William J. “West” Ritchie is a managing attorney for The Virga Law Firm’s Pensacola office. He is well-versed in storm and hurricane insurance claims, construction defect litigation, BP oil spill claims, and insurance defense litigation. He also has 30 years of Family Law and Divorce experience. Mr. Ritchie has represented clients in the Panhandle for the past 28 years. Some of his current practice areas include Hurricane claims, Construction Defect Litigation, B.P. claims, and Insurance Defense Litigation. After Hurricane Michael devastated the Florida Panhandle in October 2018, he got right to work to hear the stories of claimants who needed to file homeowners’ insurance claims but did not know where to begin.
Growing up in Alabama as the 12th child in a family of 14 children, Mr. Ritchie learned the importance of togetherness and community involvement at an early age. This lesson would prove to be integral to his development into adulthood, pointing him to the path of becoming an attorney.
Ever since he received his law degree from the Cumberland School of Law, Mr. Ritchie knew he wanted to help people in need and in tricky legal situations. As a lawyer with The Virga Law Firm in Florida, he is able to continue his career focus by contributing to family law/divorce, criminal, bankruptcy, and insurance law cases our law firm accepts. In terms of family law and divorce cases, he has personal insight, having gone through a difficult divorce and child custody case himself some years ago. He uses that experience to relate to his clients and guide them through their family law dispute with confidence.
Mr. Ritchie often says his career highlight arose during a criminal defense case. He was defending a client who could have been sentenced to 20 years imprisonment with no chance of early release. After a hard-fought legal battle, the jury was convinced his client acted in self-defense and returned a not guilty verdict.
Recently, Mr. Ritchie has sat on the Board of Directors of many civic organizations in his area. He believes in using his skills and education to help improve the lives of others, and such seats give him this great opportunity.