For Jon Gormin, working with an attorney is less about drawing up and signing documents and more about advising him and his firm from a business perspective. A partner at Owner Resource Group (ORG), a private equity fund based in Austin, Jon has relied on Graves Dougherty for the last several years for just that kind of approach to providing legal counsel.
“Clarke Heidrick was the first lawyer we worked with at Graves Dougherty, and he was just great at giving us sound business advice,” says Jon. “And we also have that kind of thinking from Thomas Queen.”
When ORG finds a company in which to invest, Jon and partner Lee Walker are likely to turn to their attorneys at Graves Dougherty early in the process to help determine, among other things, the most advantageous way to structure the deal.
“Some firms just want you to document it and get it done, but ORG is more interested in collaborating to accomplish their overall goals,” explains Thomas, who is in the firm’s Mergers & Acquisitions practice. “They’re a dream client – smart, sophisticated and with a clear sense of the value we can bring to their firm and the individual portfolio companies in which they invest.”
In the last few years, the firm worked with ORG on several acquisitions. Graves Dougherty’s work is a true team effort in the deals, involving a lead lawyer to oversee the transaction, as well as lawyers specializing in employment law, transactional tax and other areas.
“There are many issues that come up in these deals that aren’t just contractual,” says Lee. “We’ve used Graves Dougherty for their bankruptcy law expertise, knowledge of environmental law and many other things – and they have always risen to the occasion.”
Jon adds, “We feel very fortunate to enjoy a strong working relationship with Thomas that’s based on trust and mutual respect.”