Buckley Sandler, nearing a decade since its founding in the midst of the financial crisis, said Thursday it is shortening its name and has new management, as it prepares to move into new offices in Washington, D.C., later this year.
The overhaul and decision to scrap Sandler from its name in favor of the duosyllabic “Buckley” is part of its vision for the coming decade, the firm said.
“The decision to shorten the firm’s name acknowledges the reality of how the firm is recognized in the legal marketplace and comes as Buckley this year marks its 10th anniversary and prepares to move its Washington, D.C., offices to 2001 M Street N.W. in the spring,” the firm said in a statement.
The firm legally changed its name to Buckley LLP and did not simply shorten it as a branding matter, as many other firms have done recently.
Jeremiah “Jerry” Buckley founded the firm with fellow name partner Andrew Sandler, who left the firm early last year. Buckley remains a partner at the firm, while Sandler operates a private investment company, Temerity Capital Partners; a financial services industry consulting firm, Treliant Risk Advisors; and a software firm, Asurity Technologies. Buckley co-founded Treliant with Sandler.
“Founding and leading Buckley Sandler from its 2009 formation through 2017 was a career highlight,” Sandler said in an emailed statement. “It is appropriate that the firm no longer operate under my name as I am focused on my other business interests and have no ongoing association with the firm. I wish the new Buckley firm success.”
As part of the firm’s changes revealed Thursday, Benjamin Klubes—another founding partner who had practiced with Sandler at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom—is now managing partner. Christopher Witeck, who also became one of the firm’s first partners when he came from Buckley Kolar with Jerry Buckley, is chief operating partner.
The pair will serve on a partner board that is replacing the firm’s executive committee. Joining Klubes and Witeck on the board are partners David Krakoff, John Kromer, Jeffrey Naimon, Clinton Rockwell, Michelle Rogers, and Jonice Gray Tucker.
Klubes and Kromer previously were co-managing partners, while Witeck was an executive committee member and deputy managing partner.
Klubes said Thursday that the structural and name changes were made over the last couple of months. In moving from an executive committee to a partner board, the firm hopes to resolve day-to-day and longer-term tasks in a more efficient and effective manner. “By splitting out and defining the operations versus the strategic role, formerly in one committee, we become more efficient operationally,” he said.
“It takes some time to get all the moving pieces together, from coffee mugs to the website,” Klubes said. “It wasn’t a decision we made last week.”
Witeck said in a statement that the firm’s new structure was “designed to simplify our organization, reduce management time, and allow partners to devote more energy to client service, which is our highest priority.” He stressed that the firm’s talent, dedication, quality of service and mission to provide greater efficiency and value would not be changing.
“The revised name and streamlined governance structure are part of our broader effort to position the firm for its next decade of growth,” Klubes added in a statement. “We move forward following the principles that the firm was founded on: delivering best-in-class client service, recruiting and developing a diverse, talented team of legal professionals, and innovating through strategic investments and new technologies, such as the firm’s APPROVED licensing service and FORTE e-discovery solution.”
Buckley Sandler ranked 171 in the 2018 Am Law 200, with more than $137 million in total annual revenue in 2017. In D.C., the firm is moving approximately one half-mile away from its offices in Georgetown and will be slightly nearer to DuPont Circle. The firm plans to make the move shortly after formally celebrating its 10th anniversary in March.