Story by Megan Whitehead | Dec 28, 2016
Photography by Anthony Jinson

Filling all your legal needs from historic Downtown Jefferson City.

Jefferson City holds a unique advantage for law firms. Being the capitol city, access to the legislature and other government agencies provides the best resources for all who require legal help.

In 1975, founding partners David Brydon and Jim Swearengen, joined four years later by Trip England, built Brydon, Swearengen & England with that knowledge in mind. For 31 years, the law offices of Brydon, Swearengen & England have taken full advantage of this knowledge for individuals and small businesses around mid-Missouri. Representing cases from administrative law to utilities, energy law, and communications, the firm will find a lawyer to suit your needs.

The location of Brydon, Swearengen & England represents not only ease of access to government expertise, but also a look at Jefferson City history. Built in 1910, the Hammond Building was used as a grocery warehouse for the Goddard Grocery Company during the construction of our current state capitol building. In 1934, the Hammond Building became an indoor athletic center offering indoor tennis, golf, gymnastics, boxing, and other activities. You could also enjoy steam rooms, showers, and massage rooms for men and women. Attorneys Robert Hawkins, Brydon, Swearengen, and England purchased the building in the early 1980s. Then began a major restoration on the original façade — with the intent of putting law offices inside. In January 1984, the U.S. Department of the Interior declared the building to be a “certified historic structure” based on its long history in the Jefferson City community. When clients enter Brydon, Swearengen & England, they are able to see the Hammond Building’s storefront as it might have looked 100 years ago.

In 1989, the firm became a founding member of the State Capitol Law Firm Group, known as SCG Legal. “SCG Legal is an association of independent law firms created for the purpose of providing an effective and reliable means of securing competent local counsel worldwide,” says England. “Today, SCG Legal is the only network of its kind with a law firm in every state capitol. It also has member firms in Los Angeles, Miami, New York and Washington, D.C., and in capitols in leading commercial centers in over 75 countries around the globe.”

Scott Hamblin, attorney at Brydon, Swearengen & England and 2016 City’s Best Lawyer, practices mainly family law and criminal defense. However, he has a hand in many fields of representation. “I have been practicing law for over sixteen years, so I have built up a fair amount of goodwill and relationships,” he says. “So, if people come and need something done, I don’t turn them down.”

This attitude and skill set is common throughout the practice. The firm works hard, and hires diverse specialties, to assure that any case or situation thrown at them can be represented.

“As a whole, our firm serves a lot of diverse interests,” says Hamblin. “We represent numerous corporations, utilities, businesses, professionals, in respect to licensing matters, and individuals. Our office isn’t geared specifically to one area. We cover just about every area of law there is.”

It may seem too good to be true to be able to go to one firm for all your legal questions or concerns. Most law firms specialize. If you’re adopting, you go to law firm A. If you’ve been injured, you go to law firm B. If you need a defense attorney, you go to law firm C.

In the case of Brydon, Swearengen & England, you can breathe a sigh of relief. Each attorney works hard to take on appropriate caseloads and be as educated as possible in the case they are arguing. Some of their attorneys have multiple specialties, like Hamblin, and others are more specified, but they can all be found at one place. If you need a divorce attorney, call Scott Hamblin. If you’re filing for bankruptcy, call Erin Wiseman. If you need a liquor license, call Charlie Smarr. You get the idea.

“We can help about anybody with about any need that they have. We’re fairly broad when it comes to serving the community,” says Hamblin.

As the seat of state government, Jefferson City sees a lot of legal action. Whether you own a business, are looking to build a business, or need personal legal help, Brydon, Swearengen & England have the expertise to get the job done and done well.