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Business Observer Thursday, Dec. 9, 2021 8 months ago

Bradenton law firm stays small, but mighty

After 20 years, a Bradenton law firm has been able to keep its goal of staying small, maintaining a good chemistry in the office and being selective in clients all while continuing to grow.

Staying small isn’t typically something you hear often in the business world. Generally speaking, it’s all about growing or expanding. 

But for the Harllee & Bald law firm located in downtown Bradenton, the goal is quite the opposite. 

Courtesy. Adam Mohammadbhoy says that becoming a small law firm allowed them to be selective in which clients they take on.

“In the beginning, we came from a full-service law firm,” says attorney Adam Mohammadbhoy. “Our goal, initially, was to start a small, boutique trial law firm. The challenge was whether the legal community would accept that as our mission.” 

Not everyone took them seriously.

“A lot of law firms in this circuit joked that they were waiting for us to hire a real estate lawyer and an estate planning lawyer,” attorney Kim Bald says of the beginning. “I’m not sure they really thought that we would stay just a small trial firm.” 

While staying small can cause a strain during busy seasons, there are several benefits the firm has discovered over the last 20 years. 

For one, there's good chemistry among the five attorneys and six staff members. “We have similar personalities,” Bald says.  
And they can be more selective when it comes down to the type of cases and clients that they want to serve. “You don’t have that luxury when you have a full-service law firm,” Mohammadbhoy says. 

Keeping it a small firm for all of these years has also been the secret sauce to growing. Financially that is. “When we do our year-end and compare it to the year before, it’s always higher every year,” he says. 

The firm’s smallness has narrowed down the competition as well. “We’ve gotten a lot of referrals from other lawyers who, 20 years ago, wouldn’t have sent us work because we were a full-service firm,” Bald says. “It’s been a nice way to work with other firms.” 

Courtesy. Zoom is around to stay, according to Brian Trimyer.

The attorneys also credit their many years of experience to their success, but there’s one factor that not even 20 years could prepare them for: COVID-19. The attorneys had to adjust like everyone else, especially when it came to in-person trials. While they still prefer in-person trials, the attorneys at Harllee and Bald aren’t getting rid of Zoom just yet. 

“The courts have embraced the remote technology,” says Brian Trimyer an attorney at the firm. “Hearings that we would otherwise hop in the car for and drive down to Sarasota for a 15-minute hearing, are a thing of the past.” 

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