March 30, 2018

Boutique Portland law firm reaches cruising speed with new hires

Photo / Renee Cordes
Photo / Renee Cordes
From left, Ezekiel Callanan, Opticliff Law founder and managing partner, and Adam Nyhan, hired in February as an employee after working as of counsel to the boutique business and trademark law firm. They are shown here in the office reception area at 123 Free St. in Portland.

Nearly six years after opening, Opticliff Law has reached cruising speed.

The Portland boutique business and trademark law firm, founded by Ezekiel Callanan as a one-man operation in June 2012, recently promoted Andrew Kraus from associate to partner and hired affiliated attorneys Adam Nyhan and Thomas Brems as employees.

A believer in limiting overhead costs and hiring only after a successful trial period, Callanan outsources bookkeeping, rents space on a monthly basis at 123 Free Street, and leaves it to attorneys to do their own scheduling instead of employing an assistant.

Prospective clients can also use the firm's website,, to request a meeting or strategy session as easily as using Open Table to book dinner. It also offers flat-fee packages, such as trademark protection ( $400) and LLC formation ( $550), as shown on its site.

"We pride ourselves on being able to offer the best bang for your buck," he told Mainebiz in a a sit-down at the firm's offices, cheerfully decorated in bright colors.

As a boutique firm, he says Opticliff can offer flexible billing, "depth" in focused practice areas, and approachable lawyers in a casual setting that "helps people feel comfortable that we are going to treat people equally and with mutual respect."

"Our clients' time," he adds, "is just as valuable and important as our own."

Callanan practices business, contract, transactional and securities exemption law, and says he helps nano-, micro- and small businesses in all phases, from formation to raising money for growth.

Every attorney at Opticliff has an entrepreneurial background and involvement with the startup community.

Nyhan, a graduate of The George Washington University Law School who volunteered as a Top Gun mentor in 2017, is a New York-licensed attorney with over a decade of experience in software and technology law. He was of counsel to Opticliff Law for more than two years before being officially hired in February.

Brems is a 2017 Maine Law graduate and founder of Victorieux Champagne, an importer of sparkling wines from France. He was of counsel to Opticliff for a month before being hired to focus his practice on working with importers and exporters of various products, including food and beverages.

New partner Kraus, a University of Maryland School of Law alumnus, has headed the firm's trademark law practice, which has hundreds of clients across the United States, since 2015. He also serves on the board of the Brunswick-based Maine Coast Fishermen's Association and is an organizer for 2 Degrees Portland, a network that welcomes creators, innovators, entrepreneurs and thinkers to the area, and Startup Maine.

This April, three of the firm's attorneys will head to France for eight days to meet with businesses and government agencies to see how Opticliff can help further trade with Maine.


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