Hi everyone! The latest episode of The How & The Wow Podcast is LIVE and we have a really insightful one for you. Our guest is Victoria Collier, Founder of Quid Pro Quo Law. Quid Pro Quo is a team of professionals that helps lawyers build law firms as a business that have value and can be sold. They are also actively engaged in representing clients in both buying and selling law firms.

Come hear about Victoria’s journey, her why, and if it’s a good time for you to sell your law firm or buy one. This episode is jam packed with excellent advice.

Learn more about Woven Legal: https://wovenlegal.com/


Meg Garavaglia: Well, we are here today with the How and the Wow Podcast. My name is Meg Garavaglia and Patti Cotter is my business partner and longtime business colleague. We are excited today because we asked an attorney Victoria Collier to be with us and share her particular experience and service set with us and listeners because I know she has a lot of insight and value that she brings to her clients. So, Victoria, thank you for being here.

Victoria Collier: Thank you. Appreciate it.

Meg Garavaglia: To start out, can you please talk a little bit about yourself, where you’re from, and about your military background? I loved that.

Victoria Collier: Of course! I’m a lawyer. I can always talk about myself. So I originally grew up in Houston, Texas, and after graduating high school at the age of 19, I enrolled in the Air [00:01:00] Force. And so I was enlisted and I was a carpenter for three years and decided that, you know, I was looking into my future and swinging a hammer wasn’t gonna be very attractive at the age of 40.

I’m 53 now, and I still agree with that sentiment. It can be great bonding with my children, but as a profession, I cross-trained and became a paralegal in the military, which is what then ultimately led me to being a lawyer.

Meg Garavaglia: Why don’t you tell listeners a little bit about your background?

Victoria Collier: Sure. So my background in the law is before I went in the military even, I worked at a nursing home and did hands-on care for the elderly. And so that’s always stuck with me. So when I graduated law school, I started my own practice right out of law school and specifically and exclusively in the area of Elder Law, which includes estate planning. I built that starting in 2002, and then I built that into a seven figure law firm for about five years before I sold it in 2020, right before the pandemic. And bought my law firm and started this business, quid pro quo.

You can see right behind me, there’s a book that I wrote a chapter in called The Road to Success with Jack Canfield, the author of the Chicken Soup books.

Meg Garavaglia: Amazing. That is great. And would you recommend collaborating on a book with other attorneys, you know, how did that promote what you were doing?

Victoria Collier: Well, first and foremost, I highly recommend anyone in a profession who especially owns a business, write a book. I did write a book when I was an elder law attorney on veterans benefits, which was my niche within the niche. It was the best business card anyone could ever have.

In fact, I’ll share a story I wasn’t in, but my social worker was at a networking event and at the end of the networking event, she walks onto an elevator and another elder law attorney walked onto the elevator as well as a non-attorney, just someone else at the event. And the person at the event turns to my social worker and says, oh my gosh, I love this book! Can I have this book? You know, that kind of stuff. And the other elder law attorney is standing there without a thing to say. And so having a book, it opens doors. Instead of saying, I’m a lawyer, can I come to a presentation? It’s, I’m an author and I’d love to, you know, give away my book, or do a book signing or something like that.

It’s a conversation opener. It’s a door opener. And the reason I did the one with Jack Canfield was, first of all, he’s just cool.

Meg Garavaglia: And a little well known.

Victoria Collier: A little well known. My chapter in there is called the Niches to Riches. I do recommend niching, and especially in my practice now, quid pro quo, where I help people sell their law firms, niching is one of the things that helps your business become more [00:04:00] valuable versus a General Practitioner, for example.

Niching is one of the things that increases the value of a business. When I had that opportunity to write that chapter, I had no idea that I’d even own this business at the time. But I was helping lawyers in the estate planning and the elder law world with creating veterans benefits within their law firm and niching further in that. And so it was just a great experience and it was another tool that I can then hand out to referral sources more than anything.

Meg Garavaglia: I’m going off script a little bit, but who served as your referral sources?

