soliciting young children for sex undoubtedly stings.

While Balch’s Managing Partner Stan Blanton was busy patting himself on the back with make-believe awards, legacy partners and others started making exit plans.

In November, December, January, and February, one-by-one these partners left, and now, today, two more have hit the eject button. We wish Derek, Lloyd, Phillip, Chezare, and Craig the best of luck with their new career paths.

Balch appears to be bleeding profusely from a self-inflicted wound.

Can anyone help Balch from themselves?


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