Charles Kaplan has always looked at law as coming down to one thing: problem solving. "I want to figure out what you need and how fast I can get it for you," Kaplan says. "Lawyers like to keep your case going so they can keep on billing. Throughout your career, you're going to have legal needs and if I handle them well then you'll come back to me. I want a business relationship, not to make a quick buck." Many of his clients are businesspeople and he can relate all too well. Besides his law firm, Kaplan owns a successful manufacturing company and previously ran a distribution and mining company. This comes into play when he assists in anything from business formation to mergers and acquisitions. "When a business comes to me, whether it's to help them become a corporation or even go public, it's about helping them form a plan. Beyond that, I use my connections to create the best team for all your needs."
Kaplan's array of clients has included New York Stock Exchange corporations and even professional athletes. He describes his negotiation style for all of them as tough but thoroughly focused and believed in that attitude from the start of his legal career. Working for the former mayor of West Palm Beach, then national law firm Baskin & Sears as their youngest partner, he even helped come up with the firm's eventual name. "I've always been no-nonsense. I had to catch a plane, so I just yelled to the partners, 'Baskin has the most experience and Sears is the most well known.' It was Baskin & Sears from that day on!" he laughs.
Kaplan has been good at recognizing difficult financial times and offering the flexibility and advice necessary to adapt to them. Tough decisions may have to be made by your company, such as an adjustment in business location or amount of employees. He can give you a complete understanding of your legal obligations and also the opportunities the law allows you for dealing with downturns in the economy.
Beyond working with businesses, Kaplan also enjoys delving into individual needs. Estate planning, real estate, commercial litigation and debt collection workouts are just a few of the areas he can advise on. "I'm interested in a client's goals," Kaplan says. "I don't want to just assist them with their present problems but also help them avoid other ones down the road."
Now in legal practice for more than 35 years, Kaplan still adheres to the lessons he learned as a young boy attending boarding school in New England. "They drilled it into your head that being a good Samaritan was as important as what you do for yourself. You know something? They were right."