November 20, 2008

How my firm starts_3

When we graduated from the university, we have spent our life for 6 years to gain a scroll to ensure we have half a chance to serve the community by being lawyers who defends those who allegedly did something they are not willing to admit to being guilty to. Some went to become the decider, meaning magistrates. Some decided to fight on behalf of the government meaning, the prosecutors or drafters. Some own business like me and a few others, whose intention was rarely noble.

J was the guy who didn't seem to be ready to take on the world by being a business owner. Flashy and was dating the only mixed parentage girl in my batch, he was quite a charmer but quiet. He was popular with all the girls as he was quite a looker and he was a guy's guy as he played sports of all kind, have a car and knew how to play the social circle game. He was so unlike me but we were okay as I was also quite a people's person, only I hate being pretentious which sometimes cause friction with some people. This J guy was so popular a girl had once scolded me because he used my computer to print his thesis and the thesis couldn't print properly which resulted in him sending his thesis late. See, I remember the most trivial things making me a bit of a not so nice person.

As this post is about business, you may be wondering why I am going on and on about a person who was my partner once but not anymore. That's the point, CHOOSE YOUR PARTNER WELL!!!

Or, as lawyers must never discount a disclaimer or an exception, make sure you have a good agreement to start your business with, unless the partner is your wife or husband, then good luck to you.

This second partnership of mine, which I entered in 2001 and parted way from in 2002, was the biggest mistake S and I had ever made. From KAS&Co. we became J&Co. as we shut down our old firm, joined J&Co. as partners with our office as the new branch or J&Co. We didn't shut down our firm literally but dissolved the partnership of KAS&Co. and signed a new partnership agreement with J.

J's firm was a continuation of a very old firm, KS&Co. who had to shut down when KS was discovered to have squandered a few millions in the stock market just before 1997 and lost quite a few million more. He was only discovered to have done this in 2000 after 3 years of his ghastly deed. That was when J became his chambering student and he proposed for J to open up a new business which would take over his old firm. He would help him along with files, the staff and the office. J agreed with a few conditions including a better than average salary.

When I came in, J was already up to his neck with problem and we were supposed to help him fight off KS's proxy in the form of the office manager left behind by KS to oversee his interest. KS seemed to be running J&Co. long after he was gone. Well, not so long, but his hands seems to be everywhere. J, didn't approached me or anything but I was stopping by in his office one day and he told me his story. J also had this other university friend, S as his partner, but only in name. J ran the show in the firm but S lent his name, which was not even displayed but to gain more panel for the firm.

When we have discussed the nitty gritty issue of having separate office, autonomy and liabilities, we embarked on the new setup with us having an office in Bandar Sunway and J having his office in Shah Alam. We rarely went to his office as we were always trying to not having to meet the said office manager. We were a legal firm with two branches which actually have the partners as the lawyers in the firm. Our letterheads differ from each other as we have our address in Sunway on top and his would be at the bottom. For his office, its vice versa. Our account were different and the only thing that we shared was the auditor.

This arrangement didn't last long as we discovered a few discrepancies in the account which we queried and had discussion with J. During this time, J had already moved to Klang after a big fall-out with KS's office manager. The fall-out resulted in all the files of KS being pulled out of J&Co. Shah Alam and given to another firm, in which the lawyer had agreed to assume control of KS's interest in a more 'subdued' manner. J was quite devastated at first but we managed to convince him to not give up and he took two of his trusted staff and moved to Klang.

In Klang, we thought the situation would be different but discovered that J also had a very weird philosophy in running a business which made us parted way in September 2002...


j or ji said...

its like watching L.A Law or sumthing..NYPD that.

very interesting!

Zeeman said...

You've come a long way dude! Keep it up! There's a lot more out there to discover once you've made the brave decision to get a move on with your life...I was on this path for the past 10 years - and still exploring diverse avenues of opportunities...You know me; never being the one to limit my horizons to the confines paved out to us. In other words - never a mama's or papa's boy. It's great that you made it better though; I'm still fleeting to find my surfboard in the ocean of life...

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