Victoria Collier: We did have several nursing homes that would refer to us. You wouldn’t think that being a Medicaid planning lawyer, that they want to send clients to us, but they also have other needs such as wills, powers of attorney, guardianship. And then also because I did veterans benefits, if we could get someone veterans benefits, it may have precluded them from needing Medicaid. So we did have some referral [00:05:00] sources. The other biggest referral source for me were other lawyers. Lawyers that did estate planning, but not veterans benefits. Lawyers that did special needs planning, but not Medicaid. Lawyers that certainly did other areas like family law, personal injury, real estate.

Meg Garavaglia: That’s excellent. Before we go on, could you talk a little bit or a lot, a bit about what quid pro quo services you offer because I love the concept and I was not terribly familiar when I first learned of you.

Victoria Collier: Well, the easiest way to say it is I’m a business broker for law firms, and so as part of that, we do valuations of law firms to determine what are you worth today, and if you want to sell your law firm today, we are available to be your broker and find purchasers for it and help negotiate the deal. If you don’t want to be a seller [00:06:00] today and you want to increase the value of your firm, we also provide coaching services to law firms that want to have a sellable business even if that’s 10 or 15 years from now.

Then the last thing that we do is that we do help buyers locate law firms that want to sell, and so we represent buyers in, in buying law firms as well.

Meg Garavaglia: I would love to know a little bit more about your typical client. What would you say is a firm that is ready to be sold, what kind of things do they have? Structure, you know, processes, client base, that type of thing.

Victoria Collier: Right. So there are two different concepts that are sellable. One is if you want to sell your book of business. That’s primarily solo practitioners or very small firms. And then there’s selling a business. And so the first we have to identify is: are we selling a business or are we selling a book of business?

And so, If someone wanted to sell right now, that’s the first thing that we determine. Then we determine what is the value of either the book of business or the business itself. And so with a book of business, it’s fairly easy because we are just looking at what are the assets of the business: the list, your database list.

And so for example, You might have 3000 people in your database. The next question is, well, how hot or cold is that list? Mm-hmm. Do the people on the list even know who you are anymore? Do they have accurate phone numbers? Do they have accurate emails? The hotter the list and the more accurate the information, the more valuable it is. There’s three sources out there that I have found that report.

What do lawyers spend on lead generation to get a lead? And so that’s all the list is. It’s a lead generation, right? I mean, we don’t know that these people will buy from us again, but it’s a lead. And so the range is from like $3 per lead up to $300 per lead. So if they chose a conservative number of $20 per lead, so if you take 3000 people on the list times $20 a piece that’s a tangible value, right?

Meg Garavaglia: Good. Okay. Yeah. Yeah.

Victoria Collier: So that’s one thing we look at. Then of course we look at organic traffic to a website. How many phone calls do you get? So is your phone number worth buying or not? So those are kinds of assets. Policies, and procedures: do you have any written policies and procedures on how to do the job? And that’s book of business. If we shift over into actually buying a business, now we’re really looking at net income, cash flow, percentages of labor versus gross revenue. We’re looking at the team you have, do you have solid team members?

How autonomous is your firm from you? Meaning, do you have to be there every day to answer the questions of all your team members, all your clients? Who does your sales? Who does your marketing? Do you have automatic marketing or is everything based on your reputation and relationship? When I was a paralegal down in South Georgia, I worked for this firm back in the late eighties, early nineties and it was like, “Oh,, we don’t do marketing. I mean everything is word of mouth.” It was just so, oh my gosh. You don’t even, you know, spit on you. And it’s so different now from a sales perspective if everything is word of mouth than how is that transferable, right? So those are the kind of characteristics we look for when we’re looking to buy a business.

Meg Garavaglia: The economy is so kind of all over the place right now. So what kind of effect is that having on attorneys who are looking to buy or are looking to sell?

Victoria Collier: So the economy definitely can have a factor both positive and negative. So for example, right now, based on us being in or going into a recession, businesses like bankruptcy are outstanding to buy right now because we’re about to have a three year peak that somebody can get in on and ride that wave for three years and then have some consistency for a while until the next wave comes. So, for example, right now, bankruptcy and creditors issues: either side of the fence is a great business to get into.

