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Looking back on nearly 90 years of providing legal services to innovative, entrepreneurial clients has given the leaders at McDonald Hopkins, a business advisory and advocacy law firm, an opportunity to reflect on what it takes to build a successful business from the ground up. Staying on top of trends and providing high-quality service is one thing, but as Shawn M. Riley, president of McDonald Hopkins, has learned, you have to be prepared to take some risks, as well.

“Set high goals for yourself, and don’t be afraid to be ambitious with where you see yourself going,” says Riley. “You’ll learn from any missteps and grow from them as much as from your successes.”

Riley says being an innovation leader is a pillar of the company’s business values. He cites the company’s Litigation Finance Practice Group, rolled out in early 2019, as an example of the firm’s commitment to offering clients creative, customized legal solutions. Under this group, an outside party can fund 80 to 90 percent of a client’s case; in return, the funder receives some proceeds from successful judgments. Riley says this is one way McDonald Hopkins—which has more than 140 attorneys in six offices in Ohio, Illinois, Michigan and Florida—stands out in the legal field.

“Litigation costs for mid-level businesses can be daunting, but litigation funding allows them to pursue legal cases that would otherwise be too costly,” Riley says. “Our litigation funding attorneys educate our clients about this option and help them determine whether it’s good choice for them. If it is, we use an extensive process to match them with the best litigation funders for their particular needs.”

Riley says this allows clients to pursue legal solutions with minimal risk.

“They sacrifice some of the upside in fees to litigation funders, but they protect themselves against the downsides,” he says.

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