Some of the small firms profiled here thrive by identifying strong niche practices. Grais & Ellsworth represents purchasers of toxic assets suing financial institutions to recoup their investments. Getnick & Getnick represents whistleblowers in False Claims Act cases. Another, Bickel & Brewer, does well with a mix of cases and a consistent litigation strategy. One firm, Liner Grode, discovered that smaller is better; now half its former size, it is flourishing in a practice heavy on entertainment litigation. And the Gregory P. Joseph Law Offices has attracted big-name clients such as Citigroup by delivering big-firm levels of quality.

A consistent ‘bare-knuckles’ strategy in a mix of cases
Bickel & Brewer’s notable cases range from suits over the Gulf oil spill to the defense of Texas tycoons.

Helping corporate whistleblowers win big payouts
Getnick & Getnick devotes about half its practice to private cases under the False Claims Act.

Suing banks on behalf of purchasers of toxic assets
Grais & Ellsworth, only four years old, has found a niche in the wake of the subprime-mortgage crisis.

Taking on big financial cases that the big firms won’t
The Gregory P. Joseph Law Offices is thriving with Citigroup as a client in suits arising from the credit crisis.

Sometimes shrinking is the right thing to do
With a strong focus on media and entertainment litigation, Liner Grode has found that less is more.