WINNEBAGO, Neb. -- Ho-Chunk Inc. CEO Lance Morgan has joined five other Native American attorneys to launch a new law firm that will focus exclusively on tribal issues.
The new firm, Big Fire Law & Policy Group LLP, is named for Morgan's grandfather, Harold Big Fire, who he said "fought every day of his life to make a future for his family despite tough obstacles."
"With Big Fire Law & Policy Group, we are bringing the Big Fire spirit to tribal representation," Morgan said. "Tribes continue to face much adversity and our team is ready to fight hard and help build the future of Indian Country."
The firm has offices in Omaha and Winnebago, Nebraska, and Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin, and will represent tribes and tribal entities across the nation.
In addition to 100 percent Native-owned, the firm will be majority woman-owned. The partners and founders and their tribes also include Danelle Smith (Winnebago), Sheila Corbine (Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians), Leonika Charging (Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation), Nicole Ducheneaux (Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe/Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes), and Burton Warrington (Prairie Band Potawatomi/Menominee Tribe).
Combined, the partners have more than 100 years of experience.
Morgan will remain president and CEO of Ho-Chunk Inc., the Winnebago Tribe's economic development corporation. After earning his degree from Harvard Law School in 1993, Morgan returned home to start Ho-Chunk, which has grown into a diverse, global enterprise with more than $270 million in revenues, more than 1,000 employees and operations in 24 states and 10 countries.
A nationally known expert in tribal economic development, Morgan said his new practice will focus on advising other tribes on creating the legal and corporate infrastructure necessary to build strong tribal economies.
Morgan has left his previous law firm, Fredericks, Peebles and Morgan, where he had served as managing partner. The firm, which has been renamed Fredericks Peebles & Patterson, closed its offices in Omaha and Winnebago, effective April 1, but will retain its offices in Louisville, Colorado; Sacramento, California; Rapid City, South Dakota; and Washington, D.C.