Bob Seabolt, Chief Operating Officer for IST Management Services
As Chief Operating Officer, Bob Seabolt is a member of IST’s senior management team. Like others on this team, he is also a part of the IST nationwide sales force. One assignment is to create opportunities for all divisions of IST at the largest law firms in America, known as the “AM Law 200.” Bob is also building a law firm consulting practice, which involves helping firms increase revenue and reduce costs. With a major part of his background and experience in mergers, Bob is working alongside law firms to help find potential merger partners.
Bob started his career as a litigation attorney at a Richmond, Virginia, law firm called Mays & Valentine. After 13 years trying cases in the white-collar criminal and business dispute areas, at age 38 he became the managing partner of the Mays firm. In 2001, they merged into Troutman Sanders, and for the next 18 years, he was part of the management for Troutman, most recently as Chief Operating Officer. As COO he was responsible for real estate, HR, IT and year-end collections.
After 38 years at one firm, Bob was ready to step away and try his hand at helping law firms as a consultant. He was considering several options when he learned that IST had recently started a consulting division. Meeting Hal Blackman and Stuart Schwartz previously, Bob was very impressed with their energy and expertise. What impressed him the most about IST was its commitment to excellence to its clients. Bob knew that IST would be a great platform for launching his practice, which has certainly been true.
Bob is also helping IST’s clients meet their business objectives by calling on firms that he has known for years while working for Troutman Sanders, and Mays & Valentine before that, achieve dramatic improvements in their performance during his tenure. Many firms are curious about how they achieved those results. Bob has basically been telling the story of his contributions to both firms. Other than Bob’s consulting business, that is just starting to take off, he is excited about a couple of opportunities bringing firms together as potential merger partners. He has two active merger discussions going on right now, and if even one of them results in a combination, it will establish IST as a major contributor in this area of the legal industry.
Bob says, “In addition to meeting many dynamic, friendly people across the company, I’ve gained an appreciation of the sales process, especially the importance of keeping up a high level of activity and following up relentlessly, which will, in turn, lead to signed contracts and revenue. IST has a very positive spirit. This is important to me because I’ve always worked collaboratively in an optimistic, team environment. I need people around me to be positive because that will bring out the best in me. I’m finding that’s the culture of IST.”
Along with the merger activity, Bob believes the greatest opportunity for IST is to expand all of its services into more large firms – the ones in the Am Law 200. This applies not just to consulting but to all of our services. IST has a lot to offer to these firms and they just need to get in front of the right people to explain our capabilities. To gain the trust of law firm leaders, Bob will talk about how he has addressed problems he knows they are facing. In doing so, he tries to convey that he is a peer who can move their biggest and most worrisome problems from their shoulders to his.