Craig Watrous: Business and Civil Litigation Law

Small Business Champion Interview

Craig is a partner at Mallon Lonnquist Morris & Watrous, a business and civil litigation law firm in Cherry Creek.  Craig focuses his practice on business and commercial law, transactions, contracts, corporate law, litigation and real estate. He represents established and start-up businesses and individuals. His clients come from a wide range of industries including: manufacturing, environmental services, environmental remediation, engineering, restaurants, construction, financial services and business consulting. He advises clients on a wide variety of business topics including: business formation, transactions, consolidations, non competition agreements, mergers and acquisitions, planning and operational legal problems, distribution, franchising, dealerships, import/export issues and general environmental matters. He also counsels clients in negotiation and resolution of disputes, including, when necessary, representing them in litigation. Craig received his JD and MBA from Tulane University and is tri-lingual in English, Spanish and Portuguese.  When not working he enjoys traveling, skiing, rock climbing and painting.

How do you measure success?
A variety of factors. Positive feedback from our clients, along with overall job satisfaction come to mind. We want to provide our clients with exceptional legal services; most of our new business is generated through referrals from current and past clients. We strive to build long term client relationships based on trust, legal acumen, quality of work, and efficiency. I want to work on engaging, challenging legal matters. Overall profit and accomplishment I see as the by-product of doing good work. So I think of success as generating and doing good work.

What is the biggest “happy accident” you have had in starting your business?
When I originally started practicing the job market was in rough shape. I ended up working as a contract attorney on a variety of legal matters for different attorneys, one of which seemed directly adverse to what I’d done prior at Tulane’s Environmental Law clinic; I represented a number of pesticide companies. The experience ended up being invaluable. The specific skill sets I learned have come into play time and again over my career and it showed me early on that legal issues are often not black or white.

When have you been the most satisfied in your life?
Graduate school, back when everything was hypothetical and theoretical and time was abundant.

What was the best piece of advice you were given when starting your business?
Focus on providing the highest quality services you can; do good work.  Providing excellent service leads to customer/client retention and ultimately builds the business. Do good work and the business will grow.

What is your biggest struggle in being a small business owner (and/or starting a small business)?
Time management. The juggling act between handling the work to be done, administrative tasks, business planning, and marketing.

If you weren’t doing what you are doing now what would you be doing?
Teaching and traveling.