The law firm now known as Ray, Winton & Kelley has been in continuous existence since it was founded in 1897. It was established by James M. Payne, a civic leader who also organized the Charleston Home Telephone Company and served as its president for two years. About 1900, his nephew, William Dallas Payne, joined the firm, then known as Payne & Payne.
Later, the firm became Payne, Minor and Ray. John V. Ray joined the firm after he returned to Charleston following service in World War I and completion of a Rhodes scholarship. In 1952, his son, John L. Ray, joined the firm after serving in World War II and obtaining chemical engineering and law degrees from the University of Virginia, and is today Of Counsel to the firm. By 1955, the firm became Payne, Minor, Ray, Price & Loeb with the addition of Charles W. Loeb, one of the first West Virginia lawyers to specialize in tax law.
Of the current members, Christopher Winton joined the firm in 1985 and Mark Kelley joined the firm in 1991.
Throughout its existence, the firm has provided counsel in transactional and litigation matters to thousands of businesses and individuals throughout West Virginia and other states. The firm is well known for its work in estate planning, estate litigation, and domestic relations. The firm’s lawyers also have extensive experience in corporate transactional work, general and commercial litigation, employment law, and personal injury/insurance litigation. The firm’s litigation clientele are not limited strictly to “plaintiffs” or “defendants”; rather it strives to handle whatever legal matters its clients encounter.
Ray, Winton & Kelley serves clients in many fields, including: advertising, banking, construction, medicine, publishing and real estate.