Client Stories

!mpact Makers

Impact Makers is a Richmond, Virginia-based IT consulting firm with a revolutionary social enterprise model. Founded in 2006 by Michael Pirron with $50 and a laptop, it grew to become a 140-person company valued in 2018 at $18.6 million.  !M became the first benefit corporation and B Corp in Virginia

From the beginning, Michael built the company on an “all-profit-to-charity” model. In 2015, !M pledged to donate all of the company’s equity (at that time worth $13.4 million) to two public charities: The Community Foundation of Greater Richmond and Virginia Community Capital.

In 2018 and 2019, !M’s Board of Directors made a series of decisions that Michael passionately opposed because he believed they diluted !M’s mission and purpose.  Friction between Michael and the Board steadily increased. 

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The Flower Guy Bron

The Flower Guy Bron

We meet people every day and it can be hard to predict who will still matter in twenty years.

Tricia met Bron Hansboro about twenty years ago. At the time, she was a history teacher at Thomas Dale High School in Chester, VA. He was one of roughly 140 students whom she taught that year. From the start, Tricia saw something unique and very special about Bron. He is a big dreamer matched by bold action. He’s funny and full of positive energy. He’s a joy to be near.

Back then, Tricia needed a babysitter, so as many high school teachers do, Tricia asked Bron if he wanted to babysit.  This is one of the perqs of being a high school teacher – great babysitters! For the next several years, Bron babysat from time to time.  He became part of Tricia’s family and she became part of his.

Sanders Roof Repair

Paul Sanders Roofing

Paul Saunders Roofing is a third-generation family roofing business and since 2017 Dunlap Law has helped its owner, Graham Aston, protect the business and capture new opportunities. 

In mid-2021, Paul Saunders Roofing moved to new headquarters in a historic former auto parts store in Richmond’s Blackwell neighborhood. 

Confidential Matters

At Dunlap Law, we zealously represent our clients and protect their privacy unless they have given us permission to share their story.  Most of our work remains confidential.  This list will help you understand how our small business lawyers help clients while maintaining client confidentiality:

A two-generation family-owned small business found itself in court when one shareholder sued two other shareholders for breach of fiduciary duties and conversion.  In her complaint, the plaintiff also included a derivative claim – suing on behalf of the corporation itself.  She sought $2.5 million in damages and asked the court to dissolve the corporation even though it was a sound business with more than 25 employees and 20 years of service in central Virginia.  Tricia Dunlap and Brandy Brown served as defense counsel and successfully negotiated a settlement that bought out the plaintiff-shareholder and freed the business to continue operating under the continued stewardship of the two defendant-shareholders.

Setting up a private mental health practice can be daunting but Robin Frost’s extensive experience in the health care industry allows her to guide health care providers throughout the process.  From navigating industry jargon to complying with important data privacy laws such as HIPAA and HiTech, Robin educates and empowers her clients. HIPAA includes provisions that relate specifically to psychotherapy notes as well as protected health information and practitioners must ensure compliance. Robin has helped several start-up mental health practices launch their businesses with a solid foundation, enabling them to focus on providing great services to their clients.

Setting up a private mental health practice can be daunting but Robin Frost’s extensive experience in the health care industry allows her to guide health care providers throughout the process.  From navigating industry jargon to complying with important data privacy laws such as HIPAA and HiTech, Robin educates and empowers her clients. HIPAA includes provisions that relate specifically to psychotherapy notes as well as protected health information and practitioners must ensure compliance. Robin has helped several start-up mental health practices launch their businesses with a solid foundation, enabling them to focus on providing great services to their clients.

Many Dunlap Law clients need employment agreements to govern the employment law terms that apply to some employees.  To reduce costs, we start with a proprietary template developed by Heather Hormel Miller.  The template is written in accessible, ordinary language without fancy-lawyer-words like “heretofore” and “hereby.”  Our mission is to educate and empower clients so our contracts must be easily understood by everyone, especially non-lawyers.  Using this template as a baseline, we customize it to meet each client’s specific terms.  The result is a document that creates understanding between our clients and their employees, builds trust, and prevents misunderstandings in the future.  It’s a win-win for all.

In October of 2020, a new client hired Tricia Dunlap to manage the closing of a SBA 7a loan that funded the company’s
business succession plan.  The founders of this two-generation family-owned business were ready to retire and hand the reins to their son.  SBA 7a loans are complex with many moving parts that must all come together prior to closing.  This loan was especially challenging because its collateral included two parcels of real estate in two different states.  Tricia oversaw the entire process, curated documents
in coordination with the lending-bank’s attorney, and conducted the closing before the end of 2020.

A small business employer’s manager fell sick with COVID-19 and was out for two weeks of paid leave.  Afterward, more than twenty days later, the manager refused to return to work. Robin Frost guided the business owner and enabled the business to continue operations, avoid employment law issues, and ensure compliance with COVID-19 laws and guidance. Through careful review of the newest state and federal laws, Robin helped the business owner make decisions that she was comfortable with, that achieved her goals, and that ultimately protected the interests of the business.

In the early spring of 2021, the leaders of a legendary Richmond small business reached out to Tricia for advice on officer-director-shareholder relations.  Thanks to COVID-19, long-simmering tensions had exploded to open hostility.  As counsel to the company, Tricia’s goal was to ensure it complied with its Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws, and Virginia law while getting everyone refocused on the best interest of the business.  Over several months of board meetings, a more collaborative perspective took root.  All the shareholders attended the annual shareholder meeting which resulted in a disaffected shareholder becoming constructively re-engaged with the company and its needs.  During the meeting, shareholders voted unanimously to approve actions taken by the company’s leaders over the past year.  The company’s leadership now has a more solid foundation to run the business and the risk of shareholder litigation no longer distracts from the company’s needs.

COVID-19 shut down operations for a small business client.  Nisha Patel quickly filed for bankruptcy, allowing the business owner to restructure and refocus on her next adventure. 

Nisha Patel assisted a single mother in obtaining almost $1,500 in garnished funds back from a creditor and wiping away almost $50,000 in debt so the family can have a fresh start.

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