Midsize defense firm Weber Gallagher Simpson Stapleton Fires & Newby is bolting on a group of retail-focused lawyers in New York, and has relocated to a new office in the city to accommodate growth.
The six-lawyer team in Manhattan comes from Ropers Majeski Kohn Bentley, a midsize business law firm based in Silicon Valley. Partner Scott Bermack leads the group and will become the managing partner of Weber Gallagher’s New York office, now at 1500 Broadway in Times Square.
Bermack is joined by partners Lisa Fitzgerald and Robert Suarez and associates Samantha Aster, Alexander Papa and Shawn Wagner. While their previous firm had a presence in New York, Bermack said, Weber Gallagher was attractive for its greater regional presence along the East Coast.
“One of the things my clients liked was that whether it was a case pending in Delaware or New York, there’s the expectation that I’m going to be able to get the service they need,” he said.
Bermack said he represents national and international retailers, including in the luxury apparel, housewares and restaurant businesses. While he declined to name clients, he said many are household names. The group is bringing a multimillion-dollar book of business to Weber Gallagher, Bermack said.
“It’s a combination of two great books of business,” Weber Gallagher chairman Paul Fires said. “We have clients who have been very interested in us moving into New York for some time.”
Weber Gallagher had 15 lawyers barred in New York before bringing on Bermack’s group, Fires said, and seven worked in the city in temporary office space rented from Regus. Now, the firm will have 14 lawyers located there, he said, which is especially attractive to some general liability clients who are already using Weber Gallagher’s services in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware.
“The goal really is to build the office into being a mini Weber,” Bermack said. The firm has room for up to six more lawyers in the new office, Fires said, and options for obtaining more space beyond that, if needed.
Fires said he initially learned about the Ropers Majeski group through a recruiter. Then, by coincidence, he said, Bermack met a Weber Gallagher partner in person at a National Retail and Restaurant Association conference, and talks proceeded from there.
Weber Gallagher, based in Philadelphia, has been in growth mode in its other locations as well. Its Bedminster, New Jersey, office in April brought on a five-lawyer medical malpractice group from Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker. Earlier this year, the firm opened an office in New Castle, Delaware.
Ropers Majeski chairman Michael Ioannou did not respond to requests for comment on the group’s departure.