Law Office of Baker, Burton & Lundy, PC
Above: L to R: Albro Lundy, Evan Koch, Brad Baker, Brian Selogie, Kent Burton, Clint Wilson, Alese Lesser Rajaniemi Not pictured: Mary Korkodian, Stephen Semos
Baker, Burton & Lundy is a full-service law firm whose award-winning lawyers assist clients with a wide range of practice areas from personal injury and probate litigation to employment, estate planning, business and real estate law. Brad N. Baker and Kent Burton founded the law firm in 1976 and invited Albro Lundy III to become a partner in 1997. More recently, Evan Koch and Clint Wilson have become partners, and today the attorney team also includes Brian Selogie, Mary Korkodian, Stephen Semos and Alese Lesser. BB&L’s nine attorneys are joined by their experienced paralegal team, with several individuals being part of the BB&L team for more than 10, 15 and 25 years.
What is the key to building, maintaining and growing client relationships?
There is one overriding trait that we believe applies across the board to a grieving widow as well as to a sophisticated businessperson, and that is to treat the client like we would like to be treated. We also have a measuring stick that seems to be appreciated by our clients. If we are likely going to come out better than our client, we do not wish to play. Our goal is to have the client come out better in the situation than we do.
What’s the #1 way you earn the trust and confidence of clients?
Communicate in a concise and clear manner. To do so, we must understand the subject matter in order to explain it simply. In addition, doing what we say we are going to do in a timely fashion is tremendously appreciated.
What are some important life decisions that you assist clients with?
Life and legal decisions come in all sizes and shapes. A fresh set of eyes can help bring new perspectives to assist our clients with difficult decisions in both their personal and business lives. For decades we have assisted clients with life decisions that extend past the legal issues by creating long-term relationships built on trust.
What do you wish all clients would do on a regular basis?
You may think that we would say something along the lines of “payment of our bills,” but in actuality asking us to repeat a point that was not clear to the client is extremely helpful to us. We would hope that the environment at BB&L is conducive to the client feeling comfortable enough to ask us to repeat something.
How has your role spread beyond traditional professional services?
Keeping clients sane during the often-protracted projects and litigation is critical. Coaching the client to compartmentalize events and not have litigation become central to their lives can be challenging, but it is critical. The client needs to be strong with reserves sufficient to hang tough when the real negotiations commence.
How important is a sense of humor during tough situations?
When a person has lost his or her sense of humor, the journey is going to be much grimmer than it needs to be. A favorite thing to mention to a client who is up to his or her eyeballs in alligators is: “Ten years from now, this is going to be a great story!”
In what ways is the business model of your firm unique?
Having a law partnership for 46 years right out of law school is in itself very unique, but having the three named partners—who actually like each other—bring different but complementary skill sets to the table is equally rare. This allows us to handle a wide range of practice areas and do each of them with proficiency.
What should someone look for in a trusted advisor?
We recommend that a referral from a trusted friend is often a good starting point. Then see if the attorney gives you a sense of calm through his or her ability to listen and address your concerns. Sincerity and clear answers are excellent measuring sticks of an attorney’s competence and knowledge.
Why do your clients consider you their trusted advisor?
We have been residents of Hermosa Beach since 1981 and active in our local schools and South Bay community. With more than 170 years of collective experience, our legal team has won significant verdicts and results for our clients. Our aim is always to resolve problems as successfully, efficiently and cost-effectively as possible.
Why do you like working in the South Bay?
The people, pure and simple. The combination of common sense, strong work ethic and civility is very heartwarming.