Please consider this a follow up to our recent email conversations. We have hired our new associate and certainly all indications are that this will work out very well. We expect her to become ultimately upon retirements the “face of the law firm” which as you know is 78 years old this year.
The best decision Lois and I made early out when we were considering succession planning and trying to determine whether or not merger or other associations made sense was to hire you and your firm.
You came with excellent discussion of issues, strengths and weaknesses of mergers versus sale of the practice or continuing to practice with one or more partners/associates.
Ultimately we made a joint decision that merger with a larger area firm made sense. You gave us the necessary information to put
together the presentation and bullet points on merger with that firm. As you know, discussions continued for some period of time and ultimately Lois and I decided that the culture and method of operation was so different that it would not work.
We then began discussions with an attorney. You had a two hour telephone conference with her during our negotiations and again, the questions that you asked and her responses were invaluable in both the attorney, Lois and I making the decision to have her join our firm.
As you know, this is a one-year trial period after which the associate will be offered a partnership of some proportion depending upon a number of variables most of which we have discussed with you.
We have every thought that this will turn out to be the best decision we could have made given all the alternatives.
We could not have done it without your very concise, thorough and timely attention to all of these matters.
Curtis R. Tobin, II
Tobin & Ramon
This firm contacted Olmstead & Associates in the Fall of 2012 with a thorny issue. Our firm had reached a point where succession planning had become crucial. Our law firm was different from most in that it was also comprised in part of an income tax and accounting practice stemming from one attorney’s dual status as an attorney and a Certified Public Accountant. Finally, a key management employee in the accounting and income tax preparation portion of the practice had announcement her intention of retiring soon.
We presented all these matters as well as our thoughts, goals, and concerns to Mr. Olmstead. As part of the resolution, Mr. Olmstead met with us and each of our staff individually. He helped us create a plan whereby the tax practice portion of the firm would be sold. At the end of 2013, a successful sell of the accounting and income tax preparation portion of the practice was finalized.
We found Mr. Olmstead to be at all times respectful, knowledgeable, and diligent in helping us get to our goal. We highly recommend him and his firm if your firm needs assistance in any management, succession, or other planning matters.
Frederick A. Higdon
Spragens & Higdon, P.S.C.
Malloy & Malloy, P.A. is a law firm with a practice limited to Intellectual Property matters and having its primary offices in South Florida. While the firm was originally founded in Miami in 1959 by John Cyril Malloy, a patent attorney, who remains of counsel, two of his children now practice with the firm, along with other partner attorneys and a number ofassociates. Growth of the firm beyond a family practice in the last 20 to 30 years has presented some unique challenges.
In 2008, following an ambitious physical expansion of Malloy & Malloy, P.A.’s office space, the hiring of new associates, and overall growth of the firm to fifteen (15) attorneys, it was becoming clear to the firm’s partners that knowledgeable guidance and implementation of more advanced accounting and management practices was needed. Research into various solutions was undertaken by the firm’s accountants, which ultimately, developed significant writings and treatises authored by John Olmstead, such as “Best Accounting Practices for Law Firms.” Conversations with John Olmstead followed, which demonstrated his impressive experience working within law firms and as a management consultant for many types of law firms, and a vast knowledge of accounting and management practices. This combined with his reasonable fee structure resulted in the firm’s engagement of his services for a comprehensive Management Review.
During the Management Review, members of the firm talked extensively with John Olmstead and a number of highly relevant recommendations were made. A number of these related to more efficient and comprehensive use of STI’s TABs software, including General Ledger and Trust modules. Others related to important management tools such as generating monthly financial reports in a specific and helpful “data packet” format, handling clients who have past due balances, and modifying the firm’s review process for associate performance. John Olmstead also made a number of thoughtful suggestions along with way for maintaining current clients while reaching out to new clients in a struggling economy, and equally important, assisted the firm with interviewing and hiring a Firm Administrator.
Malloy & Malloy, P.A. has implemented many of John Olmstead’s recommendations and suggestions, and find the firm adapting well overall with operations running more smoothly. In addition to his impressive knowledge and experience, John Olmstead’s reliability, willingness to help, and to find solutions where problems exist are some of his best qualities, and the firm continues to look to him for advice on occasion when new challenges arise. Consequently, we do not question his abilities in the legal management and accounting field, but if you should have any questions or wish to speak with me directly regarding our experience with him, you may contact me.
Jennie S. Malloy
Malloy & Malloy, PA
I have been working with John for nearly a year. He has done something most people do not: prove his value immediately. He is an effective communicator, a reasoned tactician, a learned professional in law firm management, and a pleasant person to work with. I highly recommend him if you are in need of problem solving in managing your law practice.
Brian J. Robbins, Esq.
Robbins Arroyo LLP
San Diego, California
My firm recently went through a dramatic reorganization of our partnership compensation. In addition, we were considering the addition of a new office location. As we approached those issues, we made at least one excellent decision: the retention of John Olmstead as a management consultant.
John came to our office and spent two days conducting careful interviews of our staff and attorneys. Based upon those interviews, he highlighted both the strengths and weaknesses in our firm that allowed us to put direction to our efforts at growth and development of the practice.
We have implemented most – though not all of John’s recommendations. Though it is early in the process, we are confident that these changes will enhance our ability to practice law and make our firm more profitable in the future. I highly recommend John and his services.
William R. Tapella
Hefner, Eberspacher & Tapella, LLC
In 2006, McKee, Voorhees & Sease, PLC had come to the end of their 5 year strategic plan. Faced with multiple challenges, including the approaching retirement of the firm’s three senior partners and the growing market trend of boutique firms being absorbed by large general practice firms and commitment to remain as an independent IP firm, we began researching various consultants who might be able to provide some insight and direction for MVS’s 2 to 3 year future.
