Only the Best
The attorneys at MacElree Harvey practice results-oriented, high-caliber law
by Lindsey Getz

With roots that go back to 1880, MacElree Harvey is a full-service law firm that has built its reputation on hard work, integrity and a no-nonsense approach to each case. In the area of family law alone, MacElree Harvey has eight attorneys across the firm’s four offices located in West Chester, Kennett Square, Doylestown and Wilmington, Del. With a results-oriented approach, the family law attorneys can tackle cases of varying scope and depth.

The attorneys at MacElree Harvey handle all aspects of family law, including divorce, custody, child support, alimony, prenuptial agreements and adoption. The firm is also adept at handling financially complex cases such as those involving business valuations or forensic accounting. “I think our depth is what really sets us apart,” says Marie Crossley, a partner with MacElree Harvey. “We work with varying budgets and varying ranges of cases. Whether you have a small case or an extremely large one, we have the right attorney to fit your needs.”

The depth of knowledge is also incredibly valuable. Because MacElree Harvey is a general practice firm with more than 30 attorneys overall, clients benefit from a tremendous range of in-house expertise.

“As part of a larger firm, I can provide my clients with access to excellent attorneys with other specialties like estate planning, real estate or business law,” adds Hillary J. Moonay, partner. “If a family law case crosses into another area of law—perhaps because it involves a family-owned business and there’s a lot of complicated financial work—we have access to the right kind of advice.”

For Partner Peter E. Kratsa, the majority of his 20-plus years of experience have been in criminal defense, which remains his primary practice. Peter has stood before juries and judges and worked tough cases, the consequences of which can be years in prison. This experience has built an approach that serves his family law clients as well. “In family law, there are many opportunities for clients and attorneys to get distracted by counterproductive, and ultimately irrelevant, issues,” Kratsa says. “I take a similar approach to my family law cases that I take to my criminal cases in that it’s focused on what matters. It is an intellectual approach, not an emotional one. That’s not to say I am unmindful of the fact that this is a very difficult time for clients.

“Developing a rapport with the client and being sensitive to their personal concerns is important in this practice,” he continues. “But it is ultimately my job to provide reasoned and realistic guidance at a time when they are emotionally involved. To be frank, I’m not the kind of attorney that chooses to profit off of the emotion involved in these cases, and I call it out when I spot it being done in negotiations or in the courtroom.”

Collectively, the attorneys of MacElree Harvey echo the same no-nonsense approach. The integrity, trust and high level of moral ethics that they bring to the table is a key reason why the firm continues to grow. Clients who retain one of the firm’s family law attorneys can anticipate honest talk—not the stereotypical “lawyer speak” they might find elsewhere.

“While I personally love going to court—I feel at home there—I often tell my clients that it may not be in their best interest to pursue their matter in court,” says Partner Lance Nelson. “If the dispute is over a $10,000 item and I believe it’s ultimately going to cost my client $5,000 to pursue the matter in court, I’m going to be honest with them that it may not be best to pursue—because now we’re talking about all that effort over a $5,000 item. I’m always going to do what’s in the best interest of my client, not what’s in the best interest of my own enjoyment or personal gain.”

That is the honest, straightforward candor that might seem a bit unorthodox but is exactly why clients appreciate MacElree Harvey attorneys. The firm is also deeply committed to the communities where their offices are based—not just with monetary donations to charitable organizations and nonprofits but with actual involvement. The efforts and the donations of time and money range from individual involvement to larger group efforts. The firm has always encouraged its attorneys to be involved citizens of their community. For many that has also meant performing pro bono work, and all of the attorneys also have their favorite charities and organizations.

To name just a few efforts, Nelson has been a youth basketball coach for 20 years, coaching at different levels. As a father of five, he has a passion for devoting his time to youth. Kratsa spends a lot of his free time coaching—especially for his son’s baseball and football teams. Moonay coaches youth soccer, volunteers at her children’s elementary school and has worked with The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia cleft palate program. And Crossley formed the MacElree Harvey Scholarship to provide opportunities for young people who have aged out of the Delaware foster care system to continue their education by attending college or obtaining vocational training.

“Community involvement is just part of our culture and part of what we do as a firm,” says Crossley. “It’s something we all participate in on an individual level, and the firm supports and encourages those efforts.”

From the depth of their ability to handle cases of all levels, to their scope of knowledge, honesty and community involvement, the attorneys at MacElree Harvey have set themselves apart from the crowd. As a tagline on the firm’s website reads, they are not “raising the bar—they are setting it.” And with offices spanning two states and a wide array of expertise, there’s really no case they can’t handle.

“I think there are many things that set us apart, but if I were to sum it up, I would say we are attorneys who take a very practical approach to our cases; however, we are never afraid to go to court when we need to,” says Nelson. “Whether matters are handled in court or out of court, you can expect a results-oriented approach. We are not afraid to take any case or afraid to represent anyone in Pennsylvania or Delaware.”

MacElree Harvey Ltd.

17 West Miner Street
West Chester, PA 19381

108 N. Main Street
Doylestown, PA 18901

211 East State Street
Kennett Square, PA 19348

5721 Kennett Pike
Centreville, DE 19807