London Lawyers Share Their Views on Both Practice and Profession
Photo: Tim Hogan, Managing Partner, Harrison Pensa
BUSINESS AND THE LAW go together like a hammer and the nail. In the hands of a skilled legal practitioner, these two symbiotic forces can be guided together to build the foundation required for any successful business.
In this regular feature, I intend to explore the complexities and developing areas of the law that affect how business is conducted by picking the brains of local leaders in the legal profession.
To begin, I sat down with Tim Hogan, managing partner at Harrison Pensa, a full-service firm that boasts over 60 lawyers providing a variety of legal services to individuals and businesses. Tim was called to the Bar in 1995 after completing his undergraduate degree in business administration and a law degree from Western. Married, with two adult children, he has made London his home for over 25 years and started and maintained his legal career with HP since day one.
Rod Refcio: What attracted you to the practice of law?
Tim Hogan: I was attracted to the practice of law by the tradition of the courts, the bench and the bar. Like many lawyers, my interest started with To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.
RR: What advice would you give someone considering a career in law?
TH: Work hard and be ready for a challenge. It’s a challenge to write the LSAT, it’s a challenge to get into law school, it’s a challenge to get an articling job and it is a challenge to excel at articles and to excel at practice.
RR: What is the best piece of business advice that you have been given, and what business advice would you give?
TH: The best advice I’ve received is to ‘stick to your knitting’. For law firms, your resources should go into the practice areas and groups where you are the strongest. The business advice I would give is to treat your people fairly and honestly. If your fellow partners and staff trust and respect you, your role as a manager is made easier.
RR: What do you enjoy most about being a managing partner, and how would you describe your leadership style?
TH: I enjoy dealing with the high-level business issues that arise, receiving input from my partners and making decisions to move the firm ahead. My style is short, succinct, efficient, no-nonsense, no surprises and no long meetings.
RR: You have practiced law for over 20 years now. What has changed most in that time?
TH: The biggest and most obvious change is technology. Technology affects the way we practice and the speed of practice. Technology affects the way we communicate with other lawyers and with the courts. The other change that I do see is that lawyers are focusing more on lifestyle outside of the practice of law.
RR: A large portion of your practice involves litigation. What qualities make for an exceptional litigator?
TH: The best litigators that I come across are extremely bright, quick minded, very organized and good on their feet. And most importantly, very hard workers.
RR: In your other area of specialty, bankruptcy and insolvency, what has changed most in the past 10 years and what changes do you expect to see?
TH: Again, technology has been the biggest change in bankruptcy and insolvency. Further, there has been a greater focus by courts on the costs of insolvency professionals and lawyers in larger insolvency files. Also, the treatment of workers’ claims in larger insolvency cases is constantly changing with the priority of workers’ claims under review in every new case dealing with the issue.
Rod Refcio is founder and senior lawyer at Refcio & Associates. Submit your inquiries and legal questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. None of the opinions, views or information contained in this column should be construed as legal advice and readers should consult a licensed lawyer for specific assistance.