Estate planning is never really affected by the market. People always want to save their assets. People are always planning or should be planning to transition into death. Mm-hmm. And so, you know, there’s some areas that just aren’t affected at all. And then there’s areas that are negatively affected, such as when the government can’t meet its budget and then they shut down for a month or two.

Then social security disability law firms, for example, can’t get paid. And so then you’ve got months and months where you’ve completed cases, you have awards, but the government’s not paying you because those awards are, and those attorney’s fees are paid directly from the government. So certainly affairs going on in the United States as well as the world have an effect on which service type you might want to buy.

Meg Garavaglia: That is really interesting and actually I appreciate you mentioning the fact that you sell all types of firms, not just elder care or estate planning, et cetera. What are the parameters of, you know, where you can offer your services?

Victoria Collier: So the valuation services we can offer to anyone . Does it make sense to hire us to help them sell their firm is another question. And so I would say if you are grossing $150,000 or less, then what we can do is we can give you some pointers on how you can do it yourself, but it doesn’t make sense to hire us in most of those cases to go out and look for buyers for you. What does make sense is if you are grossing $500 or more and you’re planning to close your doors, don’t do that.

Hire us and let’s get some money before you close the doors.

Meg Garavaglia: Talk to me about the most common pitfalls, mistakes that people make that decrease the value of their law firms.

Victoria Collier: So I would say the number one pitfall is assuming what the value is based on the street credibility, which is the rule of thumb of one times gross or three times net.

There are so many things that go into valuation beyond gross or net income that somebody could leave a lot of money on the table by just relying on that measure. The other is being overconfident in what your firm is worth because all the sweat and tears you put into it are not really valuable to someone else.

It’s not your time, it’s not your emotions, it’s not your passion, it’s not your vision. It’s the assets, the hard assets, and what are they. So that can sabotage a sale. This is harder to quantify, but it is probably one of the most important, and that is, Not being personally ready to sell, even though you think that you’re ready.

And so you’ll go through the motions to put it up for sale, but then you’ll find all kinds of little nitpicky things to justify why this isn’t the right buyer, why this isn’t the right whatever. And really what is happening is they’re just not ready to let go. So people need to work on that aspect and we are not professional counselors, but sometimes people need them.

Meg Garavaglia: Right? Yes, I can imagine. Did you have any clarifying questions?

Patti Cotter: The whole emotional aspect to it is interesting. Can you give an example of somebody that you’ve worked with or tried to work with and they weren’t emotionally ready?

Victoria Collier: I can give one example of one that still hasn’t sold their firm. And I can give an example of one that has. So the one that has not sold their firm, it’s a married couple and one is more ready than the other, but neither of them really know what they’re going to do after they sell the law firm. And that can really paralyze people because they may know that they shouldn’t be there in the law anymore.

They know that maybe they have some health issues that they, you know, need to be planning for exit. But the law has been everything to them for 20, 30, 40, 50 years. And so it’s more of a question of, “What am I going to do and where am I going to go?” Especially if you still need some sort of financial stream coming in.

It took us a good nine to 12 months just to emotionally get to the point where we could seek buyers. And so how that’s played out was I can’t do a valuation unless I have profit loss statements. Well, if the profit loss statements aren’t coming or if the client questionnaire’s not coming and it’s, “We’re working on it. We’re working on it, we’re working on it,” we’re not working on it because we’re not ready to work on it, right? And so ultimately we put that up for sale. We had three offers, all great offers and I had advised that perhaps they should look at one particular buyer. They had gone with a different buyer, and then the day before closing, they pulled out.

My clients pulled out because they realized that this [00:16:00] buyer wasn’t really the right buyer. And so now we’re in the process again and they’re more ready this time, I can tell you that. There’s just a shift in behavior, and that’s the best I can say. It’s like, “Have you found anyone? Have you found anyone?”

