Hanson Bridgett’s extensive and continuing experience on a national level with retirement centers provides our clients with highly valuable efficiencies and economies of scale unavailable from any other law firm. Our work with association clients allows us to familiarize ourselves with issues before they have an impact on individual developers or operators. In addition, we often work on matters that affect several clients in a similar manner. As a result, individual clients frequently encounter problems with which our firm has already dealt. The many forms of agreements and documents we have developed over the years may, in the right circumstances, be quickly tailored to the needs of a particular client. Our attorneys in the labor, business, litigation, finance, construction, insurance coverage, intellectual property and regulatory sections of the firm have extensive experience with senior care clients and understand the specialized issues faced by them. While each legal problem is unique, in many situations our experience can be brought to bear to provide services of higher quality at lower cost.
Having served as counsel to many senior housing and care providers on both an on-going basis and on individual projects, we are sensitive to the need for cost-conscious, efficient management of legal resources. Nevertheless, we have all the capabilities expected of a major metropolitan law firm and routinely handle large, complex transactions involving substantial sums of money, as well as issues of national importance to the industry.
Our firm bills its clients on an hourly basis at rates that depend upon the experience of the particular person handling the matter. In addition, certain out-of-pocket costs are billed directly to the client. A computerized description of time, services, costs and charges is sent to the client monthly. Although it is often difficult to predict the precise extent of legal services which will be needed in a particular matter, estimates of the anticipated fees for specific services usually can be provided. A retainer is normally requested of new clients.
We wish to emphasize the importance of consulting with experienced legal counsel at the outset of the acquisition or development of any senior housing or care facility. Because of the wide range of special laws and regulations applicable to these facilities, we have found that where clients have embarked on projects or transactions without proper legal advice, it frequently has been necessary to take significant remedial action, including significantly modifying or even rescinding existing plans, thereby increasing costs and causing delays. These problems can be avoided if legal counsel is consulted early in the planning process.
For existing communities, legal services should involve more than simply responding to problems that have reached a point of crisis. It is equally important periodically to review contracts, policies governing residents, personnel and operations, admissions forms, marketing materials and other documents and activities in order to update and conform them to legal developments (e.g., changing discrimination laws, regulatory interpretations, and court cases). If the threat of litigation or regulatory action nevertheless arises, counsel should be obtained immediately.
We view senior housing and care providers as a dynamic and challenging industry and are strongly committed to this area of legal practice. We value our existing clients and look forward to new opportunities in the field.