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posted: 4/14/2014 5:00 AM

Law firm addresses hot trend -- multifamily housing boom

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  • Philip Ruben is a partner at Ruben Firsel & Ross in Bannockburn.

    Philip Ruben is a partner at Ruben Firsel & Ross in Bannockburn.

Daily Herald staff report

Q What's new at your company?

A: In 2013 we installed a new document management system which allows our attorneys immediate access to all our client flies, including all documents and emails, helping streamline client services. Now if a client needs immediate assistance, any of our attorneys can help service that client and have all the information at their fingertips.

Q: Do you plan to hire any additional staff or make any significant capital investments in your company in the next year?

A: We've been adding new staff every year, and we're keeping the momentum going into 2014. To that end, our plan is to hire two new attorneys.

Q: What will your company's main challenges be in the next year?

A: The main challenge will be to manage the growth of our company, specifically adding new attorneys, and continuing the excellent service we provide for our clients. We also hope the commercial Real Estate market stays strong.

Q: What's the hottest trend in your industry?

A: The hottest trend in real estate is the multifamily housing boom. Some legal issues faced in these developments are common to other types of commercial projects, but often have a unique twist in the residential rental context. On the corporate end, raising capital for new business ventures including real estate is on the upswing.

Q: If you had one tip to give to a rookie CEO, what would it be?

A: Rule No. 1: Make sure you're properly capitalized.

Q: Do you have a business mantra?

A: Our clients' needs come first.

Q: From a business outlook, who do you look up to?

A: I think it's important to have your own "intellectual" board of directors. For me there have been several managing partners of other firms that have mentored me who I still look up to and ask for advice.

Q: What is one interesting fact about you or your company that most people may not know?

A: Having worked in large corporate firms and seeing the pros and cons, we made the conscious choice to maintain a simple and streamlined boutique structure that allows us the flexibility to personalize service for each of our clients. One of my partners is a former client and we utilize his experiences to assist us in managing our client services.

Q: What do you like to do in your free time?

A: I love spending time with my daughters, my girlfriend, playing golf, going to sporting events, reading a good mystery novel, and listening to live music.

Q: What book is on your nightstand?

A: "Command Authority" by Tom Clancy.

Q: What keeps you up at night?

A: Thinking about new ways we can grow the business, maintaining excellent client service, and meeting tomorrow's deadlines.

Q: What was your first paying job?

A: I worked as a bagger for the National Tea grocery store when I was 14 years old. That was a perfect first lesson in the values of customer service and work ethic.

Q: If you could put your company name on a sports venue, which one would you choose?

A: I'd have to go with the United Center, I'm a big Blackhawks and Bulls fan.

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