The West Michigan law firm of Bosch Killman VanderWal, P.C. is celebrating over 105 years of providing legal services within the state of Michigan. The law firm had its beginning in 1909 when Jay W. Linsey and Roland M. Shivel formed a partnership after leaving the Kent County Prosecutor's Office. The law firm's initial offices were in the Houseman Building in downtown Grand Rapids before moving to the newly built Grand Rapids Trust Building in 1926, located on the southwest corner of Ionia and Monroe Center, which became the Michigan National Bank Building in 1941. The firm remained at that location until 1998, when it purchased land and built its own building at its current location of 2900 East Beltline Avenue, N.E., Grand Rapids, Michigan. The firm also maintains an office in South Haven, Michigan.
Over the years, the firm name has changed as such notables as Leland D. Phelps in 1925, the Honorable John H. Vander Wal in 1936, Robert B. Linsey in 1946, Dale M. Strain in 1951, and Donald R. Worsfold in 1961, joined the firm and then became partners. The firm name was changed from Linsey Strain and Worsfold, P.C. to Strain Murphy and VanderWal, P.C. in 1998 and to its current name, Bosch Killman VanderWal P.C. in 2014.
Partners, Larry D. Vander Wal and Peter D. Bosch, attribute the firm's longevity and success to several factors. Peter D. Bosch, who joined the firm in 1984, points to client loyalty and satisfaction as the formula for the firm's success. "Some of our larger clients have been with the firm for over 50 years. Most of the firm's partners started with the law firm directly out of law school or shortly thereafter, were born and raised in Western Michigan, and have stayed with the firm until retirement from private practice. Client loyalty and satisfaction have allowed the firm to remain strong, with virtually no advertising."
Larry D. Vander Wal, with the firm since 1973, attributes the firm's success to its community roots. "For a firm this size, a significant number of our attorneys have been Kent County Bar Association Presidents or have held judicial offices within the community. Three attorneys (Leland D. Phelps, Donald R. Worsfold, and Dale M. Strain) held the office of Kent County Bar Association President. The Honorable John H. Vander Wal served as Kent County Circuit Judge from 1959-1975; Alan R. Smith retired in 2011 as a 63rd District Court Magistrate and former firm partner, and sat on the 61st District Court bench since 1995.