Beyond Herrick’s strong reputation as a high-caliber mid-sized firm, I was particularly intrigued to learn that the Firm was focused on enhancing its complex financial litigation capabilities. That fit well with my existing clients and experience. And the growth of this group (the Restructuring and Finance Litigation Group) seemed like an opportunity I couldn’t pass up.
The people are also ultimately what really attracted me to Herrick. There was a real sense of camaraderie among the lawyers and cohesiveness across the practices. This was demonstrated by the broad mix of lawyers that I met throughout the interview process. It was clear this mindset was a core part of the Firm’s culture and went beyond just the recruiting process—this is how Herrick approaches client service, business development and marketing, professional development, and beyond.
I joined Herrick last May in the earlier days of the pandemic. Having spent much of my nearly 40-year career at large New York firms or the New York offices of large out-of-town firms, I thought that it was time to move back to a mid-sized firm with the caliber of lawyers I had worked with at some of the largest firms in the country. Twice in my career I chose to work at boutique firms similar to Herrick, but both firms ended up merging with large out-of-town firms. I missed the camaraderie, flexibility and entrepreneurial approach of the smaller firm.
I have had a diverse transactional practice. I started out working on regulatory, securities and M&A matters for banks and bank holding companies at Shearman & Sterling before moving to Shearman’s M&A group, where I focused on public and private middle market M&A and private equity fund formation. At my next stop (one of the boutique firms), I represented primarily a number of Australian companies in their US securities and M&A activities before that firm merged with a Houston firm. At the Houston firm, I became heavily involved with their Master Limited Partnership practice and worked on a significant number of MLP IPOs and M&A transactions. After 10 years at that combined firm, I moved to another mid-sized firm, which had some similar characteristics to Herrick, including streamlined sophisticated deals and a roster of top private equity and general corporate clients. When the firm merged with a larger multinational firm, I spent 10 years doing PE acquisitions/dispositions and more general M&A and securities work. In 2009, I moved to the NY office of Baker Hostetler, which is based in my hometown of Cleveland, Ohio. After 11 years, in the spring of 2020, I decided to move to Herrick for its top transactional practice and its extension of highly lauded complimentary services.
I was most attracted to Herrick’s litigation practice, particularly the broad range of services representing a very diverse client roster.
While other firms prefer their associates and partners to specialize in one subfield, Herrick provides opportunities to expand your competency in numerous practice areas. For example, my practice covers complex commercial litigation involving financial transactions, employment counseling and litigation, and real estate litigation involving commercial and high-end residential real estate across the country. Associates also have greater responsibilities on cases because Herrick encourages them to handle oral arguments, appeals, and depositions early in their careers. These opportunities are not often afforded to junior associates in other firms, and I benefitted from them tremendously as an associate.
The firm’s reputation for being one of the top real estate groups in the city, combined with its complex real estate work and diverse client base, made it an obvious career move. The supportive culture and dedication to the professional development of the attorneys is exceedingly valuable and continues to be a huge component of my practice. Herrick is a true mid-sized firm with a wealth of experience and history in real estate. We are able to provide high-touch client service as well as the experience to handle complex and hairy transactions. That’s what Herrick does best. Additionally, because of our relationships with so much of the real estate industry, we are able to play matchmaker on deals – introducing our clients to our contacts to solve challenges and make deals happen. Whether it’s joint venture partners, sources of financing, brokers and other real estate services, we add value to these client relationships in ways many firms cannot.
It wasn’t that I was unhappy or unsettled at my prior firm. Quite the opposite, I wasn’t looking to make a change. But in Herrick I just recognized that, if I was going to do more and be more as a lawyer, Herrick was that opportunity. I transitioned from being a senior associate to being a partner, at a new firm, responsible for helping to run the Condominium and Cooperative Law practice group. So there was, and remains, a lot to learn. At Herrick I’ve received the support, the patience, and the room to grow into my profession and be successful.
Shortly after I joined Herrick as counsel (after having spent my career to that point at a "mega firm"), I was introduced to one of the firm's most important corporate clients. After handling some minor litigation work for them, I pitched for and landed work representing that client in a high-profile class action involving one other defendant who was represented by another firm. It was the first matter I brought in and the partners at Herrick were delighted. At the first pre-motion conference, however, I convinced the class plaintiffs' lawyers to drop their claims against our client. When the conference was over, the federal judge turned to me and said "Well, it looks like you just talked yourself out of a lucrative representation … what are the partners at your firm going to think?" I worried the entire way back to the office wondering exactly that. I just cost the firm a good amount of revenue, and being new to the firm, I had no idea what they would say. When I informed the partners of what had happened, they not only were not upset, they were thrilled. Their entire focus was on what a great outcome this was for our client. Not one of them mentioned Herrick's lost revenue. Today, I am a proud partner at Herrick, and I know for a fact that my experience was not an aberration. Many firms say "the client comes first" but Herrick truly lives by that maxim.