Now, the firm that I sold where the person’s not ready, I mean, prior to the sale, there was two years of, “Should I build it and make it better or should I just get out? Should I build it and make it better or should I just get out?” So we worked for two years building it and making it better. And then it was like, “I should just get out.” So finally we have a buyer all cash up front. It’s a great deal. It’s over half a million dollars. And small transition period, but transition period nonetheless, because there always is one. Mm-hmm. And so the mentally not ready part is we have a new owner. The outgoing seller sends me texts regularly on, “He’s just not doing things the way I think they should be done. He’s not doing things the way that I would do them,” is basically what it is. And maybe he’s not making great decisions, but it’s not the seller’s decision anymore, right? And unfortunately we have this transition period that you have to be part of and witness this but that’s part of getting ready is you’ve got to be able to, on some level, let go, which is why people have to start the letting go process and the autonomy of letting the business run without you way before the sale starts.

Meg Garavaglia: That makes sense. So you probably coach people to get in that mindset, or at least to be able to take a step back. Is that right?

Victoria Collier: Certainly we try. Yes. And I would say the hardest are the sole practitioners because they don’t want to manage people. That’s why they’re sole practitioners. “I don’t want to manage people. I never wanted anything that was really big.” And so trying to create that autonomy is hard for that population.

And so really then we just [00:18:00] shift the discussion to, it’s a book of business. When somebody buys a book of business, there is no transition period. They’re just buying the book of business. And so it sometimes comes back to that conversation. Are we buying, selling a business or a book of business? If it truly is business, then what we’re doing is learning the art of delegation, not abdication, which is what a lot of attorneys want to do, but delegation: training and delegation, and much of what I do as a coach is I am teaching lawyers how to step into their leadership and into the CEO role.


Meg Garavaglia: We talk a lot about delegation because certainly, you know, placing paralegals, it can be tough if people haven’t worked with somebody to support them in a long time. What are some key pillars that you’re looking for before you would even decide to consider selling them?

Victoria Collier: So let’s say we wanted to sell a business and I would say that we want it to look as turnkey as possible.

And so for it to be turnkey, we have to have certain positions filled. And so there’s four pillars you would say as far as positions. And one would be the marketing the second would be intake, sales, and then production. Those are the four because there’s nothing to produce if we don’t have a sale and we can’t have a sale unless somebody did intake.

And then we can’t have anybody calling us if we don’t do marketing. So those are the four. Now, often one person can wear all of those hats, but as we want to position to sell, again, what are you selling? Well, I don’t want to come in and be the buyer and wear all those hats. Right? So I want to make sure those team members are in there.

And then I want to make sure those team members have policies and procedures that are in writing, because I come in, these people decide to quit. I want to be able to fill that position as quickly as possible and not have to spend all my time training them because that’s not the best use of my time. I do want them to be trained, but with policies and procedures and you know, an organization like yours, I think that if we’ve got those policies and procedures, it helps that transition so much easier because I can call you and say, “I need somebody a week from today,” and you ask me, “Well, what are you going to do to onboard them?”

I’ve got these policies and procedures that can, you know, help me with that. And so I would say team and policies and procedures are two of the foundational areas to look at when, when looking to build or sell.

Meg Garavaglia: Great. Which is your favorite to coach on and to service? Do you prefer to be the buyer or the seller? Do you prefer to represent people who are trying to sell or who are trying to buy?

I definitely prefer to represent sellers. Sellers for the most part know what they want. They want to sell. They may not know what they want to do, which we have tools that can help them assess that even and develop What is your life, after all?

Buyers often don’t know what they’re looking for, and so we spend a lot of time searching and then pitching and it’s like, “No, that’s not really what I’m looking for.” It’s like, “How many hours have we spent talking about what you want?” Not unlike, you know, real estate. It’s much easier to, to represent a seller of a house than it is a buyer where you’re driving all over a town looking at 10 different houses. Selling a law firm and buying a law firm is, is not much different than that. So I prefer sellers.

Patti Cotter: I was going to ask do you ever run into situations I know other businesses do where, you know, the seller’s ready to let it go, but the buyer’s a little more trepidatious and makes an offer to the former owner to stay on for a certain period of time for the transition and get a salary, get a paycheck for a certain period of time. Does that happen often?

