Todd Rolapp on Bass, Berry & Sims’ 2021 Expansion

December 23, 2021
Law360

Todd Rolapp was featured in Law360 on December 22 discussing the firm’s strategic growth in 2021 and future plans for 2022. The Q&A follows several significant additions to the firm during 2021, including 26 associates announced in December; seven experienced healthcare attorneys in November; international trade member Mi-Yong Kim and the return of Bob Cooper in August; senior public policy counsel Jacob Baggett in July’ and 28 more attorneys announced in January, June and August. The productive year of recruiting brings the firm’s attorney headcount to more than 315.

“The decision was made in response to client needs and demand,” Todd said of the move to add 26 associates across the firm’s Memphis, Nashville and D.C. offices. “It’s been a busy year, and clients are still wrestling with challenging environments. They’re reaching out more than ever for support, so the hiring reflected that need and the increased workload.”

He added that the transactional space has been particularly busy, including commercial finance, M&A and corporate finance. Looking forward, Todd said the firm expects to continue hiring and growing in response to client needs, especially that there are no signs of client demand slowing down.

To succeed in such a competitive legal market, Todd said the firm focuses on communicating the type of work it does, which is interesting, challenging and sophisticated. The firm’s strong culture and attractive markets also help drive interest in joining the firm.

Following last month’s addition of six healthcare attorneys in D.C., Todd also discussed the status of the firm’s work in the market. “We’ve been in D.C. for about nine years, and it’s going really well,” he said. “We first went there in response to client needs and as an opportunity to add new practice areas to support them. It’s been a success, especially if you look at the recent hires we’ve made. It’s further evidence that it was the right decision and that it’s a place where we’ve been able to find excellent lawyers who do exactly what our clients need.”

Finally, Todd addressed the firm’s work to ensure the firm’s culture is maintained through such growth and challenge like the switch to remote work. In early 2021, the firm surveyed people and acknowledged the values that are important and those the firm aspires to, which has served as a valuable roadmap in decision-making and staying true to core values in a fluid work environment.

Related to remote work, the firm hasn’t mandated time in the office and has emphasized that successful work is an outcome, not a time or place. “Folks have responded well to the flexibility and autonomy we give them, and we’ve made it clear what the outcomes we expect are,” Todd said. “We’ve allowed people to make their own judgments on when in-person work is necessary vs. working remotely. We’ll continue taking that approach and adjust accordingly.”

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