Dr. Olmstead.s background in law, marketing, business strategy and finance combined with his years of experience as a management consultant for professional service firms, and competitive fees earned him the job. We talked considerably with Dr. Olmstead to clarify the firm’s mission to remain solely committed to practicing intellectual property law. We initially talked with him on the phone to provide background and goals. He conducted an online survey among associates and then visited our offices for one-on-one discussions with each of our partners to determine what was going right, what could be improved and to get a sense of direction for the firm.
A few months later, he joined the 11 partners and management team for a retreat. We were impressed by the significant market information he researched and presented. This provided us with an overall scope of business trends specific to IP boutiques, and how they fit and work within the legal industry. Throughout our day and half-long retreat, Dr. Olmstead gave us some hard-and-fast “must dos”, a few suggested ways to continue to grow and some food for thought.
We have ingrained much of his .must-do. list. We continue to remain open to options that might help us grow to gain a larger portion of the IP business market and retain the best talent for our firm while maintaining a working relationship with Dr. Olmstead.
John McCune, CPA Retired
McKee, Voorhees & Sease, PLC
Des Moines, Iowa
I hired John after hearing him speak at the Missouri Solo and Small Firm Conference about office management. His presentation included an interesting mixture of personal and professional issues. Upon hiring him, I hoped to learn some basic business tools based on my profound realization that I needed to improve my business skills, rather than my legal skills only, in order to improve my law practice. John’s experience, perspective, and suggestions have energized my practice and me, and combined with his affordable rates, I will maintain my relationship with John for the foreseeable future. Regardless of your age, experience, practice, or location, John can be an excellent asset and investment for the growth and stability of any law practice. Simply contact him and he will give you an honest assessment of how he can address your particular needs and concerns.”
Mark A. Keersemaker, Jr.
Keersemaker Law Firm
St. Louis, Missouri
Our firm worked with Olmstead & Associates and John Olmstead on restructuring the roles and governance of the firm. John was able to lead the firm through the behavioral changes that were needed on our part to make the changes we needed to make to take our firm to the next level. In all respects we found our relationship with John Olmstead to be fruitful and profitable.
Kavanagh, Scully, Sudow & Frederick
I first heard John Olmstead speak at the ISBA Solo and Small Firm Conference in September 2006 and knew that he was an answer to a prayer. The partner I had worked with since law school had recently died, and I was in a real turmoil in trying to deal with the transitions. When I called John I was afraid my problems were too small and that the fee would be out of my range. I was pleasantly surprised.
John and I set up a weekly telephone meeting to analyze the problems I was dealing with and a plan for tackling them in manageable order. John is very organized and matter of fact, but he is also very personable and easy to work with. It is reassuring to be able to bounce ideas off someone who has such a wealth of experience and the perspective that brings. We have worked together through my office move, installation of my first computer network and case management program, and various personnel issues. He’s helping with organizing my financial reports, establishing a business plan and creating a marketing plan, including website.
In the past I’ve never felt that I was giving the proper attention to the management of my business, but I didn’t really have time to figure out where I was going wrong. John’s help has been so energizing that I look forward to our discussions keep me focused and moving forward. He’s part of my business plan for the foreseeable future.
Catherine H. Barbercheck
Barbercheck & Associates
In August of 2000, I met with John W. Olmstead, to establish a consulting/coaching relationship. For several years, we maintained a monthly schedule of coaching sessions that enabled John to become part of my firm. Together we accomplished a management review of the firm and developed a series of business strategies designed to help guide the firm towards a set of identified and established goals.
After the management review, we conducted bi-monthly coaching sessions where we would conference by telephone to discuss the status of the firm and work towards implementation of action items. Each session involved identifying a list of action items for both myself and John to accomplish prior to the next conference call. Today, most of the initial recommendations have been implemented and the coaching sessions occur only on an as needed basis as a way to keep up with firm status and the success of the implemented programs.
I found having someone to provide me with deadlines and action items for office related issues helped me not only stay better organized but also helped streamline my own productivity. By the advice of my coach, John Olmstead I outsourced payroll and other financial and administrative responsibilities which has given me more time to be a leader in the firm and concentrate on practicing law.
John Olmstead’s coaching has provided many benefits to me. One of the main reasons that I decided to seek outside advice was I continually found myself doing too much around the office and was afraid that it was affecting my ability to stay focused. Through coaching, I have been able to restructure the responsibilities within the firm and remain focused on management issues that fall within my areas of newly defined responsibilities.
Through John’s coaching program, it has been like having a partner.
Olmstead & Associates has worked for us since the inception of our firm and we have worked with them for the past ten years. Their assistance has been invaluable. We continue to work with them on a ongoing basis.
Rynearson, Suess, Schnurbusch & Champion
St. Louis, Missouri
In 1993 we retained Olmstead & Associates to perform a Management, Marketing and Quality Review. We are still implementing and benefiting from ideas from their recommendations. Recommendations presented by Olmstead & Associates were practical and presented in a manner that facilitated action and implementation.
James R. Potter
Londrigan, Potter & Randle, P.C.
I originally retained John Olmstead in 1984 to help me implement technology in my law practice in Godfrey, Illinois. In 1985 he facilitated a retreat for the firm and helped us formulate and implement a strategic plan. Since then we have maintained an ongoing relationship. For four years John and his firm helped us at First National Bank of Grant Park conduct customer satisfaction surveys and implement customer service improvement programs. John helped us recruit a new CEO for the bank. I am now practicing law again and John continues to help me on an ongoing basis.
John and his firm’s help and assistance over the years have been invaluable. I strongly recommend John and his firm.
J. Thomas Long