The National Law Journal
A certain type of law firm showed remarkable strength during the recession: the boutique. Take Dwyer & Collora of Boston. The firm has leveraged relationships with larger firms to build strong practices in civil and appellate litigation. In this issue of the NLJ, we profile five firms that have thrived by identifying strong niche practices. For San Diego's Robbins Umeda, it was shareholders' rights. Of course, Greenberg Glusker Fields Claman & Machtinger in Los Angeles showed the way 20 years ago, when the legendary Bert Fields began building his entertainment practice. Now the firm offers a case study in how to cope when the most important rainmaker prepares to wind down his career.
Firm finesses a major rainmaker's transition
Greenberg Glusker Fields Claman & Machtinger's litigation department has spent years attempting to sever its dependence on the firm's superstar rainmaker, Bertram Fields. That effort is starting to pay off.
Take on the government? Sure. No problem.
Since its launch in 1996, when a group of litigators ditched what was then Shaw, Pittman, Potts & Trowbridge to start their own firm, Washington's Cooper & Kirk has made suing state and federal government agencies a cornerstone of its business. Suits against the government account for about 30% of its work.
Not knowing what you don't know pays off
Brian Robbins and Marc Umeda opened their own litigation shop in 2002, a mere five years out of law school. Now the firm is a serious player in the shareholder-rights arena with more than $8 billion in recoveries.
Criminal defense is this firm's bread and butter
Schertler & Onorato has a knack for finding its way to the defense table in Washington's headline-making criminal cases.
Success is about leveraging relationships
Leveraging relationships with other lawyers has helped Boston litigation boutique Dwyer & Collora transform into a shop with several strong civil practices. During the past decade, the firm has used the model to develop and fortify litigation practices in appellate law, business litigation, employment law, health care law and securities.