Dan Baldwin 2013-11-14 10:50:32
Our edge comes from a combination of factors. One is our people power – the fact that we have a number of skilled practitioners who have for their entire legal careers dedicated themselves to creditor’s rights. Two, the credit industry faces more regulation today than ever before. People can rely on Lloyd & McDaniel for the legal expertise to do the work and also for consistently providing a compliant, secure and professional service from an audit perspective,” says James M. “Buck” Lloyd, partner in Lloyd & McDaniel, PLC. As “the creditor’s law firm,” Lloyd and McDaniel’s mission is to be the pre-eminent law firm for creditors by providing the highest quality and most cost-efficient legal representation available. Practice areas include commercial and retail collections, bankruptcy, commercial law, commercial lending, general corporate and business law, and foreclosure. It is a boutique practice that clients and other law firms rely upon to service their clients’ collection problems. The firm’s three main divisions are dedicated to commercial collections, retail collections and business litigation and workouts for clients throughout the courts of Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio. Lloyd says, “Our clients consistently rank us at the top and we are consistently recognized as an industry leader among peer firms in the creditors’ rights area of practice. Three of the firm’s attorneys have been certified by the American Board of Certification. I’ve been certified as a specialist in creditor’s rights, and Mike Brodarick, and Andrew Stosberg are certified as specialists in business bankruptcy.” The firm carries an AV rating by Martindale-Hubble, as do attorneys Lloyd and Brodarick. Lloyd & McDaniel is the successor firm to the law office opened by Lloyd’s father in 1952. Lloyd joined the firm in 1982. When Brodarick joined the firm in 1990, the firm took advantage of his existing practice and experience with commercial litigation, workouts of commercial loans, and creditor representation in commercial bankruptcy cases to expand into a more comprehensive creditors’ rights practice. Together, they expanded the firm’s commercial collection practice to include retail collections, especially credit card and retail installment contracts for banks, credit unions and other lending institutions. With the credit card boom and the growth of consumer credit, the retail collection division of the firm began growing at a rapid pace. Greg Taylor joined the firm in 2003. His experience in business litigation enabled the firm to further expand the commercial/business litigation area of the firm. Rich Alphin came to the firm in 2003 with a significant amount of court room experience as a litigator which also contributed to the expansion of the retail and commercial collection divisions. Lloyd & McDaniel has grown from a three attorney firm to a firm of fifteen attorneys and a total staff of 90 persons. The principal emphasis of the collection service provided by the firm is to businesses, banking and other lenders. “We represent commercial credit grantors as well as those which grant credit to consumers. On the commercial side we are representing businesses who are placing goods and merchandise into interstate commerce through sale and leasing transactions from all over the country, and in fact from all over the world. The firm provides a seamless and efficient receivable collection process to its clients over a variety of platforms. Most of the work is forwarded to Lloyd & McDaniel through a network of law firms, collection agencies and other collection industry trade groups. The firm’s dedication to cutting edge technologies assures clients an aggressive, expeditious and efficient handling of large volumes of collection matters. Businesses in need of receivable management and assistance in the collection process utilize our firm to improve the process of getting the money in the door,” Lloyd says. The firm receives a significant amount of referrals from other lawyers and law firms that know they can rely upon Lloyd & McDaniel to service their clients’ collection needs, without concern that the client relationship will be lost to another competing firm. The firm also represents banks, credit unions and other lenders who issue retail (consumer) loans to individuals, including through credit cards, within the firm’s retail collection practice. Lloyd & McDaniel also represents a number of businesses in the litigation side and in bankruptcy representation. If a client has a customer who files for bankruptcy and that company needs representation in a formal insolvency proceeding, such as a Chapter 11 proceeding in federal bankruptcy court, the firm’s attorneys will represent businesses in those proceedings. Kick the Tires The reason corporations and organizations and their counsel look to Lloyd & McDaniel for collection representation is basic. Lloyd says, “It always involves money. We’re known for our expertise in helping our client recover an outstanding receivable problem. The overriding cause is the continued expansion of debt in our society.” Lloyd & McDaniel is conscious of its clients’ need for total security. “When they entrust us with their business and with their data it’s within a completely secure and safe environment. People have to visit our office to get a bird’s eye view of that. Our office is unlike most law offices you’ve ever seen in that respect,” Lloyd explains. Based upon the audit and compliance standards, the office requires card-key access with camera surveillance. The physical security of the office is beyond what anyone would expect in a law firm. “Our national bank clients mandate a secure environment on many levels. This means among other items a clean desk policy, meaning no sensitive information, such as non-public private financial information or other confidential data is left out in the open. Documents are scanned into a secure network. File access is limited to the attorneys and staff who perform work for the specific client. Employees must check cell phones and personal articles and effects within lockers to assure documents and other data do not leave the building. “When I say audit and compliance, it basically relates to the secure nature of the work processes we follow as promulgated by our clients to make sure that their files and their data is completely secure,” Lloyd says. Hiring a legal firm in this business arena is an important decision and should be done only aft er considerable research, Lloyd says. “The things you want to look for are the firms who have dedicated themselves to the creditors’ rights practice over many years. The character, caliber, and expertise of the people who make up the firm are critical. Make sure you are dealing with people who are well-versed and experienced in the law in the area of creditors’ rights. While the practice would not seem to the average practitioner to be complex, there are a variety of pitfalls for those who do not regularly practice within this area of law. Make sure that the key personnel and the management team have the necessary experience and expertise – that they’re capable of not only providing the service that you’re looking for, but that they’re able to provide you a compliant and secure work place in terms of the data they’re handling on your behalf.” The biggest concern clients have today is that the information they are delivering to their law firms is not being mishandled or misused. Lloyd says, “There’s probably nothing better than a physical visit, in the nature of an audit, and we undergo these all of the time since this has become standard in the credit and financial industry. Our clients will send in teams of lawyers and auditors to go through the office on a soup-to-nuts review looking at every facet of the operation. These visits are the best way to see that we’re doing everything according to plan and within the client’s work standards. It gives the client a chance to ‘kick the tires.’” The changes on the horizon are going to continually be additional regulation from government agencies including the Federal Trade Commission, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Lloyd says. The FTC and the CFPB are the watchdogs of the industry. “I think we’re going to see additional scrutiny and regulation of collection law firms over the next decade, just like the banks are seeing today. I think that we will see a continued expansion of consumer debt, which has gone from virtually nothing just aft er World War II to a multi-trillion dollar industry today. Commercial debt will continue to ebb and fl ow with the economy as has always been the case. I think that our firm’s practice will continue to grow.” A Larger Footprint Due to increased regulation of banking and additional audit requirements developing within the industry, there is a growing need for law firms to cover greater geographic areas. The banks are sending in teams of auditors to audit firms on a regular basis and it only makes sense that it’s going to be easier and more economical for them to have fewer outside law firms representing them throughout the country. It is in the clients’ interest to have firms such as Lloyd & McDaniel cover greater geographic footprint just for ease, convenience and for the real driving force which is audit and compliance. Expansion of the company is always being considered and means expanding that geographic footprint into additional states. This expansion obviously requires additional lawyers and additional employees. Currently the firm operates from one home office in Louisville, KY. “As we continue to expand into other states throughout the southeast, which is the direction we are heading, we will likely have to open additional offices in at least one other state,” Lloyd says. “On the horizon we’re going to be expanding into more states because that’s the nature of the beast. Essentially, the industry is going to require law firms, such as ours, who are representing large retail banks and credit card issuers to expand into a bigger legal footprint. ”
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