We at Hartman Simons got some great news
this week: partner Abbye Dalton
has won a 2013
Client Choice Award. The international awards, which are
presented by the International
Law Office and Lexology,
recognize law firms and partners for excellent client care. The awards are
based on nominations by and the input of in-house, corporate counsel.
Dalton’s award was in the “Commercial
Property – United States” category. In this week’s Four on Friday, we chat with
Dalton about her award and her philosophy on client care.
Dalton: Well, quite honestly, my first reaction when they told me I was
nominated was, “What the heck is the Client Choice Award!?!” When I learned
that nominations come from in-house counsel and when I subsequently won the
award based upon input from my clients, it felt good to know that my clients
must have said good things about me – and that they appreciate the work that I
do for them.
Tell us, if you can, the secret to your
success: What is your style or philosophy when it comes to client care and
Dalton: Above all, I try to be enjoyable to work with. Surprisingly, business
people don’t really like going through leases, so I figure if I can make the
experience less painful by at least being fun to work with, then that will make
it a better experience for the client. Of course, just being fun won’t get you
the whole way there: being detail oriented and providing creative business
solutions to produce a quality work product is what will keep the clients
Give us a brief overview of your practice
at Hartman Simons.
Dalton: My practice involves mostly development work for tenants and
developers across the country. The deals are always different and interesting,
and I have really great clients, so it makes what I do pretty fun (as law jobs
go, of course).
If you could impart just one piece of
advice about client care and relations to a newly minted lawyer, what would
that advice be?
Dalton: I think the most critical things are to be responsive, set reasonable
expectations – ones that you can meet – for the delivery of drafts of
documents, etc., and always make it clear that their work is a priority (even
when you are swamped with other clients’ work too!).