Why Understanding Our Clients’ Businesses Makes All the Difference

Earlier this week, Greg Podolak spoke with the editors of again. This time, he noted that not knowing a client’s business is one of the worst mistakes a policyholder attorney can make.

If policyholder lawyers want to establish a long-term partnership with a client instead of being a “one-shot” litigator, they must become intimately familiar with how the client operates, according to attorneys.

“It’s crucial to really take the time to understand the client’s business, and the goals of the individual decision makers, unique risk appetite and exposure, the corporate temperament, and what their corporate structure is,” said Saxe Doernberger & Vita PC partner Greg Podolak. “That’s what commercial clients look for: They want someone who’s going to be part of their team, troubleshoot and find efficient solutions. They don’t want attorneys who will just be responsive to one-off issues.”

Clients need their coverage counsel to take a holistic approach, understanding that coverage issues involve nuanced business relationships as well as contract language, according to Podolak.

“It’s important to work hand-in-glove with a client’s risk managers, general counsel and brokers,” he said. “That’s a whole other facet to the dynamic, beyond the fact that a company bought an insurance policy, what that policy says and how it should be interpreted. The longevity of those relationships can be a major factor in getting a successful resolution. It’s all about digging in and getting below the surface.”

The importance of knowing the business needs of our clients is something all attorneys at SDV are taught from day one at the firm. To our clients, we’re not simply a vendor with a service, but trusted advisors who understand their companies completely.

Click here to read the entire article: The 5 Biggest Blunders Policyholder Attorneys Make. You will need a subscription to view the story.


Dec 23, 2015
Gregory D. Podolak

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