Those of us who still believe in Santa Claus, or have children who do, may recall the wonderful movie “Miracle on 34th Street” where a department store Santa gains fame by, among other things, recommending that customers shop at other stores when his own employer doesn’t have something, or a competitor has a better price. In the movie, at least, this somewhat unorthodox tactic turns out to be a brilliant marketing strategy.
Well, I am surely not Santa Claus, but I am willing to give the movie’s marketing tactic a shot – even if it doesn’t net me any more clients. So, if you are a high impact entrepreneur or investor looking for counsel in the upper Midwest, and for whatever reason you don’t want to use the fine folks at my firm on Pinckney Street, fear not: I will recommend someone else for you. And not just anyone, but someone who I believe knows the space and will be a good fit for you.
Why, you ask, would I do this? Because I am getting tired of finding myself on the other side of deals where the entrepreneur or investor has engaged some well meaning lawyer who has little or no real experience representing high impact entrepreneurs and their investors.
You might think that having an inexperienced lawyer on the other side of the deal is a good thing for me. Trust me, it’s not. When a deal includes a lawyer who, however skilled and experienced in other areas of law lacks regular experience working with high impact entrepreneurs and their investors costs almost always go up; way up. Often by at least a factor of 2x and sometimes 4x or 5x or even more. Inexperienced counsel also reduces the chances that a deal that should get done actually gets done. And finally, if/when the deal does get done, it usually includes a slew of variously strange terms that don’t belong in the deal that at best muddy the waters in future financings and at worst can substantially impair the company’s chances of future funding and success. You would not go to a brain surgeon to scope your knee: don’t go to a small business lawyer, or a big business lawyer, no matter how good he or she is, to represent your high impact business or investment.
So please, whoever you are, while I think my team is the best counsel for high impact entrepreneurs and their investors in our market, it’s ok if you don’t engage our team as your counsel. But please, please, make sure you engage someone who has substantial experience in representing high impact entrepreneurs and their venture capital and angel investors. If you don’t know any such folks, ask me and – after pointing out why I think our team would be your best choice – I’ll try and point you at someone else who will at least be a good choice for you. No charge.