What Makes us Lippes Mathias

Lippes Mathias
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Attorney at Law Magazine sat down with Lippes Mathias Managing Partner Kevin J. Cross (right) and Jacksonville Office Partner-in-Charge Christopher A. Walker (left) to discuss the firm and its role in the Jacksonville legal community.

AALM: Tell us about Lippes Mathias Wexler Friedman LLP?

CAW: Headquartered in Buffalo, New York, the firm has nearly 120 attorneys and seven offices strategically located throughout the East Coast, Chicago, and Canada. We truly are a full-service law firm for individuals and businesses. Our breadth of practice areas reflects our clients’ needs to tailor expert solutions, covering many areas such as real estate, corporate, finance, tax, litigation, insurance recovery, environmental, and more.

AALM: How has the Jacksonville office evolved since it opened?

KJC: The first Florida office opened in 2017 in Ponte Vedra Beach with one attorney and one paralegal. In 2019, seven attorneys joined, and an additional office opened in Jacksonville. In 2020, amid COVID-19, we combined our two offices into a new 14,000-square-foot space in Deerwood. We currently have 13 attorneys and employ nearly 30 people.

AALM: As you look to the future, how do you see your firm evolving?

KJC: When Lippes Mathias entered the Jacksonville market, the firm was immediately invested in the individuals and businesses that make up Northeast Florida. Now, with even deeper roots in the region, we plan to continue expanding the legal services we offer to better represent our current clients’ needs and other businesses in Northeast Florida.

AALM: Tell us about the Jacksonville team?

CAW: There is a saying in business, “Good leaders succeed by surrounding themselves with people who are smarter than they are.” Not only do I agree with this sentiment and strive to lead with this thought in mind, but I also believe it is equally important to surround yourself with people who share your vision. Don’t hire someone to fill a position. Hire people to be part of a team that will help build the business. Hire smart and trust your intuition. I  encourage up-and-comers and established attorneys to mentor the next generation of legal trailblazers. Insight from experienced attorneys provides the foundation for the lawyers of tomorrow.

AALM: How do your attorneys work together?

KJC: Collaboration is key. As our clients’ expectations require increased specialization in their more complex legal matters, our attorneys have the unique benefit of being able to connect with any of their 120 colleagues throughout the firm’s seven office network to assist as needed. We have equipped our offices with advanced technology to allow this collaboration to be efficient and effective. Whether it is by phone, video conference, or in-person, our attorneys are well-positioned to provide clients with specialized expertise in a collaborative setting.

AALM: How do you describe the culture of your firm?

KJC: Our culture has allowed us to become successful and experience significant growth over the past five years. Our culture of collegiality and approach to each matter with an entrepreneur spirit has guided us through this strategic growth, making us who we are.

We are proud of our ability to continue maintaining a small firm’s spirit, even during our continued strategic growth. Each member of the Lippes Mathias team, through hard work, dedication, and a little bit of humor, makes ours a collegial, high-performing, rewarding environment. I am proud of our collegiality, hard work, and sustained success. Our open and welcoming offices encourage collaboration between attorneys, practice areas, and staff to develop the best solution for our clients’ needs. From themed lunches to summer outings and happy hours, we encourage attorneys, staff, and their families to get to know one another outside of legal work demands. We believe our attorneys and staff are our most valuable asset and what makes us Lippes Mathias.

AALM: How does your firm give back to the Jacksonville community?

CAW: Community service and supporting charitable causes are critical components of being an ethical and responsible corporate partner to our clients, community and others in need of support.

Lippes Mathias considers being charitable and giving back to the community among the essential values we seek to uphold. We regularly-raise funds and donate to both local and national charities. We hope that we become more appreciative of the gifts that life has bestowed upon us by giving to the less fortunate.
The firm established a Pro Bono Advisory Committee, which pursues opportunities for attorneys to use their breadth of knowledge to provide no-cost legal assistance for community members in need. Our attorneys often tap into their skill set by serving as mentors or participating in the young lawyers’ events with the Jacksonville Bar.

AALM: As you look to the future, how do you see your firm evolving?

KJC: 2020 has undoubtedly been a whirlwind year. We will continue to seek the right opportunity to grow both talent and reach within the greater Jacksonville metro region. We maintain an eye for smart growth and continue our focus on being the firm where we can provide businesses all their legal needs. Our firm’s attorneys and future hires will align with the firm’s overall strategy and continue to complement our current legal services.

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