BY MIKE LEONARD
The old pop song says “Breaking Up Is Hard to Do,” but attorneys Michael Carmin and Angela Parker say it doesn’t have to be that way.
“We’ve known of other firms that have not had very amicable breakups. Sometimes it can get pretty acrimonious,” Carmin says.
“We knew the end of our lease [in the Johnson Creamery Business Center] was coming up and so we had a long time to discuss this,” adds Parker. “Ultimately we all decided we needed a clean break. A fresh start.”
And so the Bloomington law firm of Andrews, Harrell, Mann, Carmin & Parker (AHMCP) was dissolved in June, with CarminParker, PC moving into the historic and newly renovated Wicks Building on \the downtown Square. The one other owner/shareholder at AHMCP, Eric Slotegraaf, opened Slotegraaf Legal at 101 W. Kirkwood.
Slotegraaf concurs that the breakup was friendly. “The dissolution was designed to be as seamless as possible for our clients. We wish CarminParker success and look forward to working with them in the years to come.”
“It was time,” Parker affirms. “Bill Andrews retired four years ago and Skip (Harrell) has been out since 2003. It definitely was time to rethink what we were doing and rebrand the new firm.” Two of the five names from AHMCP have transferred to CarminParker, and a third, Robert Mann, will stay on with the new firm as senior attorney until his retirement at the end of 2014.
The first thing you see when you walk into the offices of the new firm is a vibrant red wall with the firm’s distinctive logo. “I call it the wow wall,” Parker says. “I don’t think Mike is quite into it as much as I am, but he’s gracious enough to go along with it.” Carmin smiles and offers no more.
“We wanted to create more of a boutique niche, mostly real estate, development, and business law,” Parker says. “We have Capstone Title Partners [a separate company] right here in the office with us as well. A lot of what we love to do is business consulting, right from startup to what you need to know as your business grows.”
The partners say they also enjoy the community involvement they’ve carried over from their previous firm and look to work with nonprofit boards and organizations to dispense practical as well as legal advice.