My Herrick Story: Shivani Poddar
Shivani Poddar | email@example.com | 212-592-1446
What was it about Herrick that enticed you to join the firm?
Herrick was established over 90 years ago as primarily a boutique real estate firm. Since then, it has grown significantly into a full-service law firm, including litigation, corporate, restructuring & bankruptcy, and employment, to name a few. 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.
How does the flexibility of a mid-sized firm with a deep bench like Herrick accommodate your clients?
Herrick, being a full-service firm, has been able to cater to my clients’ diverse needs, whether that means litigation, corporate services, or real estate refinancings. For example, while we handled a real estate litigation for a commercial developer, we were able to help them with commercial loan refinancings at the same time. While we handled a Chapter 11 bankruptcy for a retail client, we were able to handle employment issues that arose during the bankruptcy process and related to the COVID-19 pandemic. And when we were dealing with SPAC-related litigation, the corporate department was able to step in to help guide the client in launching the SPAC. My clients have peace of mind that Herrick can help address the myriad of legal and business challenges that they face.
Additionally, Herrick is unique in that it has first-rate, sophisticated lawyers with stellar experience, but it is economical enough for middle market companies.
What do you believe is key to building and maintaining meaningful relationships with clients?
The key is to build organic and real relationships on a personal level. Networking is not only about discussing professional endeavors, it is an opportunity to get to know someone on a human level, learn about their interests and hobbies, discuss their family, and find common ground. We’re regular people before we are lawyers and/or clients and exploring that aspect helps build and maintain meaningful relationships.
I also make it a practice to learn about each client’s industry and what keeps them up at night, so I can proactively offer solutions before clients face any challenges. This has helped me maintain meaningful relationships and provide practical and timely counsel.
What is next for you and your practice?
My client base often includes institutional investors, investing in unique asset classes. Because I am an avid investor myself, I am keenly aware of issues that arise from investing in private and public companies. As a result, a large part of my litigation practice focuses on complex commercial litigation, relating to disputes involving financial transactions. I plan to continue expanding my work in complex commercial litigation by focusing on litigation arising from investments in hedge funds and private equity firms, cryptocurrencies and ICOs, and SPACs, as these areas are growing and may be the subject of regulations and litigation. My efforts will include writing client alerts and articles on these types of matters, which often include novel and complex legal issues.
I have also always been a driver of diversity and inclusion throughout my career. As an associate at my prior law firm, I co-founded a group called the “Diverse Working Attorneys’ Group,” created a “Diversity Matters” newsletter, and launched a “Women’s Initiative” program. While at Herrick, I launched the “Women’s Initiative Network,” created a mentoring circles program, and proposed programs for recruiting and retaining diverse attorneys. Most recently, I founded a group in New York called “Ladies in Law” for female attorneys to network and create organic relationships with each other. My motto is, “if it doesn’t exist, create it!” This approach has helped me contribute to diversifying the legal field, and I am very focused on continuing to move the needle for both Herrick and the industry over the coming years.
For more information on Shivani Poddar or litigation at Herrick, please contact:
Shivani Poddar at +1 212 592 1446 or [email protected]
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