Transactional Law Specialists Represent Firms Ranging from Startups to the Fortune 100 Attorneys
By Nicole Zaro Stahl
The three attorneys and two paralegals at JGPC Business & Corporate Law started 2008 in a newly purchased office condo on Stoneridge Drive, after a dozen years in rented space in a building outside Hacienda just a few blocks away. “We will be adding a couple of attorneys and a paralegal or two in the near future, and this will give us a little more space,” comments founding partner and long-time Pleasanton booster Jim Gulseth.
A Berkeley graduate who earned his JD degree at UC Hastings School of Law in San Francisco, Gulseth has built the practice, with help from his partners, to conform to some very specific parameters. “Most of our time is spent on business transactional work. In transactional law, the parties are not adversaries so much as partners looking for a win-win for everyone,” he explains. “Of course, you make sure your client gets a fair deal, but usually if the deal doesn’t work for all concerned, it is not going to work for anyone. And, if a deal does go sour, our attorney specializing in business litigation, Richard Korb, can secure a judicial remedy.”
While the firm represents enterprises of all sizes, from sole proprietors to Fortune 100 companies, most of its clients fall into the category of “under $50 million” in annual revenue. JGPC Law clients are usually privately held, a distinction that dictates a special approach to legal issues. In private companies, “every dollar spent on an attorney comes out of the owners’ pockets, so they are much more cost-conscious than publicly owned companies,” he points out.
He and his associates do a lot of work for start-ups, both bricks-and-mortar- and Internet-related. “Information technology and the Internet have changed the business world,” creating tremendous opportunity for innovation, especially when it comes to delivering services with greater efficiency and cost-effectiveness. Gulseth has seen the benefits of these advances first-hand in his own practice: “Twenty years ago, a small firm like ours couldn’t even think about doing the legal work we do now, but thanks to digital efficiencies we can practice a fairly complicated, sophisticated level of business law without a huge battery of paralegals and secretarial staff.” If there’s a downside to dealing with emerging growth companies, it’s that they ultimately grow into attractive acquisition targets. After handling the sale of a start-up client, usually to a private investment group or a large competitor seeking to expand market share, JGPC Law often sees the client relationship end. The constant cycle of growth and sale generates an ongoing need to seek new clients–“which is why we end up doing a lot of start- ups,” he quips. Word of mouth and referrals from other service providers have kept the attorneys busy, as has the firm’s listing in the Martindale-Hubbell Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers. According to Gulseth, “JGPC Law holds the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory ‘AV’ peer rating, the highest rating available to attorneys and law firms, and one held by only a small percentage of California lawyers and law firms.”
For more information, visit www.jgpc.com.