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October 07 Businessexcellence 87 corporations such as Chrysler LLC, Target Stores, The Honda Companies, The Stanley Works, The Sherwin Williams Company, and the Anheuser -Busch Companies. Being true to its roots and remaining consistent in its vision has helped Marshall Dennehey attract and retain top talent, both in terms of lawyers and support staff, even as it has grown rapidly. “We’ve always had a history of being able to retain our people. We don’t have a lot of turnover and that tends to make us more profi table and allows for greater continuity and more consistent representation of our clients,” Brophy adds. “Nothing costs more than constant turnover.” In fact, dozens of attorneys have been with the fi rm for two decades, several have spent nearly their entire careers with the fi rm and Brophy himself has been with the fi rm since arriving as a paralegal in the late 1970s. Continuity is maintained through a three-person executive committee and a nine-member board of directors that includes representatives of regional offi ces. Lawyers and others come to the fi rm and stay because of the strong culture that dates back to the founding partners, all of whom were the fi rst in their families to attend college and all of whom believed in the value of hard work. “The culture here has always been one of respect,” he says. “No one’s really treated any differently. That prompts people to want to stay here.” The fi rm also encourages attorneys to share clients and help each other cultivate new ones. It also invests heavily in training, providing several hours of legal education to its professionals each month and with a trial academy that is offered twice a year for senior associates and junior partners and is taught by senior partners at the fi rm. “Seeing senior attorneys at the fi rm donate their time to teach impresses our younger lawyers that we as a fi rm are invested in their long-term development,” says Brophy. Another unique program offered by the fi rm is its audit program. Each attorney at the fi rm is audited at least once a year. The audits are performed by former insurance executives or senior lawyers. The audits help ensure clients are getting the service they need and help the fi rm spot trends as they emerge. Attorneys do not object to the practice because they know it’s administered fairly across the board. “Lawyers who come to work for us from other fi rms know about the practice and they know it’s not something that’s done selectively,” says Brophy. As a result, as Marshall Dennehey moves into new markets the fi rm is able to attract top trial attorneys to join it. Singularly impressive is the fact that several years ago when the fi rm went through a transition in ownership and leadership as the founding partners approached retirement, the fi rm didn’t lose a single attorney (something many professional service fi rms fi nd a challenge). Just as it was in the forefront of the geographical expansion and consolidation among law fi rms, Marshall Dennehey continues to be in the vanguard in other areas, too. For instance, it offers a number of alternative fee arrangements to clients. While the majority of its billings still tend to be hourly, the fi rm has had regional contract arrangements with certain clients. For other clients it has used a blend of fl at fees and hourly billings, and for some it has specifi c fl at fees for certain types of cases. “We are open to alternatives that serve the needs of both the fi rm and our clients, based on what the business goals of the client are,” Brophy says. “We want to give our clients choices.” The firm also offers litigation-avoidance training to some of its clients, with some of them showing a measurable drop in litigation. Though that could mean less trial work for the firm in the short term, satisfied clients are willing to recommend the firm to other clients and on other occasions are willing to expand the scope of the work they entrust to the firm. Going forward, growth will likely come as the firm continues to find new geographical regions to expand into and as existing clients turn to Marshall Dennehey to handle more of their litigation work. “We take a long view of what we’re doing,” says Brophy. “We’ve been here a long time and we want to be here for a long time to come.” MarshallDennehey Select* Associates, Inc. provides data warehousing and business intelligence reporting solutions. We are experienced in data mining, consolidation and online analytical processing (OLAP). Star*dataWarehouse provides Marshall Dennehey with consolidated fi nancial reporting that combines data from multiple, disparate data sources. The capability for star*dataWarehouse to combine data provides great value when fi rms merge, since they may continue to operate on their own individual systems while star*dataWarehouse provides the fi rm-wide consolidated reporting. Select* Associates