It was January, 1970 when our Founders thought it was a good idea to leave their current firm and start a new one. The US population had just passed 293 million. The first non-stop 747 commercial flight from New York to London had successfully landed in a mere 6.50 hours. Television network ABC premiered a new soap opera, All My Children, and Walt Disney opened a preview center in what would later become the nation’s largest tourist attraction, Disney World. Complementing these influential and enduring events, five attorneys, with four associates and twelve support staff, decided to form Trenam, Simmons, Kemker, Scharf, and Barkin, a firm whose culture and success would focus on the principles of client service, collaboration, professional development, and commitment to the community. Within five years, the firm would expand to occupy an entire floor of the First Florida Tower and add two named partners to become Trenam, Simmons, Kemker, Scharf, Barkin, Frye & O’Neill.
Now, as Trenam Law, we celebrate 50 years as a firm, as a team, we look back on these principles and reflect upon the foundation they established, which has enabled us to grow our ranks, expand our footprint, and to witness and participate in the development of the Tampa Bay region.
Our founders set out to create an inclusive, family based culture at the firm; one where all members, shareholders, associates, and staff, were equally valued and appreciated for their roles and contributions. They believed in, and we continue to emphasize, the importance of having a wide range of knowledge, experience, perspectives, and backgrounds represented in all roles at our firm.
That belief, a key differentiation in today’s legal market, is integral to the culture we began fifty years ago. And we continue to devote substantial time and resources, whether through firm social events or community engagement and volunteering opportunities, to ensuring each Trenam employee is imbued with the same philosophy. As a result, we are proud to have created a culture where attorneys, employees, and importantly, countless clients, have remained with Trenam throughout the decades.
Nevertheless, strategic management of the firm in order to benefit our clients was and is inherent to our success. This is embodied in our Code of Client Commitment, and based on four simple principles:
- Getting to know our clients’ businesses and understanding what is important to them in both legal and business terms and goals;
- Offering certainty and accountability on the economics and logistics of matters and being time and cost conscious at all times;
- Providing accessibility via cell phone and/or email, even after hours, with a maximum 24 hour response time; and
- Delivering on deadlines by either meeting or exceeding expectations in a timely manner.
Ever since we opened our doors, we have endeavored to be trusted advisors beyond legal advice to our clients. This desire is at the heart of our approach to integrity and client service. It requires consistent and thorough communication, which we establish at the beginning of each engagement and emphasize throughout the life of the client relationship. It also requires sophisticated collaboration and team work , a strength in unity our founders believed would be central to the firm’s success. These goals are facilitated by investments in advanced and evolving technologies which enhance our team work, communications, and efficiencies. Our seamless coordination and emphasis on the relationships and interactions between practices, offices, attorneys, and staff has allowed us to be held to account not only by each other, but also by our clients.
As observers and contributors to the Tampa Bay region’s growth across the bay over the last fifty years, a central tenant of the core values we inherited from our founders is investing in our communities, with both time and treasure. We do this in several ways, including: having attorneys join various legal, business, and civic organizations and non-profit boards; providing pro bono assistance in-house and through community agencies; and by providing and supporting volunteer opportunities which allow us to integrate our families into social engagements and events. With a focus on charitable organizations providing aid to children, the less fortunate, the arts, and the entrepreneurial ecosystem bridging the bay, we seek to treat each market individually, yet cooperatively; respecting each one’s strengths, needs, and future plans.
Looking forward to our next fifty years, we will continue to be grateful for the groundwork laid by our founders and all who have come through our doors; especially our valued clients. We hope to express that gratitude to our clients and the communities which have given us so much over the years. We will continue to invest in the technologies needed to enhance client service, contain costs, improve efficiencies, and adapt to the evolving trends of the legal industry.