Hello and welcome to MacElree Harvey

Centreville, DE
Centreville, DE

5721 Kennett Pike
Wilmington, DE 19807

Doylestown, PA
Doylestown, PA

108 North Main Street
Doylestown, PA 18901

Kennett Square, PA
Kennett Square, PA

211 East State Street
Kennett Square, PA 19348

Philadelphia, PA
Philadelphia, PA

Two Bala Plaza, Suite 300
Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004

West Chester, PA
West Chester, PA

17 West Miner Street
West Chester, PA 19382

8:00am - 5:30pm
Opening hours Monday - Friday
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MacElree Harvey Offices
Home > Attorney > Lance J. Nelson

Lance Nelson, chair of the Firm’s family law practice, has over 25 years of experience representing clients in family law matters such as divorce, marital agreements, adoption, custody, and support. For his business clients, Lance advises on a variety of legal issues, including contract disputes, construction issues, corporate control issues and other aspects of day-to-day business disputes.

Lance has an AV Preeminent Rating in Martindale Hubbell Peer Review Ratings, the highest legal ability, and ethical standards rating. He has been consistently selected to the Pennsylvania Super Lawyers list since 2010 and the Main Line Today Top Lawyers list in the field of Family Law since 2009. Lance was recently selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© 2019 in the field of Family Law.

Active in the community, Lance has been a Board Member of the West Chester Business Improvement District since 2001, the West Chester Downtown Foundation since 2003, and the West Chester Public Library since 2011—presiding as Chairman to all three organizations during his tenure. An avid sports fan, Lance also coaches various basketball teams, including St. Agnes CYO.

Since joining MacElree Harvey in 1992, Lance was named a shareholder in 1998 and served as the Managing Partner from 2001 to 2011.

Honors & Awards

  • The Best Lawyers in America© 2019
  • Main Line Today, Top Lawyer, 2009 – 2018
  • Martindale-Hubbel, AV Preeminent Rating
  • Pennsylvania Super Lawyer, 2010 – 2018

Notable 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.


  • Chester County Bar Association, President 2011
  • Pennsylvania Bar Association, Task Force on Balance and Quality of Life (1999 – 2001)
  • Delaware State Bar Association
  • Doris Jonas Freed Family Law Inn of Court

Previous Memberships

  • American Inns of Court (John E. Stively Inn)
  • Legal Aid of Chester County, Board Member
  • Supreme Court of Pennsylvania Disciplinary Board Hearing Committee (2001-2008)

Community Involvement

  • West Chester University – Presidential Scholarship Steering Committee 1999-2012, Chairman 2001 – 2002
  • West Chester Business Improvement District Board Member 2001-Present , Chairman 2004 – 2005
  • West Chester Downtown Foundation Board Member 2003- Present, Chairman 2009 – 2010
  • Basketball Coach – St. Agnes CYO and West Chester Lightening Leagues
  • West Chester Public Library, Board Member 2011-Present

Speaking Engagements

Lance is a frequent lecturer on litigation-related topics. He has presented to various state and local organizations including the Chester County Bar Association, the Institute of Management Accountants, the Pennsylvania Bar Association, and the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants.



Practice Areas



  • Villanova University School of Law
  • Order of the Coif
  • Boston College
  • Economics and Political Science


  • Pennsylvania
  • Delaware
  • United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
  • United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit


Top Lawyers 2018-MLTMLT-Top-Lawyer-logo 2017MLT-Top-Lawyer-2016


Suburban Life_Awesome Attorneys

Citizen of the Year

  • The Greater West Chester Chamber of Commerce (2009)

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