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Business Observer Friday, May 8, 2015 3 years ago

Naples: More than death and taxes

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In Naples, home to hordes of wealthy retirees, estate-planning attorneys are on nearly every corner. So it's news when an attorney sets up his own office in an area of law other than taxes and probate.

In Naples, home to hordes of wealthy retirees, estate-planning attorneys are on nearly every corner. So it's news when an attorney sets up his own office in an area of law other than taxes and probate.

Consider Mike Dal Lago, who created Dal Lago Law in Naples in February. The firm handles corporate law, bankruptcy, creditors' rights and commercial litigation, among other legal specialties.

Dal Lago was most recently a partner with Hahn Loeser & Parks, an Ohio-based firm with a significant presence in Naples. Prior to that, Dal Lago was a corporate attorney in Manhattan and worked for clients in high-profile financial cases, including Lehman Brothers, Enron and Bernie Madoff.

Dal Lago joined Hahn Loeser and moved to Naples in 2012 for lifestyle reasons. “I was done with the Manhattan grind of practicing law. I did it for 12 years,” Dal Lago says. “You eat lunch, breakfast and dinner at your desk.”

While Dal Lago acknowledges Naples isn't a big corporate center, he says technology allows him to represent clients statewide, from Orlando to Miami, in addition to Tampa, Naples and Fort Lauderdale. He also has clients in New York and New Jersey, where he's admitted to practice.

Dal Lago says running his own practice lets him be more flexible with clients, some of whom are in financial difficulties. “You can't do that if your business is to bill 24/7,” Dal Lago says.
“I don't have to be on the clock every time we talk.”

And with two young children, life is more balanced in Naples. That, and now Dal Lago has an outlet for his entrepreneurial ambition. “It's exactly what I've wanted,” he says.

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