I’ve been a bit distracted lately from writing any blog posts and I apologize but this will likely stay that way for a couple of more weeks. The reason for it is because I am packing up the solo practice and moving to a firm in Markham with approximately 20 lawyers.
My new firm is Wilson Vukelich. After much deliberating on my part I finally decided to agree to join the firm. Don’t get me wrong, there is absolutely nothing wrong with the firm. As several of my friends put it, the decision to join them was a “no brainer”. Take a bunch of former Bay Street lawyers who realized at different times that there was more to life than working at the firm and missing out on family. Have them also realize that they could charge their clients decent rates, reduce their overheads and be able to live decent lives and still be lawyers for larger files. In that respect, I fit in very well with the firm. Take also the fact that the firm has built up its corporate-commercial side and has a lot of room for growth on the litigation side that I could build up and, again, it’s a perfect match. The problem – I was having too much fun on my own. If I ever needed something to get done, I thought about it for a nanosecond and decided what to do and how to do it. Whenever you start to add other decision makers, though, the same decision might get made (although not always) but it certainly cannot get made as quickly. As the saying goes, there are a million problems with dictatorships, but the trains usually run on time. In my case, I was the dictator and could decide what I wanted when I wanted. The big question was whether it was worth it for me to let go of my little power trip.
In the end it was. A very real example of this was when I recently had to go to Europe for personal matters. Who was going to cover for me if one of my files “blew up” and somebody had to be in court to represent my client? On a similar note, while I was away, if I wasn’t handling things remotely (and I could not do that all the time given the time-zone difference), then who was making money for the business while I was away? Again, where was the firm going? I had a three year plan, but nothing beyond that. Did I see myself taking on associates or partners? Not likely in the combination of my current situation and the economy. That being the case, then where was I going to be in five years? I didn’t have an answer.
None of these “problems” were serious. So I didn’t have a working five year plan. I could easily sit down and devise one. So I didn’t have anyone to easily cover for me, I had people who could do it for me – and who did cover while I was away. So what if I didn’t make any money while I was away for 11 days – it’s not as if I was away for 4 months.
When everything was said and done, I was completely torn on the issue since for every reason to pack up the practice there was an equally compelling reason to keep going on. In the end, after almost 6 months of serious contemplation, the offer was just too good to refuse. In this situation, 2 + 2 should very easily equal 5. Together the combination of myself and Wilson Vukelich is far greater than anything I could achieve on my own and despite the personal hesitations, I came to the realization that, as my friends had put it, it was a “no brainer”.
So, effective October 1 I will be the newest member of the Wilson Vukelich team. Between now and then, I will be busy with my regular work combined with closing things up in my office and getting ready to start afresh in Markham.
By the way, if anyone is looking to sub-let an office for the next 3 years, please give me a call.