Victoria Collier: It does happen often, actually where the outgoing seller stays on as of counsel generally. And so for example, when I sold my law firm, my buyer was actually my professional legal administrator, so she knew how to run offices, but she wasn’t comfortable completely in all the different service areas that we provided, like Medicaid. And so she felt insecure and wanted me there much longer than what I knew she needed and much longer than she actually did need. And so there comes an uncomfortable point when you’re like, ” Why am I still here? You don’t need me and I’m actually now hindering your progress, your ability to fly. ’cause you’re still in my shadow.” So it does happen. And in fact, for example, I’m buying a law firm currently and –

Meg Garavaglia: Congrats.

Victoria Collier: Thank you. Thank you. It has two owners. One owner is out from the beginning, the other owner, I would like to be there at least a year. That owner wants to be there at least a year, if not two years because they’re not ready to stop practicing law. But they also know that without the other owner that absolutely needed to get out, that they couldn’t do it on their own or they didn’t want to do it on their own, is a better way to say it.

And also they enjoy what they do and they also know that, you know what? I need an exit plan. I’m in my seventies. And so it just makes sense and it makes sense for me as the buyer to keep that person there who’s been there for 30 years has all the relationships. I’m not going to step in and be the lawyer, but that person wants to be the lawyer.

So I’m like, that’s a perfect situation for me as the buyer.

I love that. So not all buyers are attorneys from what you said. Your administrator of your law firm bought yours.

She actually was a lawyer, however.

Meg Garavaglia: Oh, was she? Okay.

Victoria Collier: Yes, but there are two states in the United States right now that allow non-lawyers to own law firms.

So that would be Arizona and Utah. And I’m actually going to be starting a law firm in Arizona as a non-attorney because I’m not licensed in Arizona.

Meg Garavaglia: Oh, sure. That makes sense.

Victoria Collier: And so we do have that opportunity in two states. I do visualize that in the next five to ten years, it’s going to be in multiple states, and then it’s going to become very fun because if you have a law firm that you can build to be between $3-10 million, you’re going to have much more options to sell from private equity, people, businesses.

They can come in and really expand on the operations [00:25:00] and let the lawyers do what they love, which is practicing law, and that helps everybody.

Patti Cotter: Right.

Meg Garavaglia: That is an awesome perspective and really helps. I was starting to shake out my piggy bank. I thought, well, heck, maybe I’ll be buying, but yeah, no. Maybe in Arizona or Utah.

So what should attorneys look for in potential buyers or acquiring a firm, should they just reach out to you or do people try to do it themselves? I, I really don’t know.

Victoria Collier: People do do it themselves. Way more than we have knowledge of, because there’s not postings out there are listings like real estate.

You know, there’s no MLS for law firms. There are, you know, biz buy sell listings of all kinds of businesses, and some law firms are on there. And you certainly can list your own law firm on there, and many people do it themselves. I would say if you want to get the full value or you know, the best value, using a broker that focuses just on law firms is the way to go.

When I do valuations, I look at the other listings that are out there based in the United States: what type of service practice, and it’s very interesting the way law firms are listed from business brokers that handle lots of different types of businesses versus business brokers that handle just law firms.

And there’s only in the whole United States, less than a handful of us that just focus on law firms, but the listings vary greatly based on who’s doing it. And when I look at one that’s listed by someone who handles all kinds of businesses. And I look at the listing, I’m like, good luck with that. You know?

Because it’s just unrealistic sometimes.

I can imagine. And what brings you joy? I know you well enough to know, I think that you wouldn’t do this if it didn’t bring you a lot of joy. What is your why?

I didn’t always understand that it was my why, but when I look at everything I’ve ever done, whether it was working in the nursing home as I talked about, whether it was as an elder law attorney, I’ve also been a licensed insurance person assisting with products for the elderly and now working with people as they transition out of their law firms.

My why is I have this need to help people live a quality of life generally through transition. And so that’s what excites me. It’s having the ability to show someone they have options and that their life doesn’t have to be restricted based on the transition they’re going through. And that in this sense, there is a life after law and so many people don’t understand or know that that’s even possible.

Meg Garavaglia: Until I heard of your business and from Steve Whirl, it hadn’t crossed my path yet. So I’m grateful that it has. What are some common challenges when you go into negotiation? People still are very much heart attached to what they do, but are there other precise negotiation sticking points like, you know, just like in real estate, “I’m taking the drapes”, you know, that kind of thing?

