Saturday, August 26, 2017
Snippet Time! Check out #02 from Darkness Revealed, the Camilla Story.
Lawyers. By Set I hate lawyers. It doesn’t matter that Henry was a lawyer or that his death has brought about my new fortune. I found myself standing in Henry’s office looking at the books and community awards on the walls.
One of his partners stepped into the room without knocking first. “Ah, Camilla. Thank you for coming.”
I looked up and frowned. Zacharia MacDonald was the definition of a slime ball lawyer. Henry may have been crooked but at least he wasn’t a pervert. “Didn’t your mother ever teach you to knock first before entering a room?”
Zack paused and turned toward the door. He laughed. “This is my firm now. Why would I knock in my own office?”
There is was. I shook my head. Now I see why they wanted me here. “Your office? Was there a board meeting that I was unaware of? I was under the impression that you were the junior partner here.”
My stressing the word junior made Zack frown at me. “I’m the one next in line. That puts me in charge. That’s why we asked you here. To inform you of that fact. It’s been six months. Time to move on.”
“Why don’t we have this conversation in front of that board. That way it’s all legal like. Since you are supposed to be lawyers.” Grabbing my purse off Henry’s desk I slung it over my shoulder. Pushing past the slime ball I left the room.
Henry’s building was three floors. Henry didn’t like sharing all that much and the entire upper floor was his. It held a conference room and secret vault. I doubted the others knew about the vault. Below us on the second floor was the boardroom and junior partner offices. The main floor was where all the work took place. I took the elevator down to the second floor accompanied by Zack.
“We just want to talk. Everything is set up in the boardroom.” Zack led the way out of the elevator. He had a smile on his face.
“Let’s just get this over with.”
The room was filled, which surprised me. They went all out for this one. The board was a general partnership originally made up of Henry and the other four partners. Those men were here along with what looked like every associate and assistant employed here. Sitting in the corner was Henry’s former assistant Lori Lokitty. It was her that gave me the means to deal with these greedy men. I winked at her when she caught my eye.
“If you would take a seat Mrs Frederick, we can begin.” While I knew who Zack was, I didn’t know the other partners except by name.
“And you are?” I gave the older man a sharp look.
“Peter Gan. It was I and the rest of the junior partners that asked you here.”
“I’ll stand, thank you. So what is it you want from me?” I gazed out at the crowd.
“OK. We thought we would ease into this but here we go.” Gan held out an envelop towards me.
“This is the buy-out package we have put together for Henry’s shares in the business. You will find it’s very generous.”
I took the envelope and opened it. From the corner of my eye I could see the other partners nudging each other and smiling. The check inside was generous. I scanned the settlement paperwork. It was as Lori told me. They wanted all of Henry’s shares in the firm. But they forgot a couple of rather important things. I smiled as I closed the envelop. “Interesting. And I should take this offer, why?”
Peter started to say something but Zack laid his hand on his arm stopping him. “It’s illegal in this country for a non lawyer to hold any kind of position on a law firm board. You have to sell Henry’s position.”
“It’s not enough. I want you to double it.” I looked Zack in the eye.
“Double? That’s insane. You have to sell his position, Camilla. You don’t have a choice.” Peter almost shouted at me.
Since I was still standing I could see everyone in the room and they could see me. “Don’t I? Henry left everything he owned to me, his loving wife and the mother of his children. I recognize that a non lawyer cannot be on the board of a law firm.”
Both Zack and Peter smiled and nodded to each other.
“But. I’ve been offered quite a bit more than this amount for Henry’s shares.” All the members of the board sat in shock.
“What! You can’t do that!” Zack jumped up out of his chair.
“Sure I can. There is nothing in the charter of this particular law office that forbids it. In fact Henry had a running list of law firms that made offers. Currently this is the high bid.” Pulling out a card I tossed it at Zack.
Both men peered at the card, flipping it over to check the law offices information. Peter said something to one of his assistants who stood and walked briskly from the room. Peter spoke first. “Camilla, how long have you had this?”
I tried to not smile. The card was from one of the biggest law firms in Rochester. They had a reputation of being unethical and would do anything to win their cases. The representative that spoke to me said they were branching out and thought Henry’s law firm perfect for their needs. “A couple of months. The offer is still good by the way. I actually gave you the low number. They have mentioned spending at least ten percent more. If you double the offer you gave me now you can prevent the bidding war.”
“That’s highway robbery!” Peter showed the other members of the board the offer from Rochester.
It was interesting to me to watch the reactions of the lower ranking members when the name of the firm was mentioned. Many had looks of disgust on their faces. The assistant returned with a packet of files and set them between Peter and Zack. As she whispered into Peter’s ear he pulled back and looked at her in shock.
Zack grabbed the files and opened them. After reading the top page he passed it to Peter. I gave them several moments to freak out before speaking again. “As you can see, I’m not lying. Henry borrowed the money to start this firm from both his family and from me. Do you really think that I would allow him to cut me and my daughters from any future financial dealings? My mother didn’t raise a fool. It is totally and completely within my rights to sell his share to another firm.”
“We can’t give you double. There isn’t enough liquid funds in the firms coffers to cover an expenditure such as this. The very best we can do is this.” Peter scribbled a number on a pad.
I glanced at the number. I ask for ten million he offers seven. Interesting. Lori was the one that told me how much to ask for. The firm had right at eight million easily available without tapping their individual funds. This much I knew for an absolute fact. “Add an extra five hundred thousand to that and I’ll take it. If not I call Rochester.”
Peter and Zack exchanged glances again. “Deal.”
“Excellent.” Reaching into my purse I pulled out a contract and offered it to them. “I have the deal prepared actually. Feel free to read it, if you like.”
Zack muttered as he took it. “You bitch. You planned this didn’t you?”