Hellmuth & Johnson Managing Partner, Chad Johnson, recently spoke with the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal about the firm’s impressive growth over the past 25 years and future plans for continued success.
Hellmuth & Johnson is now up to 47 attorneys, which is up about 10 percent since 2013, while a lot of the large law firms are shrinking. Why is your firm growing?
We have some great local clients [Pizza Luce and Evolving Solutions Inc.] and there’s no set track on making partner. If you’re attracting clients and a leader in your area, you’re going to make partner. I’ve had associates who made full equity partner within two years. I don’t know if our client roster is necessarily unique, but some of those clients have been with us for 25 years.
Why start a foundation? Why not raise for other charitable organizations?
We decided we wanted to do something in part because of the 25th anniversary. We wanted to show the community we’re committed. The foundation will match employee donations, too. There won’t be galas or big events like that. I don’t know that we have a grand plan quite yet. We just want it to be a vehicle for all employees.
You’re committed to staying independent even though law firms are merging pretty consistently. Why should we believe you?
We built a stand-alone building that we own. The national law firms are not interested in acquiring property when they buy law firms. Years ago we had a conversation with a Philadelphia-based firm about merging. They said we couldn’t own the building. Well, we have no interest in selling the building.