Victoria Collier: Well, and it does come down to forks and spoons, and I’ll talk about that in a second. But the first thing is, the biggest is the compensation: is it all upfront or is it paid over time?
And how’s that funding going to happen? Are you coming with, for example, an SBA loan or are you expecting me as the seller to self-finance it? So those are the big nuggets, and then also if the lawyer is staying, is that part of the purchase price or do I pay separately for that piece of it?

And if I did pay separately, what would that compensation be? So those are the big nuggets. Once we get the big nuggets out of the way, What can kill a deal and almost kill the first deal that I closed on. And I’m talking, literally. I’m on the phone with my client and I’m on the phone with the buyer at like 6:30 PM on a Thursday night and closing was Friday morning at nine o’clock. And at that moment, we’re talking about who’s going to pay for the ongoing CLE that’s required in order for the buyer to maintain their name as of counsel on the website, and you know, that kind of stuff for a period of two or three years.

Because if you are listed as of counsel, then you’ve got to keep your license. And who’s going to pay for the license? Who’s going to pay for the malpractice? Who’s going to pay for the CLE? And it came down to the CLE, which to me is a spoon and a fork.

Meg Garavaglia: Yes, it’s, it really is.

Victoria Collier: And literally, I, the words out of my mouth were, “Is this the sword you wanna die on?
Is this that important to you?” And I said that to both sides, not just the one I was [00:30:00] representing. Ultimately, we closed the deal.

Patti Cotter: What is the value of that? How much does it cost to keep up a CLE for?

Victoria Collier: Well, so generally most states require it, but not all states require it.

But like in Georgia it’s 12 hours per year. And so, That might be $1,000 at most. But what was found out in this particular case, which was interesting, was that we were fighting over a non-issue because my client was of an age that it’s not even required to continue to maintain CLEs.

It’s funny. It’s great for a book.

Meg Garavaglia: I can imagine. Yeah, and you talked about the different things that are involved with valuation, and of course I want to lift the hood and understand what else goes into it? Certainly hardware and things like that.

Victoria Collier: When I do a evaluation opinion letter, it’s about eight or nine pages. And so we look at comparable law firms that are being listed and you know, I mean, just like real estate, you can’t really go off of what’s listed, just off of what’s sold. However, we don’t have access to what’s sold, so we have to go off of what’s being listed.

And as far as listing purposes, we want to be within reasonable range. So what are things being listed as from percentage per standpoints. Then we also look at do you have a monopoly in your area? You know, what percentage of the kind of clients who are buying the type of services you provide, do you get? Do you get 10% of those or do you get 90% of those? That has an effect on it. What is your reputation? So we look at reviews. If you’ve got all fives on Google, Yelp, AVO, the Chamber of Commerce, all that, that is more valuable than somebody who has a two across the board. Do you have turnkey or do you not have turnkey?

And these don’t have to be W2 employees. Many people now Are using services like yours to fill every position.

Meg Garavaglia: That’s right.

Victoria Collier: And that’s okay as [00:32:00] long as the positions are filled and they’re stable and you have a good culture. So we look at culture and you know, that has value too, which means what’s your turnover rate with these in individuals? Right? And so that is either valuable or it’s not valuable. So buyers should be asking, “How long have these employees been here?” Not just who’s in the seat, but how long have they been in the seat?

Meg Garavaglia: That’s a great qualifier in my opinion.

Victoria Collier: Exactly. So you can see it’s not just one thing, it’s a lot of things. And those are several of them.

Meg Garavaglia: Do you bring up the word algorithm? Seems like whenever it gets complicated, people are like, well, I have an algorithm. I’m like, do you really?

Victoria Collier: I try to keep the words as short as possible, so I use formula instead of algorithm.

Good. Algorithm is four. Formula is only three syllables.

Meg Garavaglia: And it makes you sound more like a mad scientist, which I think is good. Yeah. And what What are harbingers of ‘ abort mission’ for you: when somebody comes to you and you’re like, “Wow, I wish I could, but my sciatica just went out.”

