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.

Two partners at the firm, Bonnie Eskenazi and Robert Chapman, scored significant victories in court for Greenberg Glusker during the past year. Eskenazi represented the heirs to the estate of J.R.R. Tolkien, author of The Lord of the Rings, in a $150 million profit-participation action against New Line Cinema Corp., now owned by Time Warner Inc. Chapman obtained a nearly $105 million verdict for the city of New York in a trial against Exxon Mobil Corp.

The Tolkien heirs and the city of New York are among several clients who have come to the firm independently of Fields, who just turned 81.

NLJ reporter Amanda Bronstad spoke with Eskenazi about how the firm has stepped out of the shadow of a giant.

See the NLJ’s profile of Greenberg Glusker and four other firms that have established strong niche practices in our Litigation Boutiques special report.