Greenspoon Marder capped off its third straight year of double-digit revenue growth as the firm continues to expand rapidly nationwide.
The firm posted a 13 percent increase in gross revenue in 2018, from $134.7 million to $152.2 million. Greenspoon Marder’s head count also grew by double-digits—14 percent—bringing the total lawyer headcount from 203 to 232.
“So we’ve continued along the path that we’ve essentially been on,” said Michael Marder, co-founder of Greenspoon Marder.
Marder said the firm’s growth strategy last year hinged on geography, as Greenspoon Marder looks to become a truly national firm. To that end, the firm opened a Los Angeles office with six attorneys in April. The office doubled in head count by the end of the year, and Marder said the firm is buying up a second floor of its office building for further expansion.
Marder sees a synergy between the medical cannabis market and the health care practice that was a centerpiece of the firm’s early strategy. Last year the firm acquired a federal marijuana lobbying firm, The Liaison Group. An expansion in California is another step toward boosting the practice, which provides less than 3 percent of the firm’s total revenues, according to Marder.
“California is one of the epicenters we believe of a burgeoning cannabis market,” he said. “Cannabis is going to be a multibillion market and we like to be ahead of things, not behind things.”
Greenspoon Marder also targeted New York, where it added 11 attorneys, and Miami, where it hired four. And so far this year, the firm has added more than 12 additional attorneys. Marder said the lateral strategy will continue to be aggressive this year, though he said he doesn’t have a specific number in mind.
“We look at opportunities as they arise. We do expect to be continued growth as we fill out our offices in New York and Los Angeles,” among others, he said.
In keeping with the expansion and growth, Greenspoon Marder recently hired a chief diversity officer, Myrna Maysonet. In an interview with the Daily Business Review, Maysonet acknowledged the role’s necessity to the growing firm. ”Clients want to see more diversity,” she said. “Clients demand to see diversity policy, our religious tolerance policy, etc.”
Meanwhile, explosive growth has become the norm for Greenspoon Marder, a firm that had been confined to Florida from its founding in 1981 until relatively recently.
In 2012, Greenspoon Marder hired ex-Dewey & LeBoeuf chief financial officer Joel Sanders as CFO to the firm. Sanders was convicted in 2017 on felony charges related to a scheme to defraud Dewey’s lenders and investors before the firm’s 2012 collapse. But at the time of the hire, Marder told the Daily Business Review that he “thought [Sanders] could teach us some things.”
Since then the firm has rapidly transformed itself from a Florida firm to a national firm. In 2012, it had nine offices—all in Florida—less than half the number of offices it has now. It also had 100 fewer attorneys (133) than it has now and its revenue was only $87.5 million.
Last year, Sanders was jailed briefly for failing to pay a $1 million fine stemming from his conviction in the Dewey case but was released after Greenspoon Marder paid the $1 million fine for him.