Larry Harris, a business attorney at The Van Winkle Law Firm in Asheville, has worked with small and medium-sized businesses for more than 33 years. Most of his clients stay with him for years and years, notes Harris. "You develop a relationship with a client and you get to help them grow their business."
The Van Winkle Way
This is part of "The Van Winkle Way," says his colleague Lindsay Thompson, a commercial real estate and business attorney. “It means from the minute you walk in the door, we provide prompt, good customer service," she explains. "It also means we offer the technical proficiency that you're looking for."
Supporting "American Dream" stories
Both Harris and Thompson place a high priority on getting to know their clients, along with their families and businesses. Thompson notes that a lot of the Van Winkle business clients are true American Dream stories. For Thompson and Harris, that can be incredibly rewarding and encouraging to watch and support.
One such client is Joe Brumit, owner of Brumit Restaurant Group and Arby's franchisee for Western North Carolina and Upstate South Carolina. Brumit became a client in 1988 when he first bought his business. Larry Harris became his business attorney at that point in time and since then, Harris has assisted Brumit Restaurant Group with corporate reorganization work, the acquisition of other companies, and adding new restaurants.
Comprehensive business services under one roof
Van Winkle is a large enough firm to be able to take care of most any legal need that a client has. Brumit is just one example of this. When he has a legal need in any area of law or if he has a friend looking for an attorney, he reaches out to Harris for a referral.
"He always has an answer," says Brumit. "And it's almost always someone at Van Winkle. They can cover just about any need you may have."
What to look for in a business attorney
If you are a business owner looking for an attorney, Thompson recommends finding someone who will take the time to get to know you and your business so he or she can determine precisely what you need, whether it is estate planning, certain types of insurance, or other needs related to your industry.
Brumit recommends finding a reputable law firm that offer a wide variety of business services.
"My advice to people when they ask about attorneys is go to a reputable firm like Van Winkle that has people who can handle all the needs you may have," says Brumit. "And they do. Across the board, they have the people who can handle just about anything."
He adds, "For all of my businesses, I don't use anybody but Larry and Lindsay and anyone else at Van Winkle. It's the only firm that I use. It's been that way for 28 years now. And it's going to stay that way as far as I'm concerned."