Harold Simon

Simon, Smith & Wesson, LLC.

25 years as Bob’s personal attorney, 20 years as Two By Four legal counsel, mid-sized account for his firm

The leadership transition at Two By Four concerns me.

I believe it always comes down to communication. If I don’t know Bob’s plans, I can’t help and anticipate the legal issues. We can avoid problems if everyone has the information they need and feels their place after the transition is secure. I am a little worried that the new owner may bring in a new legal firm. I’d hate to lose the account after such a long relationship.

There are some important legal concerns.

We have some intellectual property to protect. If the details of the transition are not correctly communicated, we'll lose a few key people who could take trade secrets with them. These folks may feel they have been let down by the company and use their knowledge as bargaining chips for a new position elsewhere. Lawsuits over intellectual property are costly in more ways than dollars. I want to avoid a potential lawsuit if we can. Getting into legal disputes with former employees won't help Two By Four or the family.

I see opportunities and obstacles.

Bob is in a good position to phase himself out of the company. He has solid people around him and capable family members who can be groomed to take on leadership roles. Traditionally, he's been the sole decision maker. He's going to have to share that responsibility with his management team. To do that, he'll need to communicate with everyone—that means listening, expressing his concerns, and letting others make decisions.