As a forward-thinking business lawyer, Dennis Lundquist has a pragmatic approach to all things business and is a strong believer in the need for change and progress within the legal industry. Dennis has a background in legal tech giving him experience in the challenges (and importance) of trying to implement legal methods and workflows to technology- and/or sales-driven companies.
Dennis Lundquist is Managing Director and Partner at Qap Legal, a boutique law firm for the movers and shakers, the dealmakers, and the entrepreneurs of Stockholm’s startup and scaleup scene, a business which Dennis very proud of. Qap Legal has established a clear M&A focus and has managed to grow its public M&A engagement substantially.
The greater the obstacle, the more glory in overcoming it
Success is achieving jointly established goals together. Dennis believes that success is continuing growth and evolvement under the theory that 1,00^365 still just equals 1,00 whilst 1,01^365 equals 31,18. Progress in its purest form. He says that success itself is not the end game, but rather a result of living by the above standards.
Dennis also strongly believes that challenges do make you stronger. Without failure, there can be no success and each mistake and setback provide an opportunity for growth. Personally, he experienced challenges in pushing through barriers of age, hierarchy, and tradition in the legal industry, but it taught him that people who fear change and development and put themselves first often end up on the losing side.
The beginning and the successful journey of Dennis’ career in the legal industry
Dennis’ career took off when his current partner Niklas Bergman took him in as a junior associate straight out of university and showed him that there is an alternative to the stiffness and sluggishness of the traditional, legal industry. Today, he has grown professionally and holds the position of Managing Director and Partner.
As a leader, Dennis tries to focus 30-40% of his time on operations, business development, public relations, sales, and knowledge management. The remaining 60-70% of his time is spent on their clients and coaching their associates in client-related matters. He always tries to go beyond the legal side of things and understand what the clients at Qap Legal do and why.
“My life pre-Qap Legal was mainly spent in an international M&A and corporate group at Eversheds Sutherland, which, granted, gave me a lot of legal and professional experience that I benefit from even today, but at the same time reduced me to a small cog in a piece of large machinery and gave me a poor work-life balance,” states Dennis.
Dennis notes that the best recognition he has received as a leader cannot be pinned down to a single moment but in the constant development and growth of the associates and other employees at Qap Legal telling him that they are doing something right.
Plans for the growth and future of Qap Legal
The plan for Qap Legal is to keep disrupting a traditional legal industry and become the go-to M&A firm in Sweden for startups and scaleups. Dennis’ goal is to build Qap Legal into an autonomous body that lives its own life and thrives on the growth of its employees.
“I rarely reflect on the past and when I do it’s to take a moment and appreciate all that we as a firm have accomplished. Instead, I focus on the future and what we have yet to achieve. Dreams need to be forward-looking, otherwise, what’s the point?” explains Dennis.
Personally, he is looking to improve and develop in his role as an advisor by constantly increasing his knowledge, improving his work methods, and providing more and more value to the one on the receiving end of such advice. He is especially interested in elevanting his experience in corporate governance by taking on board assignments and being part of advisory boards in early-stage companies.
Trying a maintain a work-life balance as a legal professional
“I always try to look up from time to time to see the bigger picture and maintain my focus on what’s important,” says Dennis who now have a 4-year-old and a 2-year-old at home that help him keep that focus in the best possible way. He also has a fiancée who is very supportive of what they are trying to achieve with Qap Legal.
“Family is the best way to keep yourself grounded and focused. For professional support, I regularly see a professional business coach to help me improve my leadership skills and work efficiency,” he states.
According to Dennis, employees that develop and grow remain motivated. He also believes that motivated leaders create motivated employees. “Growth comes from throwing them out in the deep end but letting them know that there is a lifeline if they need it. Having a relaxed and fun workspace also helps!” he exclaims.
Dennis’ message to aspiring lawyers is:
(a) to look beyond the traditional routes and hierarchies of the legal industry and understand that clients are looking for lawyers that understand their business.
(b) focus on mastering the transition from theory to practice.
(c) start building your network from day one.
(d) don’t pick a job, pick a boss.