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We have been performing better each year due to continuous improvement on our fundamentals.

A Look Back At The Year That Was – With An Eye On The Future

After one of the best years in our firm’s history where we grew larger, more profitable and more stable, it’s time for the year in review before moving forward boldly and strategically forward into 2022.

We recently had the pleasure of talking with our Chief Financial Officer, and member of the firm’s C-Suite, Dave Bassuk about his role in our success, and his life in the legal profession.

As our Chief Financial Officer, you were at the helm for one of the most successful years in our firm’s history. Please give us your thoughts on 2021 – a year in review – and why did Fennemore succeed?

We stuck to the fundamentals.  We improved our tracking of key fundamentals a few years back, including internal profitability, and you get what you measure.  We have been performing better each year due to continuous improvement on our fundamentals.

Okay, and now, let’s look forward and talk about 2022. If you had a crystal ball, what does the business landscape look like for law firms in Phoenix – and nationwide?

Tough going with competition from everywhere, including ABS entities – non-lawyer owned firms.  We will need to adapt even faster to changes in our environment next year. Fortunately, Fennemore has the best people and leadership to do this.

What would you tell your younger self – or someone at Duke pursuing an MBA about life in the legal profession?

Well, the legal world is different than the cooperate world, but it does not need to be as different as it has historically been.  What I mean by that is that law firms have always benchmarked themselves to other traditional law firms and have been structured to be committee-driven, and thus have been very slow to change.  Bringing in more “corporate” business processes and metrics, as well as leadership from outside the traditional legal world, has been a big part of our success.  It is making Fennemore more nimble and a better value to our clients. 

Talk about your biggest failure. What did you learn? And how did you pick up the pieces and move forward?

Wow, in my long career, I have had many mistakes.  From choosing the wrong role, making the wrong business decision, not speaking up when I should have to speaking up when I shouldn’t have.

I would not take back any of these “failures.”  Each one has taught me something new.  We should all reflect on our failures and our successes (not for too long) and think about how we will do better next time.  Nobody is too young or too old for continuous improvement.

What’s the best – and worst – piece of career advice that you’ve ever received?

I was planning to study biology/medicine, but my older brother suggested engineering.  I think that this was the worst and best advice. 

During our ongoing pandemic – the NEXT normal, what are you listening to (podcast or music); reading; and watching/streaming?

I prefer “news” news and business news, meaning not entertainment news or political news.  It is hard to find these days, but I primarily use CNBC and the Associated Press app, along with some news sections of market and stock-based apps.

Okay, you and your family are hosting a lavish dinner party. Name the three people – from any time in human history – who you would invite.

Assuming a universal translator:




Martin Luther,

Washington & Jefferson,

And see where this takes us ….

Many thanks to Dave, and all of the attorneys and allied legal professionals who contribute daily to the continued success of Fennemore!

For more information on the dynamic people who comprise our firm’s leadership team,  please visit:

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