Spokane Journal of Business

Randall & Danskin takes steps to diversify services

Century-old practice creates IT department

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-—Kevin Blocker
Attorneys Michael Bayley, left, and Todd Taylor make up part of the management team at Randall & Danskin PS. The 100-year-old firm is located at 601 W. Riverside downtown. The practice consists of 26 attorneys and 15 staff members.

Randall & Danskin PS for years has operated with an emphasis in business law, banking, real estate, and estate planning. But lately the century-old firm recognizes it needs to expand the services it offers.

The firm, founded here in 1914, recently announced it has hired three attorneys to a newly created intellectual property department, two more attorneys to its family law section, and a litigation specialist, says attorney Michael Bayley.

Bayley, Todd Taylor, and Peter Grabicki comprise Randall & Danskin’s management team.

The Journal of Business’ 2015 Book of Lists ranks the firm as the sixth largest in the Spokane area. The recent additions give Randall & Danskin 26 lawyers and 15 staff members. The firm occupies 13,000 square feet of space on the 15th floor of the Bank of America Financial Center, at 601 W. Riverside.

“It’s an expansion for the benefit of our current and future clients,” Taylor says.

Randall & Danskin hired attorney Bill Jeckle last year and just recently hired George Grigel. Both attorneys specialize in patent law and work in the firm’s intellectual property department. It also added Shamus O’Doherty in that department, bringing his experience in trademark law. Attorney Brook Cunningham also joined the firm this month, bringing general litigation experience.

Additionally, veteran Spokane attorney Marty Salina joined Randall & Danskin and brings extensive family law experience to the firm. He’ll be joined by Michael Grover in the family law group, Bayley says. 

The management team says it realized it was missing out on opportunities to help existing clients whom the firm has represented in other areas. Family law is one of those areas, for example, with its focus tending to be divorce-related matters. 

“These changes are all opportunities to address needs for our current clients,” Taylor says.

Bayley and Taylor say it’s difficult to say exactly how many clients the firm serves, especially in the area of estate planning. They decline to disclose the firm’s annual billings.

Bayley works with an emphasis in trust and estate planning, while Taylor focuses on business law. Criminal representation is the only legal area Randall & Danskin doesn’t offer clients.

Taylor and Bayley have been at the firm nine years and seven years, respectively. They say a key factor that has  contributed to the longevity of the firm is the value it places on its senior leadership. Longtime principals Anthony Grabicki—Peter Grabicki’s brother - and Kit Querna are the “faces of the firm,” Taylor says.

Bayley says the half dozen members of the firm’s senior leadership bring a strong institutional memory to Randall & Danskin that is invaluable. 

The firm takes the unconventional approach of financially vesting its attorneys as partners at a quicker rate than the typical seven- to eight-year process that most law firms employ, Bayley says. “We view ourselves as a team. We want to raise everybody up,” he says.

Attorney Claude D. Randall established his practice here in 1911. Floyd B. Danskin joined him as a law librarian in 1915 and as an associate attorney a few years later, say the company’s historical records.

The firm spends less time now than in previous years representing doctors. 

“Now, with the consolidation of hospitals and health care facilities across the region, and even the country as a whole, those doctors are now represented by the larger health care organizations,” Taylor says.

“On the other side, now in Spokane we’re seeing small business grow all over, especially in the tech sector,” he says. “Watching that part of Spokane transform in recent years has been amazing. The number of quality entrepreneurs and businesses that are starting up and expanding is impressive. As a business and corporate lawyer, that’s where I find great satisfaction, helping hardworking people fulfill their dreams and passions.”

Taylor, a Mississippi native, says he’s observed a stronger entrepreneurial spirit in the Pacific Northwest than in other parts of the country where he’s either lived or visited. 

“I love it when I get to watch that new guy take something from nothing and build it up,” he says. “That’s when you get invested and you want to see that grow.”

Bayley says he continues to stay at Randall & Danskin because of the people he works with. “This is definitely a good group of people who strive to be good lawyers, and you often don’t hear that,” Bayley says, laughing. “I like the collegiality here. There’s more of a team atmosphere here than anywhere I’ve been.”

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