The Beginning: Business & Foreclosure Rescue
The founder, Jeff Harrington, came to West Palm Beach, Florida in 2008. His training and experience at the time emphasized international business and real estate, so the business department was a foregone conclusion. Harrington has maintained a balance of litigation and transactional work, and he says:
I don’t favor the traditional divide between litigators and transactional attorneys. I think clients get better service from a trial lawyer who knows the ins and outs of drafting and a contract attorney who knows ahead of time the issues likely to come up in a dispute. Otherwise, you only see half the picture.
However, the economy being what it was in 2008, the practice focused heavily on providing solutions to homeowners in distress. These days there are many attorneys working in this area, but HLA was among the very first. As Harrington says:
The only attorneys that have been helping homeowners longer than I have are those who were doing foreclosure defense before there were foreclosures.
As a central player in developing defenses and strategies for property owners, HLA received considerable attention from the media and legal publications. As a result, the firm grew very quickly in the first couple of years.
More recently, the decision was made to round out the firm with five complementary areas of practice. The first department to be added was bankruptcy. Harrington determined:
It is a disservice to our clients who are business owners and homeowners to talk about strategies without having a very thorough understanding of the options available under the Bankruptcy Code.
Now, the firm has a thriving bankruptcy department that provides services under all three chapters, including creditor representation.
Next came the immigration department. With the firm’s international emphasis and multilingual staff, immigration was a natural fit. The practice has turned out to be very synergistic since foreign investment is currently very much on the rise. Harrington reasoned:
This is a unique window of opportunity for international investors. The dollar is weak, US businesses and real estate have bottomed out, and the economy is recovering. We can connect the investors with opportunities, get them a green card or visa in the process, and it’s a win-win-win.
Today, the immigration department offers family-based services as well as detention/deportation services. The department’s niche, though, is employment and investment-based visas, with special emphasis on EB-5 regional centers.
When the issue is your health, you do not want to be just another number. Our clients like the personal attention they get at HLA. They know they can speak to an attorney in their own language, and they know that when we talk to them we do not just see an insurance policy. We are litigators and business attorneys, so we know how to deal with insurance companies, and we are not afraid to go the distance to get the best recovery possible for our clients. This has become increasingly important in recent times because laws are changing and it is getting more and more difficult to negotiate with insurance companies. Harrington says:
We are not trying to become a huge PI firm. But, we are well-suited for the work, and we like that our clients know they can count on us when they have an accident just like they count on us for their other matters.
That is our story.