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Centreville, DE
Centreville, DE

5721 Kennett Pike
Wilmington, DE 19807
302-654-4454

Doylestown, PA
Doylestown, PA

108 North Main Street
Doylestown, PA 18901
215-309-4020

Kennett Square, PA
Kennett Square, PA

211 East State Street
Kennett Square, PA 19348
610-444-3180

Philadelphia, PA
Philadelphia, PA

Two Bala Plaza, Suite 300
Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004
610-660-7716

West Chester, PA
West Chester, PA

17 West Miner Street
West Chester, PA 19382
610-436-0100

8:00am - 5:30pm
Opening hours Monday - Friday
610-436-0100
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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.

Memberships

  • 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.

Articles

Videos

Practice Areas

Testimonials

Family Law

Lance Nelson is an exceptional family practice attorney. He has been my attorney for twenty years and during that time has successfully resolved numerous complex family issues. I recommend him without question and if you are fortunate enough to hire him you will certainly be glad you did.

Anonymous Read more

Family Law

Lance Nelson helped me with many issues over several years. I would and do highly recommend him for all legal issues, especially child custody.

Brett Read more

Family Law

Lance has been and continues to be an excellent resource and outstanding advocate for me regarding family law matters. He crafted my premarital agreement with thoughtful thoroughness so when it, unfortunately, was needed the divorce process was short and smooth. Additionally, Lance counseled me regarding child custody matters in a fair and balanced manner that was always focused on the well being of my children. I would recommend Lance for family law matters based on my continually exceptional experience.

Anonymous Read more

Family Law – Divorce, Support, and Custody

My situation was horrible and spiraling all in a negative direction. In a big moment for myself, I decided to switch attorney & law firms. Lance rationally moved things in a direction that fairly got things done. He is calm, professional & spot on. If he is being baited towards confrontation he dilutes the scenario from escalating rationally & respectfully. All very important elements towards helping the topic or issue staying on point and reasonably litigated. Lance is the professionals of professionals. His sincerity to reaching fair results for the children’s behalf is exemplary. We as a family are still a family cause of Lance Nelson.

Nicholas Read more

Family Law – Divorce

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.

Anonymous Read more

Family Law – Divorce

Mr. Nelson's calm approach to negotiating the tumultuous process of a hostile divorce and custody battle can be contagious. No matter how heated or volatile the process becomes, he never seems to lose his cool and keeps his composure at all times. He knows the system and the process and conducts himself as a true professional. My process with the most painful experience of my life, but he was there for me every step of the way, and in the end, I got everything I wanted and more. He knows when to show his hand, and when to stick to the plan. He is organized, and no matter how busy he seems to be, he always knew the details of my case off the top of his head without having to review the mountains of paper in my files. As far as I'm concerned, he's the best that West Chester has to offer in the excruciating process of family law, especially when children are involved.

Anonymous Read more

Family Law – Divorce

Lance has been very effective in fighting against a cynical attorney on my divorce case. I applaud his consideration for kids affected during divorce and always helped me to make decisions which are the best for my kids future.

Raj Read more

Family Law – Divorce

It is easy when getting divorced to make emotional decisions. Lance helped keep me on track by constantly benchmarking my emotional choices against my long term goals. His ability to steer my communications and ultimately my decision making to achieving my goals was an enormous benefit. Lots of lawyers understand the law. Lance not only is a great lawyer, he also understands people and how to motivate them to success.

Anne Marie Read more

Family Law – Adoption

Lance handled an adoption matter for me. He was responsive, capable, and knowledgeable. I would definitely recommend him.

Anonymous Read more

Education

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

Admissions

  • 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

Awards

Lance Nelson Rated by Super Lawyers 2018

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

Lance_J_Nelson

Suburban Life_Awesome Attorneys

Citizen of the Year

  • The Greater West Chester Chamber of Commerce (2009)

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