Pond Lehocky Giordano: Finding Liquidity to Fuel Growth in Workers’ Compensation and SSD Advocacy Law
Pond Lehocky Giordano, LLP (www.pondlehocky.com), a leader in a workers’ compensation and Social Security Disability (SSD) based in Philadelphia, came to Esquire Bank looking for a bank that could understand the contingency law firm business and provide the law firm with solutions to free up capital and unlock growth. Through the partnership, Pond Lehocky Giordano became one of the region’s largest workers’ compensation and SSD law firms, with clients in all 50 states.
A familiar challenge
Pond Lehocky Giordano is a workers’ compensation law firm with a peripheral Personal Injury business. The firm began with only six attorneys and 22 staff members but in little over a decade has grown into one of the largest workers’ compensation and Social Security Disability advocacy law firms in the nation, helping thousands of clients annually.
Even before partnering with Esquire Bank, Pond Lehocky Giordano had set the law firm on a path for growth. At that stage, founders Sam Pond and Jerry Lehocky bolstered their attorney team with business professionals, most notably in the areas of management, finance, marketing, and IT. This approach to their business functions enabled the law firm to proactively establish Pond Lehocky Giordano in a digital and modern world.
“The legal space is at this crossroads, like many professional services, where they are beginning to take a step forward and start acting like big businesses. From the starting point, our partners are very entrepreneurial, very sophisticated, very forward-thinking. And one of the first things that they did was bring in more of a professional management team, real accountants, real financial professionals, real marketing professionals, real IT professionals, and that kind of formed the foundation between that professional team and the partners.”
Bryan Reilly, CFO
But while the law firm itself was well equipped to look at future growth, the path was impeded by the traditional mindset of lenders. Pond Lehocky Giordano found that traditional banks typically lend against past performance rather than taking current and future case inventory into account.
With the law firm’s capital tied up mostly in case disbursements, Pond Lehocky Giordano was inhibited from investing in the technology and innovation required to stay ahead of the competition. The resulting limitation hindered Pond Lehocky Giordano from positioning the law firm for exponential growth – not only in workers’ compensation cases, but also in its newly-founded SSD department.
“With a contingency fee model, you’re investing today for revenue that’s going to come anywhere from 12 months to 36 months from now. So, the ability to invest in cases today is really what’s going to dictate your future.”
Bryan Reilly, CFO
Without a financial partner that understood the personal injury, practice, Pond Lehocky Giordano had challenges realizing its forward-thinking business plans.
A unique solution
By connecting with Esquire Bank, Pond Lehocky Giordano found a like-minded, strategic partner. Because of its legal industry expertise and similar customer-centric, digital technology mindset, Esquire Bank helped the law firm take advantage of case disbursement financing solutions.
“Esquire Bank understands our space. They understand the personal injury law space, our inventory, and how to value our inventory. It’s just been night and day in regard to dealing with Esquire Bank as compared to a traditional bank.”
Sam Pond, Managing Partner
Esquire’s case cost line of credit enabled Pond Lehocky Giordano to free up capital that was previously committed to case cost disbursements, in order to reinvest into the law firm’s business, putting the money where it’s needed most – such as Pond Lehocky Disability, the firm’s Social Security Disability advocacy group.
Beyond understanding the benefits of utilizing a case disbursement line of credit, the firm also found that Esquire Bank’s business strategy aligned with their own in many ways, with a similar focus on technology and data, and a forward-looking philosophy towards business.
“Esquire Bank has been a great strategic partner for us. They are very like-minded individuals and a very like-minded organization. They are technology-focused, data-focused, and customer-centric. It just has developed into a really nice partnership for us and I’m thrilled with everything Esquire Bank has offered us.”
Bryan Reilly, CFO
Relying on Esquire Bank’s expertise, Pond Lehocky Giordano not only freed up the law firms’ capital, putting it to work elsewhere in the business, but the firm also received important insights and advice on how best to utilize its financing. Esquire Bank provided strategic consultation to Pond Lehocky Giordano in the areas of marketing, data, and technology.
“Esquire Bank had the data to support lending at higher limits, allowing us to borrow at higher levels allowed us to grow our business. Specifically, we are able to finance all of our litigation costs, which are several hundred thousand dollars a month, through a line of credit with Esquire Bank. And not having to use that free cash flow to finance litigation costs has allowed us to invest that into marketing, developing infrastructure and I think has set us up on a much longer-term successful path.” – Bryan Reilly, CFO
“It has allowed us to grow our practice, to increase our brand awareness and to fund our growth in regard to marketing. And we’re able to make better decisions because we have information that’s reliable and up to date.”
Sam Pond, Managing Partner
A winning result
Switching from a traditional bank, that struggled to understand the timing and complexities of contingency fee law, to Esquire Bank’s forward-looking perspective, case cost line of credit solution, and legal industry expertise enabled Pond Lehocky Giordano to realize its ambitions in terms of future growth.
In the three years since partnering with Esquire Bank, Pond Lehocky Giordano has become one of the biggest names in workers’ compensation, with Pond Lehocky Disability representing clients in 50 states and beyond. With funding from Esquire Bank, the law firm has expanded business functions across the board, focusing on investment in technology to help fuel growth.
In Esquire Bank, Pond Lehocky Giordano found a partner who sees eye-to-eye with the law firm on numerous fronts. The law firm has continued to utilize its relationship with Esquire to drive growth and expansion.
“The partnership with Esquire is allowing us to plow back our money into our firm and allowing us to have access to capital to reinvest in our growth and take more market share.”
Sam Pond, Managing Partner
To view the video testimonial from Pond Lehocky Giordano click here.
Meet with Esquire Bank
Whether your goal is investing in growth, expanding your practice, or positioning your firm for a merger or acquisition, understanding your case inventory is an important valuation for your firm. Leveraging your firm’s case inventory to finance case disbursements can allow you the flexibility and liquidity to pivot your focus to investing in digital marketing, technology, and staff.
Schedule a no-obligation consultation with an Esquire Bank Business Development Officer today at a time convenient to your schedule.
For more on Esquire Bank’s expertise in providing tailored solutions for law firms, please visit Esquire Bank’s resources portal, Lawyer IQ, where you can learn about growing your business, financing for law firms, marketing strategy best practices, and more.
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* The information provided on (or accessed through) this blog is provided for general informational purposes only and is not intended as, and should not be relied on for, law firm operations, tax, legal or accounting advice. Some of the information may not be applicable or appropriate for all law firms. Please consult your own tax, legal and accounting advisors as appropriate. Results may vary by law firm.
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