Holland & Knight
Gardner Carton & Douglas
Robert Morris (BBA)
I’m Chief Accounting Officer/Chief Financial Officer for all the law firms who partner with 4L Law Firm Services. I do the numbers.
I worked my way up from an entry level accountant. At Gardner Carton & Douglas LLP in Chicago (250 lawyers; since merged into Drinker Biddle), I started at the bottom: data entry, reconciling bank accounts, running reports, balancing accounts. Over a 6-year period, I was given additional responsibilities with new titles like Assistant Credit & Collections Manager and Payroll Manager.
After GCD’s merger, I joined Holland & Knight LLP in Tampa (1,000 lawyers worldwide) as Accounting Manager. I rotated through billing, accounts payable and general ledger accounting assignments until designated to overhaul all the recordkeeping for partner capital accounts and the firm’s non-qualified and qualified retirement plans – a big, detail-oriented job; one that required a lot of interaction with partners scattered in 20+ offices. The qualified plans covered 2,500 participants with combined assets over $400 million.
I’m Known For: Being meticulous. Everything needs to balance to the penny.
My Current Project: 4L Law Firm Services. It is great to work with a wide variety of firms, administrators and lawyers. So many issues! Every law firm is alike, yet each firm is different. Impressing lawyers is tough to do, but really fun and rewarding when you do.
Blocks I’ve Been Around: A lot of crazy general ledgers. Chicago. Tampa. A lot of softball diamonds all over the country.
What I’m Addicted To: 1) Softball. 2) Solving accounting problems.
What Annoys Me: When stuff doesn’t balance – Aaarrrrraugh!
Most People Don’t Know: 1) When Gardner Carton merged into Drinker Biddle Mike Marget refused to give a recommendation. He made me a job offer at Holland & Knight, but said not to expect a recommendation anywhere else. 2) I played “professional” (tackle) football for the Chicago Force in the Independent Women’s Football League – running back and wide receiver. 3) I was born in Vietnam.
Moments I’d Like to Forget: My ACL surgery, after a football injury.
Where I’d Like to Be 10 Years from Now: At the beach a lot more of the time.
My Secret Ambition: Push Mike into an early retirement.