We were recently meeting with a new client that had been referred to us. He brought along his business manager, who did most of the talking, as they inquired about our ability to become their outside general counsel. To be honest, the client himself was somewhat checked out of the meeting. Apparently, they had been interviewing a number of law firms, most of whom had pretty much the same responses to the questions that the business manager asked.
The meeting took a dramatic turn when we were asked about what would makes us unique. Our response was straight forward. “Most of the firms you have spoken with are all able to handle the legal work that you have described. But we suspect the reason you haven’t selected any of them is because they are all stuck being lawyers. They are not seeing you for the business that you are, and they don’t understand your ultimate goals. Our view is different. We are here to help you build your business, increase its value, and provide you with as much protection as we can along the way. In the end, our goal is to see your business succeed to the point that it is generating a very sizeable return, or becomes so valuable that another company is compelled to buy it at a premium.”
Now we had the client’s complete and undivided attention. A day later, we were selected as counsel to the company.
Many lawyers see their clients as sources of revenue to the law firm. But we know that’s not how a client sees their attorney, and certainly not how people who “get” business would view the relationship. We see clients as people who have the vision, the risk tolerance and the perseverance to build companies that are doing productive and positive things. The goal of these businesses is provide for their owners, for their employees and for the good of the community, and we want to be part of that vision. The value we bring goes beyond our understanding of the legal issues that are common to entrepreneurial and emerging companies. Our greatest contribution comes in the fact that we know business and understand how businesses succeed. We know that legal services are a tool to advance a company’s goals, and are not an end in and of themselves. We therefore do everything we can to provide legal counsel that propels a business forward, without unnecessarily encumbering the business with too much legal busywork or too many legal costs.
If we are doing our job right, we will remain one of your most valuable business partners in the continued success of your business. Ultimately, our goal is not to cycle through a number of one-off engagements with clients, but to build lasting relationships with companies that continue to flourish year after year in part due to our continued guidance. If you are looking for counsel that shares your vision for how your business should grow, contact us and let’s discuss a way to tailor our legal counsel to your needs.