It’s all about people. For Ian Kinman, the owner and senior lawyer at Kinman & Associates, the only way to provide top-notch legal services is to listen to each client, to help them through the process with consistent communication, and to have a team of staff whose expertise keeps things running smoothly at every step.
“It’s really about client service,” he said. “Many people only need legal services every few years, or once or twice in their life, so it’s important to remember that the process may be unfamiliar to them. We really do try to make our clients feel happy and comfortable.”
The full service law firm focuses on a variety of areas, such as personal injury, civil and commercial litigation, corporate and commercial transactions, family law and more.
“We offer legal services in the most common areas a person might have need for help, with the kinds of problems that the day-to-day person might encounter,” he said. As well, the organization provides legal services for a number of small to large companies.
The firm was created in 2007, but grew out of Baumgartel & Gould, a law firm that had been serving New Westminster since 1960, and where Ian had been practicing as a lawyer for many years.
In all, he’s had three decades in the Royal City.
“It’s wonderful to have been in the community for so long,” he said. “You really get to know people, and to develop those relationships with clients.”
Ian notes that one of the unique aspects of his firm is the diversity of its staff: he himself was born overseas, and has travelled to more than 130 countries, and he has staff members who speak Korean, Punjabi, Mandarin, French and more.
“That can provide familiarity and comfort for clients, many of whom are first or second generation Canadians,” he said. “It really goes a long way in making them feel good about the process.”
Ian says he’s focused on ensuring consistent communication.
“I often take over files from other firms, and I’m quite struck by how little the former lawyer may have done to keep the client appraised of what’s going on,” he said. “That’s important to me, that someone feels knowledgeable and understands what’s happening next. We do our best to keep the clients involved in what’s going on with their files along the way.”
Ian credits his team for helping to create the strong reputation at the firm.
“I have a wonderful team – many of them having been working closely with me for many years,” he said. “One of my paralegals has been here for 16 years. They’re all very dedicated and knowledgeable in what they do.”
Most of the new clients who come to them do so through word of mouth, says Ian.
“That’s always so rewarding, to know that someone has recommended you to others,”
he said. “And then when we see a client come back themselves, for a new item they need help with, that tells us we’ve done our job right. When a client is satisfied, and their issue has been resolved, and we’ve been able to provide expertise and guidance in a way that has left the client happy, that’s when we know we’ve provided excellence service.”
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