Family Firm Legal Advisers

The Problem

Often, legal advisors for family firms deliver a wealth of good recommendations, yet find themselves stymied by clients who are unable to accept their advice. The legal advisor feels frustrated and annoyed at the client’s reluctance. Or the client sometimes goes around in circles, thinking about implementing the recommendations but not being able to do so. Often, both advisor and client wind up stuck.


The Solution

I understand that common to all the situations people bring to lawyers is the fact that, at their core, these situations are always about people.  However, lawyers, like most providers including doctors, teachers, and clerics, are not formally trained in understanding their clients’ or patients’ or students’or congregants’ humanity.  They have their own intuition – which at times might be quite accurate – to rely upon.  They have not been trained in careful listening and, as a consequence, family firm legal advisers sometimes miss their clients’ hidden but important covert communications.  Absent this important information, their legal instruments sometimes overlook the buried human side of some family firm problems.  This inadvertent oversight can complicate, even nullify, the legal solution’s intent. In my work I attempt to delineate the human side of stalled legal work.

I offer a one-time, pro bono consultation to legal advisors for family firms to help advisors see the deeper picture of a particular impasse, as well as to see how I think and approach problems. I work with legal advisors longer term to help them move overcome the human-side obstacles and move their situation forward over time.