Beckemeier LeMoine member Joshua Richardson has nearly 20 years of experience representing businesses and employers. Much of Josh’s practice has been in the area of employee benefits, including retirement plan design, administration, consulting and corrections, as well as employee welfare plan operation, maintenance, COBRA compliance, Affordable Care Act compliance, governmental relations and dispute resolution.
Josh, who also has significant experience in business formation and counseling, including transactions, union relations, multi-employer plan disputes and withdrawal liability, executive compensation, and ESOP administration and transactions, joined Beckemeier LeMoine Law upon its launch in January 2021.
We recently talked with Josh to learn a little more about his background and why he’s excited to be a part of the Beckemeier LeMoine team.
After spending nearly 20 years with a number of notable law firms, what are your thoughts about Beckemeier LeMoine Law so far?
Joshua: At this point, everything has far exceeded my expectations. While things have run very smoothly from the start, as with the start of any business there have been minor transitional bumps in the road. What has impressed me most is how collaboratively the attorneys and staff have worked to make sure that our clients are taken care of.
Everything seemed to have been planned well. It’s been obvious to me that Jim (Beckemeier) and Bryan (LeMoine) focused on making sure everyone involved was on the same page well in advance of the launch of the firm.
How has that preparation stood out to you so far as you’ve gotten to know the team?
Joshua: In a couple of ways: First, we seem to have complementary skillsets. Each of us has areas of strength and deep experience, so we have at least one lawyer who is strong in each of the areas in which we practice. The ability to ask a partner or associate with more experience in another practice area is already proving to be of great benefit (and cost savings) to my clients.
Second, we all have complementary personalities in terms of how we work together and communicate with one another. In my experience with other firms, the value of good, clear, effective communication can’t be overstated.
What are clients saying about the firm?
Joshua: Everything I’ve heard from clients has been overwhelmingly positive. On top of that, I’ve had a surprising number of clients reach out and ask how things are going, wanting to know about the new firm, our resources and how we can help them.
I’m definitely reaching out to clients, but many of them have reached out first. I think that level of client enthusiasm speaks volumes for how well-regarded the firm is already.
They’re also saying they are very pleased with the level of client service and by how approachable and down to earth everyone is at Beckemeier LeMoine.
That certainly has to support the firm’s business development efforts, right?
Joshua: Definitely. In the small firm world, you live and die by your reputation. If you do quality legal work and provide excellent service, clients will refer people to you. It’s all about word-of-mouth.
Is there a key, specific trait everyone in the firm shares when it comes to client service?
Joshua: It all begins with communication with clients and with each other. The collaborative nature of our work centers around clear and regular communication; with that communication we become partners with our clients in achieving their objectives.
With everyone’s focus on communication, I feel completely confident when any of our people are working with one of my clients.
Apart from the lack of firm politics, what other benefits have you found in being part of a smaller firm?
Joshua: One thing that has surprised me is how much I’m involved in the management of the firm. It’s great to have input and to feel like my views are valued and that I’ll play a role in the direction of the firm.
Along with that comes new responsibilities I didn’t have at the other, larger firms where I worked. Now I have an appreciation for the pressures my clients who own or manage businesses face every day. Having some management responsibilities here has given me a perspective that I believe makes me a better lawyer for those clients.
Also, in a firm of our size, it’s more possible to get to know clients better than would be the case in a big firm. And that matters because no two clients are alike. It’s important to know each client’s priorities and goals, which is something very difficult to do in a law firm where the client’s matters are handled by numerous attorneys. In the smaller firm, the relationship with the client isn’t so spread out, so it’s easier to see the whole picture.
What are your thoughts about the future of the firm?
Joshua: We’ve started in the right place; focusing on clients, their needs, their preferences and their priorities. Culturally, we all take the client point of view on how we do everything. I know it’s still early, but I’m certain that element has been embraced by everyone here.
Taking a client perspective on your work is a firm value, but it’s also a commitment – one that becomes a habit. As long as we operate that way, we’re going to have satisfied clients who stay with us and refer business to us. I see us carefully protecting our firm culture and growing steadily for years to come.