BizTimes Bubbler Executive of the Week: Thomas S. Reynolds II

Thomas S. Reynolds II, managing partner of Hansen Reynolds Dickinson Crueger LLC
Address: 316 N. Milwaukee St., Suite 200, Milwaukee
Website: www.hrdclaw.com
Industry: Law
Employees: 19
Family: Daughter, Grace, 12 years old

What was the smartest thing your company did in the past year?
“We expanded. While there was a certain amount of apprehension, we decided there was nothing to indicate that our early success would not continue. So we banked on that and significantly increased our numbers to address the additional work we anticipated we would get. The calculation paid off for the firm and its employees as everyone has had plenty of rewarding work to fill their plates. We are proud of that because we have provided many high-paying new jobs to lawyers and staff over the past year.”

Do you plan to hire any additional staff or make any significant capital investments in your company in the next year?
“Yes, we plan to invest in our new Chicago office and add staff in Milwaukee and Chicago. We also plan on opening a Madison office in approximately the next year. We have become more and more confident over the years that the unique approach to legal services we offer will remain in high demand, allowing us continued success and growth.”

What will be your company’s main challenges in the next year?
“Continuing to bring in top-notch legal work in the face of a still-struggling legal economy. I always say that the biggest challenge of a litigation-only law firm is that you constantly have to generate new clients/new work. Even if you do a fantastic job for your litigation client, they often don’t want to see you again because companies generally don’t relish being involved in litigation. Other practice areas don’t have that same challenge. In addition, the legal economy, like the broader economy, is still suffering some difficulties. So to maintain growth and success in the face of such an economy is particularly challenging.”

What prompted you and your co-founders to launch a boutique law firm after working for larger legal firms?
“We all believed high-end litigation services could be delivered from a different platform with a different fee structure. While a lot of the work we do is done on the traditional billable hour, we still share risk with our clients in a significant number of our matters. In addition to alternative fee structures, HRDC differentiates itself from the larger law firms in the service we provide and the way we are internally organized.”

When did you open your office in Chicago? Why expand to that market?
“We opened our Chicago office in February of this year. Nearly 15 percent of the firm’s work is for Chicagoland clients, with expectations that it will grow to 25 to 35 percent in the next few years.”

Do you have a business mantra?
“Complex litigation, simple solution: HRDC.”

What was the best advice you ever received?
“Your legal career is a marathon, not a sprint.”

What’s the funniest thing that ever happened to you in your career?
“I conducted a weight-loss challenge between two friends/colleagues who weighed exactly the same amount and decided on exactly the same day to lose the same amount of weight but using two different strategies. They both met their goals, and the office enjoyed a highly entertaining and heavily participated-in pari-mutuel office pool.”

What do you like to do in your free time?
“I like lots of things. Among other things, I like to travel with my daughter. I like dining out with friends. I like golf, sailing, skiing, and other outdoor activities. I like studying architecture. I like listening to sports radio.”

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