W. Holmes Lilley, General Counsel, Founder, and Partner of Employer Defense Group LLP launched the firm in 2017 to serve businesses large and small in a variety of industries in Workers Compensation Defense. He has assembled a powerful team of attorneys with specific knowledge of workers’ compensation defense. His Workers Compensation defense team has successfully defended every manner of compensation claims. They work hard to provide cost-effective claims solutions.
Mr. Lilley began his career at the University of Mississippi as an English major. He continued his graduate program at the Elon University School of Law in Greensboro, North Carolina, earning his Juris Doctor (J.D.). After law school, Lilley worked with a law firm in Corporate Litigation and Healthcare Law. In 2013 Holmes joined HMS, Inc. a publicly traded company in Las Vegas where he practiced healthcare law. In 2016 he served as in-house General Counsel for a national staffing company while simultaneously launching Employer Defense Group LLP.
W. Holmes Lilley leads Employer Defense Group LLP. with a reputation that precedes its genesis, with impeccable ethics, professionalism, and the utmost integrity.
Where did the idea for your career come from?
Living and working in California, I recognized the high volume of worker’s compensation claims. Litigation defense for cases related to worker’s compensation was in high demand given the high volume. In 2017, I connected with a partner, and we founded the law firm of Employer Defense Group LLP. We were confident that we could address litigation of these cases more efficiently and at a more competitive cost than other law firms.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I begin my day at 5:30 in the morning with a three-mile run. I get to the office by 7 a.m. My productivity is maximized by organizing my day into three-hour intervals. The first three hours are devoted to addressing any emergencies, returning phone calls, and answering emails. The next three hours are for managing all business-related aspects of the firm. I review performance indicators such as claim results, and law firm leases, insurance, and any personnel issues that may arise. I devote the last three hours of my day exclusively to relationship building with current and new clients. I have phone conversations or draft emails, perhaps schedule lunch or dinners with clients. I also spend time on client development I often make calls to new clients in an effort to build new relationships that strengthen the firm.
How do you bring ideas to life?
The legal industry is not known for being innovative or having new ideas. However, our firm let’s demand drive innovation. Ideas develop by observing processes and having discussions with clients about their ideas for addressing their individual worker’s compensation claims. We take their ideas or problems and develop solutions.
What’s one trend that excites you?
Incorporating new technology into the firm excites me. New technology within the legal industry is a slow integration. We are a paperless office with cloud technology. Our attorneys can access documents from anywhere in the world. Integrating new technology is an exciting and intricate part of our firm.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I believe time-management is the key to productivity. It is easy to lose focus and follow the shiny object or idea. The productive power of my day is dividing my day into three segments. Doing this provides a clear pathway to productivity and time well managed.
What advice would you give your younger self?
I would tell my younger self to slow-down. Patience is a virtue and goals are not always achieved on your timeline. Slow-down and be patient while focusing on your goals, it may not happen overnight.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
Failure to advance and prioritize technology is the single largest global threat. If you think about it, no matter how much work we do or product we produce or how globalized the world becomes, none of it will matter if technology is not apart of the process. For example, if more product is created without reducing the waste associated with product creation we will have that much more waste and it will be a unsustainable model.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Early morning is the best time to exercise. I would recommend that everyone exercise. Not only is it great for your health, but it gives you the time to mull over how you’re going to execute your goals for the day.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Devoting time to relationship building is paramount to building your business. In a world where technology makes it easy to shoot off an email or text or even make a phone call, it is essential to take the time to build relationships face to face whenever possible. You have to be intentional about building relationship with clients, staff, friends, and family. At the end of the day all you have are those relationships.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
Before the launch of Employer Defense Group LLP, I attempted to purchase a business that ultimately did not come to fruition. It led me to become more intentional with my time at the law firm. I don’t see it as a failure. I see it as a step that was instrumental in bringing about the launch of Employer Defense Group.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
I believe that a service-based model is something that people should consider when anticipating opening a new business. It is a value-added service that takes time, effort, and resources. A service model business with a good margin is what I would recommend.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I bought my wife flowers. Having a great home life is essential to having a great business life. Any investment you make in happiness is worth it. Eliminating domestic distractions allows you to focus more time and energy on your business.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
Our firm uses an industry-specific cloud-based software suite. The software has three important elements. It provides efficient time- management, enables a paperless office environment, and it provides access from anywhere in the world.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell. The book is a testament to the idea that you have to invest a significant amount of time in any undertaking before you achieve success.
What is your favorite quote?
Fortune always favors the brave and never helps a man who does not help himself.
• Having a great home life is essential to having a great business life.
• Slow-down and be patient while attaining your goals, it may not happen overnight.
• Devoting time to relationship building is paramount to building your business.
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.