In October 2019, when Michael Lundy graced the cover of Tampa Bay Business and Wealth, he shared big plans for OLDER LUNDY, including expanding into Pinellas County.
As founder and managing partner of the Tampa-based law firm, he had his sights set on growth and 2020 was going to be a big year.
Looking back at those cover stories, from the months leading into the pandemic in 2020, which halted or derailed a lot of plans for many business owners, it’s always interesting to see where these businesses were before, what their goals were, at that time, and then to see what changed for them. For the OLDER LUNDY team, it seems they didn’t miss a beat.
Now, in 2023, there are a couple of new names on its doors, more attorneys managing cases and new areas of practice including real estate and land use, trusts and estates and corporate and tax practice areas.
TBBW spoke with Lundy on the growth of his firm since his cover story ran.
What big milestones has the firm experienced since your cover story ran, in October 2019?
That’s a long answer because this has been a huge time for us. We’ve hired more than 40 people since 2019 – 19 of those are attorneys and we’ve added two more names on the door, Koch and Martino.
We’ve opened several new offices including Clearwater, Wesley Chapel and Trinity, and we will be opening a new office, in downtown St. Petersburg, at the beginning of 2024.
You’ve also expanded into new practice areas.
We have brought in, what I believe is, the best group of real estate development, zoning and land use attorneys in the Tampa Bay area. There are four attorneys in the group, which is led by David Singer. They are all exceptional people and they have made a huge impact on our overall capabilities. It’s an exceptional practice…especially for a law firm of our size, which is now around 40 attorneys. The services that these attorneys offer are very hard to come by and very specialized.
It sounds like you’re really seizing an opportunity for growth with the current state of the Tampa Bay region and moving forward.
I couldn’t agree more. We probably spent two to three years pursuing this particular part of our growth plan.
And it’s not just commercial, it’s also residential and multifamily residential. You look at places that are mixed-use that are developing all over the place. Look at Midtown. Look at what’s going on in the Marina District. The Tampa real estate market has been hot for a lot longer than the last several years, but it’s gotten white hot in these last three years. Despite certain economic conditions that I think people all over the country are really worried about, and for good reason, we believe Tampa Bay is going to continue to be a hotbed of real estate development for the foreseeable future. We are very grateful to be a part of this, particular, community.
The interest in the area is going to continue to increase and stay relevant in the national discussion. I just wrote a story, this morning, about people wanting to relocate here, so strike while the iron’s hot, right?
I think the longer-term outlook for Tampa is big growth. I think we’re just in that phase of our own economic lifespan and it’s not a secret anymore that this is a truly awesome place to be, to live and to work. And I think the fact that the population keeps growing and businesspeople, and very successful people, from all over the country want to be here is probably a part of what’s insulating our market from some of the negative economic conditions that are plaguing other markets.
OLDER LUNDY is known as one of the strongest local law firms in the family law space, but it sounds like you’re a full-service legal firm. How are you branding yourself as a full-service Tampa Bay law firm?
That’s been a huge part of our marketing initiative, to take everything that we’ve learned about growing a practice in the family law space, for over 20 years, and all the good characteristics of a culture that we’ve developed both internally and with our clients externally, and attracting talented lawyers in other areas that can do the same thing. And I really feel like, in the last 24 months, I’m able to say that we now have that.
We’re providing the same level of exceptional service and seeing growth in [other] areas at a rate that seems to mimic what we were doing, early on, in our family law practice. That’s one of the major initiatives we have as we look into the future — to make sure that everybody knows that we’re offering all those things at the same level of expertise, and with the same commitment to service, that we are known for in the family law space.
What advice do you have for your fellow business leaders on growing in this way? Moving into new areas and adding new members to your team?
A great business has a soul. You must really understand what it is that you’re trying to build, in terms of your company’s culture, and then you must be unconditionally committed to that. That rings true each and every time you make another hiring decision. ♦