The chairman of a 210-lawyer law firm, with offices across Maryland and in Washington, D.C. and Northern Virginia, is, by definition, a leader.
But under the leadership of its chairman, John Frisch ‘83, Miles & Stockbridge P.C. has acquired a reputation for executing a management philosophy committed to superior client service, greater diversity and team-based collaboration throughout the organization.
For example, Miles & Stockbridge lawyers often create a customized Client Service Plan for new clients; it functions as a road map of the legal services which will meet that client’s individual expectations.
To keep client relationships on track, Frisch also spearheaded the development of a formal Client Visit Program. Each quarter lawyers with substantial client contact visit clients to learn more about the business and legal challenges they face—on the firm’s dime.
During the past eight years, Frisch and a member of the firm’s marketing and client services team have traveled to dozens of clients’ offices for the sole purpose of talking with them about the firm’s work. These face-to-face Client Satisfaction Interviews help the firm better understand how it can support clients’ objectives and improve the service it delivers.
Miles & Stockbridge sees its role as an extension of its clients’ businesses, Frisch notes. To deepen industry knowledge across practice groups, the firm has created Industry Teams in manufacturing and distribution, real estate, and finance and capital markets, sectors in which its clients do business. It also recently launched a Real Estate Microsite—the first of a planned series of such industry sites—that offers lawyer blog posts, bylined articles, news feeds, and event details.
When it comes to diversity, Frisch has led by example as co-chair of the Miles Diversity Committee, whose definition of the term is expansive, embracing gender, race and sexual orientation. A group of minority lawyers at Miles & Stockbridge formed the Miles Minority Network to create opportunities to build a vibrant minority professional community and to serve as a resource for professionals of all backgrounds in the Baltimore-Washington region. Additionally, a group of women lawyers at the firm created the Women’s Network of Miles & Stockbridge to promote leadership development and mentoring among its women lawyers and to bring together the firm’s lawyers and other professional women for meaningful time together.
Frisch’s passion for leadership led him to become active on the Steering Committee for Maryland Carey Law’s LEAD Initiative (Leadership, Ethics and Democracy), which develops law students’ leadership potential, ethical judgment, and cross-cultural competence. The firm has partnered with the school’s Women, Leadership and Equality Program run by Professor Paula Monopoli and supported its chapter of the Black Law Students Association. Frisch, a member of the law school’s Board of Visitors, and his Diversity Committee co-chair, Heidi Hansan, a principal at the firm, also participate in faculty and student panels about the importance and value of diversity to the profession.
Just a few weeks ago, Miles & Stockbridge moved its Baltimore home of more than 80 years from 10 Light Street to new office space at 100 Light Street, the 35-story Transamerica Tower. While the move was only one-tenth of a mile down the road, the law firm expects it to transform the ways in which it works.
“Our new space is designed from the floor up for the ways in which we work with each other and our clients,” says Frisch. “We expect it to support energetic collaboration, stellar service and outstanding results in countless ways. We are experiencing a milestone moment in our firm right now,” he continues. “Our internal team, along with our architects, designers and contractors, have created a new environment to support our core values and operating principles, and it is now up to us to bring them more fully to life.”