Entrepreneurial Experience

With the support of the partners at Pannone, Lopes, & Devereaux, Mr. Walsh joined an ownership group that sought to construct a new shipyard in Texas that would build ocean-going tank barges.  This business venture was initiated in response to a price spike for tank barges caused by the federal mandate under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, which required all tank barges to be doubled hull by 2015.  In essence, because there was not enough shipyard-building capacity to meet the federal mandate, there was an opportunity for a new shipyard to emerge to meet the rising demand. 

Given his legal experience in business and his MBA, Mr. Walsh was charged with developing and drafting the shipyard’s business plan for potential investors, negotiating the various contracts with potential customers and vendors and coordinating the various components necessary to get a new venture off the ground.  In developing the business plan, Mr. Walsh spent considerable time working on constructing a shipyard that comported with the concepts of lean manufacturing.  By implementing a lean manufacturing philosophy, Mr. Walsh sought to build a shipyard that would undercut the competition with cost savings once the spiked prices began to recede. 

Unfortunately, the business venture failed when the key member of the ownership group had to step down due to personal reasons.  Nevertheless, this experience provided Mr. Walsh with great insight into challenges faced by many of his business clients, as well as the underlying basis for a new approach to the practice of law: lean lawyering.