In Memorium of Ronald G. Birch
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In Memorium of Ronald G. Birch

by | Mar 28, 2022 | Firm News

IN MEMORIUM
RONALD G. BIRCH

Birch, Horton, Bittner & Cherot is sad to announce that the firm’s founder, Ronald G. Birch, died on March 19, 2022 after a chronic lung illness. Ron was 80 years old.

Ron grew up in New York. He graduated from Colgate University and Columbia Law School. After law school, Ron moved to Alaska to serve as the law clerk for Justice Rabinowitz of the Alaska Supreme Court. He then worked in Senator Ted Stevens’ office, where he became Chief of Staff and was deeply involved in the enactment of the landmark Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act. He worked as a District Attorney in Fairbanks and Juneau. He quickly gained a reputation as an effective trial attorney and litigator.

On February 1, 1971, Ron and his partner, Bill Jermain, opened a small law office in Anchorage that became what is now Birch, Horton, Bittner & Cherot. With Ron’s energy, passion, outstanding legal abilities, rainmaking skills and business acumen, the firm quickly grew and expanded. One of Ron’s first clients was Walter Hickel and Hickel Investment Company, a company that has remained a client for fifty years. Whether representing large corporate interests or individuals in need, Ron provided exceptional representation and he cared deeply about each of his clients. Ron never procrastinated. Every phone call, letter and pleading were answered immediately. Ron’s wit and intelligence made him a formidable opponent, and he enjoyed many successes for his clients. Many of his clients became life long friends.

In 1979, Ron opened the Washington, D.C. office of the firm primarily to serve Alaskan interests on federal matters. The office has since expanded to assist clients from across the Nation, in regulatory and litigation as well as government relations matters. Ron continued to litigate complex matters and work on legislative issues. In later years he served as a lead arbitrator for the American Arbitration on major business contractual disputes. Ron never really retired and continued to provide advice and guidance to the firm’s attorneys. During the pandemic he focused on his family and wrote his memoirs for his children and grandchildren.

Ron was proud of the firm and its accomplishments. Today the firm that began with two attorneys is fifty-one years old and well established with specialized areas of practice and more than thirty professional attorneys and support staff.

Ron’s commitment to the firm and his clients, his humor and intellectual abilities will be missed.

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