Victoria Collier: I wish I could, but no. I would say it’s somebody who is still divided between, “I want out. I don’t want out.” Somebody between, “I want to build, but I don’t want to manage.” And certainly, those could sound like good coaching clients. And so then my real no is people who just are not coachable.

And so people who are negative, people who blame everything else: the economy, their team, their, you know, I mean their dog on it. It’s just none of that’s going to be pleasing to a buyer or me in the process trying to get them there.

They have to believe that it’s possible. They may not know the number, but they have to believe it’s possible. I don’t want to be the only one that believes it’s possible.

Meg Garavaglia: Oh, agreed. Yeah. Convincing them. Why do you think this business has done so well for you? What is your characteristic or attribute? I have my suspicions. I think you do have a real motivation to help people, but what do you think it is about you that makes such a good fit?

Victoria Collier: I think with my background in psychology, I have learned the needs of people and how to communicate across the aisle, if you will. That used to be a taboo but way to say it. But I think I can connect people. I think I am a big connector. But more importantly, I have been a staff member. I’ve been a paralegal. I’ve built a business. I’ve sold a business. I’m buying another one. I think more than anything, it’s practical experience as well as all the credentials of training that I’ve had, not just as a lawyer, but as an exit planner, as a valuation person.

And I think I am a straight shooter in that I can tell people honestly, but with compassion what they need to hear, not what they just want to hear. And I’m not going to just list anybody’s business because, “Oh my gosh, I can sell it. Please list it for me.” You know, I’m not a used car salesperson. We have a business.
You have a business and I want to make it work for you if it’s going to work. It goes to my core values and one of those is authenticity and transparency. And then lastly, you know, with regard to the core values, I have six, but the other one is just results oriented. If the results are not going to be there, I don’t have to have a slam dunk.

I don’t have to be the lawyer that wins every case, but I have to at least know that I have a partner with the same vision I have, which is to sell their firm.

Meg Garavaglia: That is great. Did you have any additional questions?

Patti Cotter: That was a beautiful way to end it, I think.

Meg Garavaglia: I agree. You know, what I would like to hear is can you talk about your favorite win, you know, where maybe it was a little dicey and then you ended up having just a fantastic, you know, outcome.

Victoria Collier: Gosh, all the wins have just been special for different reasons. And I would like to say that this isn’t my favorite, but it’s the most heartfelt, and that’s because my clients had a deadline to sell. And so it was a fire sale and the reason of the deadline is my client was becoming a federal judge and she had been trying to become a judge for at least five years, and in the type of practice that she is a judge, they never allowed before a private practitioner to become a judge. It had always been government funded through government positions. And so number one, she didn’t even know it was ever going to become a reality. Number two then, was: who’s our buyers? And we had several interested people looking. And then ultimately we went to our last resort person in the 11th hour who bought it.

But the beautiful part of it was she became what she had been dreaming of becoming for five years. And so it wasn’t about the sale, it was about who she was able to step into, and she’s loving it every moment of it. I get chills just talking about it.

Meg Garavaglia: We love that. We feel the same way when we can make a match and Patti and her team do such a good job of that.

It’s very, heartfelt – same as yours. First of all, please share with listeners how they can reach you and check out your business as well as your coaching services.

Victoria Collier: Yeah. Thank you. So our website is quidproquolaw.com, and I intentionally created the name Quid Pro Quo because I do have a philosophy of an equal exchange.

If it’s not valued equally on both sides, then I don’t want to be part of the transaction. So it’s quidproquolaw.com. I recommend that people also listen to my podcast called Smart Lawyers Position to Transition. Then also we have a private Facebook group called The Art of Buying and Selling Law Firms, and so if you want just education and to ease into “Where am I on this spectrum?”, those are two resources that are extremely helpful.

But if you want to call me now, then I would recommend going to the website quidproquolaw.com.

Meg Garavaglia: Fantastic. Well, Victoria, I so appreciate your time. It was as delightful as I had hoped, and I am sure that we will have more to talk about in the months to come. I’m excited to hear about your purchase of the law firm in Arizona.

Thank you so much.

Victoria Collier: Thank you so much. Appreciate that.



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