John Benham relocated to the Virgin Islands in 1987, originally joining the firm of Watts & Streibich as an associate. The current firm is the successor firm of a series of law offices that have served the U.S. Virgin Islands over the past four decades. Boyd L. Sprehn joined the firm in 2001 as an associate, and later became a shareholder of the firm, then named Watts, Benham & Sprehn, P.C. Effective January 1, 2009, John H. Benham became the sole shareholder of the firm, but retaining the services of all the firm’s attorneys as of-counsel.
The firm practices throughout the U.S. Virgin Islands and offers a wide range of litigation, commercial, and general legal services. The firm is recognized in the local community for its demonstrated expertise in civil litigation, real estate and business transactions, insurance law, admiralty and other maritime matters. In all fields, the firm is dedicated to providing high quality personalized legal services to its clientele
The firm concentrates in admiralty & maritime law, civil litigation, commercial and administrative law, corporate and general commercial law, insurance law, insurance defense, labor and employment law, mediation services, products liability defense, and real estate. Our clients are businesses and institutions in both the private and public sectors that engage in retail, commercial, banking, industrial and service endeavors. Our client base ranges from individuals to small local businesses to multi-national corporations.
PRINCIPAL & SHAREHOLDER
John H. Benham
BORN: Canandaigua, New York; December 31, 1955.
ADMITTED: 1984, Illinois; 1985, U.S. District Court, Southern District of Illinois; 1988, U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit; 1989, Virgin Islands; 1991 United States Supreme Court.
EDUCATION: Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (B.A., 1980); Southern Illinois University (J.D., cum laude, 1984).
BIOGRAPHY: Member, Southern Illinois University Law Review, 1983-1984; Illinois State Attorney's Appellate Service Commission, 1984-1985; Jackson County Public Defender Office, 1985-1987; Member: Illinois State, Virgin Islands and American Bar Associations.
Upon graduation from law school in 1984, Mr. Benham worked for the Illinois State Attorney's Appellate Services Commission. While with this agency, Mr. Benham worked exclusively as appellate counsel for the State of Illinois. In 1985, Mr. Benham joined the Jackson County Public Defender Office in Murphysboro, Illinois. While with this office, Mr. Benham was trial counsel for numerous felony matters. In December, 1987, Mr. Benham moved to St. Thomas and has maintained his practice here since that time.
CONCENTRATION: Litigation, products liability, insurance coverage, insurance defense, construction law, admiralty and maritime matters, trial and appellate practice.
Martindale-Hubbell “A-V” rating
OF-COUNSEL TO THE FIRM
Boyd L. Sprehn
BORN: Minneapolis, Minnesota 1957
ADMITTED: 1989, California; 2002, Virgin Islands.
EDUCATION: University of New Mexico (B.A. 1986); University of California at Davis (J.D, 1989).
BIOGRAPHY: Chairman, Environmental Law Society, 1987 1988; Co-Author, The Raker Act: Legal Implications of Damming and Undamming Hetch Hetchy Valley, 21 U.C. Davis Law Review 1305 (1988); California State Attorney General’s Office, Natural Resources Division, 19881989; Graham & James, San Francisco, CA, 1989-1992; Attorney General and Cabinet Counsel, Republic of the Marshall Islands, 1993-1995; Oakland City Attorney’s Office, Deputy City Attorney, 1996-2000; Virgin Islands Assistant Attorney General, 2000-2001
While in law school, Mr. Sprehn worked for Professor Susan French establishing the database for the preparation of the Restatement of Property - Third, Servitudes, conducted research on water law, and worked with the California State Attorney General. Following graduation, Mr. Sprehn worked in the Environmental and Regulatory section of Graham & James, on corporate mergers, environmental compliance, and public utilities regulation. In 1993 Mr. Sprehn moved to Majuro, Marshall Islands, as an Assistant Attorney General. Shortly thereafter, Mr. Sprehn became both the Acting (later confirmed) Attorney General and Cabinet Counsel. On his return to the United States mainland, Mr. Sprehn served as a Deputy City Attorney for the City of Oakland, California, handling finance and redevelopment issues. In 2000 Mr. Sprehn moved to the Virgin Islands to assist the Government of the Virgin Islands in anti-fraud and corruption matters as an Assistant Attorney General.
CONCENTRATION: Regulatory law, litigation, general civil practice, trial and appellate practice.