Cosimo Crupi truly enjoys his law practice. The lawyer is the principal and founder of Crupi Law, Markham’s own award-winning boutique law firm. The source of his enjoyment? It comes from his clients, and more importantly, from contributing to his clients’ successes.
“In one case, we acted for a client in the acquisition of a service business. After the transaction was completed, we continued to act as general counsel and represented this client in several acquisitions. Eight years later we acted for this client in the sale of the business to a multinational buyer,” Cosimo recalls proudly. “Our client is now enjoying the fruits of many years of hard work and it is nice to know that we played a part in helping our client reach the goal of financial independence and security.”
Being able to contribute to a client’s success over the long term provides the Crupi Law legal team the motivation needed to follow Cosimo’s example and to enjoy the practice of law as well. It is, Cosimo maintains, a legal practice rooted in the traditions of law, but one that has grown and blossomed through great attention to client care.
“I enjoy the regular day to day contact with many of our clients. At Crupi Law, we not only care about the many and varied legal matters impacting our clients’ businesses daily, but we are also genuinely interested in, and care about, our clients and their families. It is the personal touch to the practice of law, which is Crupi Law’s core value,” says Cosimo. “I believe that clients are more concerned about how much their lawyer cares and less concerned about how much their lawyer knows. After all, every lawyer is expected to know the law.”
With his associates Natalia Werhun-Popowicz and Vikas Gautam, Cosimo practices commercial and residential real estate law, business law, and wills and estate law. He has worked with many clients for more than 30 years and now, Natalia and Vikas are helping him to better serve next generation of those long-term clients.
The firm is, quite simply, an essential part of their clients’ lives. That important role is enabled by Crupi Law’s casual “open door policy” that ensures help is available whenever it is needed.
“Our clients feel comfortable when they deal with us, whether by phone, email or in person,” says Cosimo. “We will go out of our way to accommodate an unexpected request or visit from a client on an urgent matter; and we enjoy it when clients call or drop by to say hello and they often do.”
Being able to drop in and say hello is especially important to clients who use the firm’s general counsel services, treating Crupi Law as they would an in-house legal team. Cosimo and his associates advise clients on business law matters at all stages of business operations, including start-up, development, growth, reorganization, and right through to mergers and acquisitions.
Whether clients’ needs are general or specific advice, the lawyers who practice at Crupi Law are there for them. That broad base of legal advice, by necessity, has to cover every aspect of their clients’ businesses and their personal assets.
“Many of our clients are very active in commercial real estate development and acquisitions. In pursuing these activities, they will also need corporate and business law advice, such as for example, which legal entity is best suited for the development or acquisition and its participants,” Cosimo says. “Proper business planning for our clients necessarily involves corporate and estate planning. You really cannot separate the two. I am still amazed by the number of new clients who come through our door who possess significant personal assets and business interests and yet do not have properly drafted multiple wills and a corporate and estate plan in place.”
These difficult issues can influence both business and family relationships and dealing with these complex and delicate issues requires emotional intelligence. To support that quality in his work, Cosimo made a conscious choice from the beginning to put caring first.
“I decided very early on in my career that the big firm career path was not for me. I craved more independence and closer contact with clients, which is not always possible at the big firms,” Cosimo remembers. “Also, being closer to home was very important to my wife and I and our three children, who are all adults now. My practice was important, but my family was always more important. Although our client base spans the GTA, it is also extremely gratifying to be able to live and practice law in my own community.”
That decision, made almost three decades ago, continues to shape how Cosimo runs Crupi Law and how he views the practice of law itself.
“I have always valued work-life balance,” says Cosimo. “It wasn’t really talked about in my generation but I knew it was important and it is resonating with Generation X and the Millennial Generation, whom we are dealing with now. The more outside interests you have - in your family, your community and your hobbies - the more those interests shape you and your ability to practice law in a meaningful and successful way and, I believe, ultimately makes you a better lawyer.”
That philosophy for making a better lawyer appears to be working in the firm’s Markham and GTA community. With many five-star Google Reviews, clients are trumpeting the firm’s commitment to professionalism, courtesy and thorough, accurate work. Crupi Law was also voted “Best Legal Services Firm” in the Markham Economist Annual Readers’ Choice Awards in 2015, 2016 and 2017 and the firm has also been a finalist in the Markham Board of Trade’s annual “Business Excellence Awards” for the last two years.
Crupi Law is also an active corporate member of the broader Markham community. The firm contributes to several charitable endeavors and helps to raise money for others. These efforts include support for the Markham Chapter of Hockey Helps the Homeless, the Markham Stouffville Hospital Foundation, and Hockey With Heart in association with the Unionville Men’s Hockey League. The firm also sponsors several community-based organizations, including the Unionville Festival, Unionville Presents Thursday Nights at the Bandstand Series, the Unionville Men’s Slo-Pitch League and the Unionville Ladies Slo-Pitch League. Cosimo himself serves as the President and Director of the Bel Canto Foundation, a Canadian charity that advances ItalianCanadian cultural heritage and opera. An avid cyclist who enjoys his annual trips to Europe to “tackle another mountain range”, he is also one of the founders and currently the President and Director of the Unionville Cycling Club, a Not-For-Profit Corporation dedicated to promoting the health and social benefits of road cycling.
Cosimo Crupi, and everyone else at Crupi Law, certainly do show their commitment to care, first and foremost.
“At our firm, the practice of law is not about opening and closing files,” says Cosimo. “For me and my team, it’s about opening and building successful long - term client relationships and leveraging our firm’s success so we can contribute to making our community better.”
Kate Baggott's technology and business journalism has appeared in the Technology Review at MIT, the Globe and Mail, Canada Computes, the Vancouver Sun, and on the Business to Business News Network
Kate is the author of two short story collections.
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