Smith, Gambrell & Russell: Brett Lockwood | Corporate Practice Partner | What Sets SGR Apart?


Manage episode 180930734 series 1456831
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About Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP Learn more about Brett Lockwood Brett Lockwood is a Partner in the Corporate Practice of Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP and chairs the Firm’s Technology Law Practice Group. [TRANSCRIPT] My practice here is probably about seventy-five percent technology transactions and the rest is general corporate acquisitions or corporate finance. I started out as a finance lawyer, but when I was a much younger lawyer with a lot less gray hair, I was that guy in the office who was really just too stupid to say no to the straight, what was then was the odd technology transaction that came along. Eventually, people continued to give me those projects and I learned a fair amount about that area and I became a technology lawyer or principally technology lawyer. A number of things distinguish us as a firm and we certainly tend to think of it when we think about our culture. One is we're fairly lean as a firm and so our partners are very hands-on and our associates are very hands-on. When I came over to Smith, Gambrell years ago from another firm, the practice at the other firm was you rarely interact with clients. You did a lot of research projects. Here, my experience and the experience of many associates that I've seen over the years is you just get thrown in and hopefully you're going to swim and not sink, but that's just part of our culture. It's very lean, so it's very hands-on.I think we're also very - we try to be very client service oriented. We certainly talk about that and we aspire to that. We hope we live up to it, but we try not to forget that we're in the business of helping our clients get whatever results they're trying to achieve. If there's anything that I've heard over the years that clients are most frustrated about, when they get frustrated, it's that they can't get a hold of their lawyer or their lawyer doesn't call them back. You hear that in so many ways and it's such a little thing, but it's a really important thing to a client, just to know that they've been heard and sometimes it's easy enough to deal with it. Part of it's about managing expectations but it's about being responsive and so responsiveness is probably a big part it. Another part of it is, at least in my practice, it's very much about making sure we're providing value. So, if we work on a project and, you know, we step back at the end of it and realize, you know, we really put too much time into this and in the fairness of the client, we can't really bill them for all of this time. That's not fair to them. That's not fair to the effort. It's not really fair value, we step back and ask, you know, what is fair value? And I think those two things: responsiveness and value are touchstones that I come back to often. That's what I try to teach our younger lawyers, about, you know, how they should approach client service and think about responsiveness and value. If you want good, practical advice for the lawyers are aware of the need to provide value and be responsive to you, I think we offer a wonderful, wonderful solution. We got wonderful professionals who are very tuned into those sorts of things and we have lots of heavy clients because of that. About Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP SGR is a full-service, international law firm that advises regional, national and global businesses on a wide range of legal matters. The firm’s more than 200 attorneys provide legal counsel in more than 45 specialized practice areas, including corporate transactions, litigation, intellectual property, aviation, banking, construction, and employment law. Founded in 1893, SGR has offices in Atlanta, Austin, Jacksonville, London, Munich, New York, Southampton, and Washington, D.C.

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