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Centolella, colleagues launch new business-law firm

By Eric Reinhardt

Date:

SYRACUSE — Five attorneys, who were formally part of the Bousquet Holstein PLLC law firm in Syracuse, have formed their own firm.

Centolella Lynn D’Elia & Temes LLC is now operating in a 4,000-square-foot temporary space on the 17th floor of Axa Tower I at 100 Madison St. in downtown Syracuse.

The firm plans to move into a permanent 4,000-square-foot space in the building’s 19th floor in early May.

The firm’s office opened for business on March 3.

The attorneys involved include Jason Centolella, who is the firm’s managing member. In addition, the attorneys include Kathleen Centolella, who is Jason’s wife; Tim Lynn, Anthony D’Elia, and David Temes.

All five attorneys are considered members of the LLC, but Centolella declined to disclose what percentage of the firm each attorney owns.

Jason Centolella spoke with The Central New York Business Journalon March 21.

Centolella describes all the LLC’s members as good friends, about the same age, and “very entrepreneurial.”

“Each one of us has always had the desire to try and go out on their own and start their own law firm, we decided now is the right time,” Centolella says.

The firm’s practice areas include general business or corporate law, health care, commercial real estate and litigation, financial restructuring, mergers and acquisitions, taxation, and economic-development incentives.

Centolella calls the Centolella Lynn D’Elia & Temes firm a “boutique” business-law firm. “We’re going to focus on business issues,” he says.

The firm’s clients include hospitals, medical practices, manufacturers, and businesses.

Besides the attorneys, the firm also employs two full-time legal assistants. As for any additional employees in the year ahead, the firm is taking a “wait and see approach,” says Centolella.

Some law firms are a “one stop shop,” with several attorneys and practice groups. But Centolella Lynn D’Elia & Temes isn’t organized that way.

“If we don’t do [handle a certain legal area], we will … work with the client to find the best person to handle that specific issue outside of the firm,” Centolella says.

Centolella practices in health-care law and general business, which includes mergers and acquisitions, general contracting, joint ventures, he says.

D’Elia focuses on commercial real-estate matters. David Temes is a creditors’ rights, bankruptcy, and commercial litigator, Centolella adds.

Tim Lynn is a business attorney, tax attorney, while Kathleen Centolella practices in the areas of tax, general business, and employee benefits.

The firm will provide clients access to its attorneys during evening hours, early morning, and weekends, according to Centolella.

“It’s become a 24-hour business. Issues come up at all hours of the day and clients want immediate response. That’s one of our principals. Always be responsive to the client,” he says.

The firm’s members have watched downtown Syracuse “transform” over the past five years, noting young entrepreneurs in technology that are taking chances and starting companies, Centolella says.

“We wanted to take that chance,” he added.

After discussing the possibility in the early weeks of this year, the five members informed Bousquet Holstein of their plans in late February and their previous employer “couldn’t have been more supportive,” Centolella says.

“We share mutual clients. We talk almost daily. We will continue to work like that. We will send work back and forth,” he adds.

Michael Durkin of CBD Brokerage in Syracuse helped Centolella find the new firm’s operating space in Axa Tower I.

“It’s open space. It’s kind of a shell,” he says.

CBD Construction is building it out into conference rooms, offices for the attorneys, a break room, file room.

Centolella declined to provide specific figures but indicated the firm has “projected revenue goals.”

“I feel confident that we can … meet those goals,” he says.

Contact Reinhardt at ereinhardt@cnybj.com

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