The delivery of legal services to affluent families and their family owned enterprises has historically been an industry slow to adapt to consumer changes. Roy Kozupsky’s methods are decidedly different, which is why I’m particularly looking forward to meeting him today.
Roy is a widely recognized and highly respected attorney. He has become a thought leader in how affluent families and their family owned business can utilize legal services in a different manner. His approach yields more value to the families he represents. A guest teacher at Pepperdine University in California, Roy is committed to delivering contemporary and progressive areas of legal thinking to the families he works with.
Having worked and trained as a trusts and estate lawyer for thirty years, his work focus shifted a decade ago. He decided to work exclusively with families whose wealth, prosperity and emotions are all aligned around their family businesses and philanthropic visions.
His work for these legacy families and his role as ‘personne de confiance’ – or trusted advisor – demonstrates a passion for a new multidisciplinary field of law and its fundamental principles of helping families. He has the ability and professionalism to first to care about a client’s well being, to try to understand their universe and values and then help them navigate solutions.
“How does that relate to the industry’s regular modus operandi?” I ask Roy.
“Selling defined legal services does not work for this field. For practitioners servicing these families, ours should not be a transaction business.”
Private client services in law is an essentially intimate field, particularly Roy’s practice of working with legacy families. After graduating from law school, he joined a firm specialized in trust and estate law. A serendipitous event. He had always demonstrated a keen interest in understanding human behavior, and this focus allowed him to combine his passion for law with working with family owned enterprises.
“How are these linked?” I ask.
“Understanding family behavior around their wealth and values is a critical aspect of law. What motivates thought patterns concerning their family and wealth? What values does a family cherish? Consider for instance a family business. The business itself is intimately connected, interwoven if you will, within the identity of the family.”
Even in today’s global economy, over 80% of all American businesses are privately held. Research seems to indicate that there are complex reasons why many family owned businesses do not make it to the next generation.
“For those families interested in perpetuating their wealth, values and philanthropic goals beyond one generation,” Roy continues, “it’s important to me to render contemporary multidisciplinary legal advice. To operate beyond the scope of what might be traditionally delivered in legal services, to help these legacy families thrive, from one generation to the next.”
Roy has seen how the world of law has strayed from its original purpose: to care for and help a family navigate the likely tumultuous events they all will face and help them understand how contemporary research surrounding family wealth and business planning can be integrated into their legal strategies.
I offer: “A principle that you dismiss outright?”
“I’m not interested in just doing transactional work and making a fee and then never hearing from a client until many years later. I want to deliver quality work that helps my clients move forward and navigate the most important issues that keep them up at night. Mainly the health, human and financial issues of their family. Money is not the measure of my success.”
Roy is passionate about his approach to law – his thirst for knowledge is unquenchable. He was and is profoundly influenced by his mentors. They pushed him to continue to ask questions, teaching him never to take anything at face value, but to persist and delve deeper and continue to develop as a professional and an individual.
“I want to bring about change in my particular area of legal work. A change born out of a deeper appreciation of what families need instead of what lawyers are selling.”
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