Rick Quinn: Dealing with Sticky Situations

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An expert counsel on Food and Drug Administration compliance, Quinn helps companies navigate the potentially confusing waters surrounding the importation of products into the U.S.

Rick Quinn is used to dealing with sticky situations. An expert counsel on Food and Drug Administration compliance, Quinn and his firm, FDAImports.com, LLC, help companies navigate the potentially confusing waters surrounding the importation of products into the U.S.Because every port-of-entry problem is unique, Quinn says his success is built on a client-centered approach, and understanding the different cultural and legal needs of a mom-and-pop startup versus a Fortune 500 company, since he deals with both.

He gleaned those skills at Loyola thanks to the expert guidance of Professors Jeff Atik and Therese Maynard, among others. He says the ability to present potential clients with practical solutions to problems is what’s allowed FDAImports.com, LLC to grow so rapidly over the last four years.

“On one hand, I definitely got a deep theoretical base from the business and corporate law folks that I worked with,” Quinn says. “But I think the uniquely ‘Loyola’ feature was this focus on solving the problem.” And seven years after graduation, Quinn says that his expertise in helping clients save money is what keeps the business coming.

“When you talk about working yourself out of job, people line up,” Quinn says.

Due to the nature of the consulting work they do, the attorneys at FDAImports.com, LLC are spread out across the globe so they can best meet the specific needs of clients in each region. The firm currently has offices in China, India, Mexico, Australia, and the United Kingdom, and many U.S. cities too.

“We have very little physical overhead. We have new attorneys who work from home all over the country and are able to manage our clients worldwide. There’s no real need for them to report to the office,” Quinn says. “It’s a little bit of a different model, but it allows us to stay client focused.”

Due to a number of state laws and regulations, Quinn says California presents a number of compliance challenges for companies looking to do business here.

“There aren’t a lot of folks in Southern California that do precisely what we do, and Los Angeles is the busiest port in the country.”

As a result, the firm has been able to find a niche in the market, and it’s brought on two local California-licensed attorneys who deal primarily with FDA legal issues.

While domestic business will always be important, Quinn says half the firm’s revenue comes from abroad, so that’s where he and the other partners are focusing their marketing efforts. And he’s not shy about setting lofty goals, either.

“In five years we will have an active presence in every continent except Antarctica,” Quinn says.