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Featured Attorney: Greg Coleman

Kelly Anthony, Esq. | Deputy General Counsel

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In 2007, Greg Coleman launched Greg Coleman Law PC, a plaintiffs’ class action, mass tort and personal injury practice located in Knoxville, Tennessee. Greg Coleman has been selected to The Best Lawyers in America, was recognized as one of Knoxville’s top attorneys in the metropolitan area’s Cityview Magazine and has received accolades for his legal advocacy through the Multi-Million Dollar Verdict Advocates Forum and Super Lawyers. Since inception, his firm has recovered hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation for its clients, including a $178.6 million ERISA class-action settlement that required AK Steel Corp. to provide health and life insurance benefits to a group of over 3,000 workers and their spouses.

What incited you to start your own law firm in 2007?

Before founding Greg Coleman Law PC, I worked in law firms that primarily represented companies and I had a kind of a mid-life epiphany. I had always had a fair amount of plaintiff cases and decided that I was going to end my relationship with my defense clients and start representing plaintiffs full-time in 2007.

Did you have any concerns about starting your own practice?

Sure, you are always thinking, “okay, is this going to be sustainable?” However, I knew I already had a book of business and, not patting myself on the back, but I also had established a good reputation. I figured if I just worked hard the cases would come.

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What was the biggest hurdle you faced when launching Greg Coleman Law P.C.?

Capital infusion and capital growth. I had always been interested in consumer class action work and always had some pretty big plaintiff cases, so I just wanted to focus on that, but class action cases are expensive and they can last a really long time, so that was the biggest challenge—managing the capital outlay with the income growth.

How did you overcome that challenge?

When I first started, I was able to get capital through what I had saved and what fees I knew I had coming in and that I knew would be realized soon. Also, I knew my work was going to be primarily focused in the class action arena (consumer, product liability, ERISA, etc.) so I maintained a single-event practice to keep income flow. Later, I wanted to continue to grow and achieve sustained growth, so I got capital for the firm from Counsel Financial.

Why did you choose Counsel Financial in particular?

I did a lot of research, including online and by asking a lot of other lawyers about their experiences. After seeing Counsel Financial’s product and doing the research, I felt it was the best option for our firm.

How were you able to build your practice?

The old fashioned way—through case experience, by word of mouth and by forming strategic partnerships with lawyers from all around the country. You want to align yourself with others that are likeminded, so I think I am fortunate to have been able to do that with several great firms nationwide. Additionally, utilizing people like those at Counsel Financial to infuse capital and being wise in choosing cases have ultimately lead us to be successful.

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Is there anything that your firm has done that you are most proud of?

I am proud of all of it, but I would say that it would probably be the class action our firm handled against AK Steel Corp. We were able to help retirees who were having their health benefits unlawfully reduced and who otherwise did not have anyone to speak for them. We were able to give those retirees a voice and stop the company from reducing their benefits. Ultimately, we attained $178.6 million in compensation for the class.

What do you believe has contributed most to your law firm’s success?

Our people. There is so much talent that our lawyers and staff bring to the table and they have such a great work ethic.

What interests do you have outside of your law practice?

I am an avid reader, like to travel, enjoy boating and play golf when I can. But, I do not have much time for those activities because of work.

If you could give an attorney starting his or her own practice some advice, what would it be?

Make sure that you do a lot of upfront research to understand the market, to understand the cost and to understand how competitive the business environment is and is going to be in the future. Then, you've just got to go on faith and hope that all of the hard work you have done will pay off. That is the way that I have done it.

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