Neeraj "Neil" Verma developed in excess of $1 million in new business for Greenberg Traurig in the past two years, according to John Meredith, business director for the firm’s Houston office.
Verma says the new business included about $70,000 for India-related matters. Although he began his legal career as a litigator, Verma says that a trip to India with his parents in January 2007 led him to reshape his practice.
"I absolutely loved it there," Verma says. "I wanted to find a way to make India part of my law practice."
To further that goal, Verma says he spent three months in the summer of 2008 working in New Delhi as an intern at the firm of Amarchand Mangaldas & Co. To increase his chances of developing a practice that would involve India, Verma began assisting clients with the transactional needs of their businesses, as well as with matters in litigation and arbitration.
Verma says that after graduating from the University of Michigan Law School in 2000 he joined what was then Locke Liddell & Sapp (now Locke Lord) as an associate and moved to Mayer Brown in July 2003. He says he returned to Mayer Brown briefly after completing the internship in India. In September 2008, he joined Greenberg Traurig, where he became a shareholder in March.
Now, his practice spans multiple practice areas, including litigation, arbitration, bankruptcy, corporate and securities. Verma says that, whenever he can, he works on matters with a connection to India.
In 2010, Verma worked with former Greenberg Traurig shareholder Allan Van Fleet, now a partner in McDermott Will & Emery in Houston, to reach a settlement in an arbitration involving client JSW Steel USA of Baytown, which is a subsidiary of an Indian company, and Cauffiel Technologies Corp. of Toledo, Ohio. Van Fleet says the dispute was over a steel-plate leveler. The client’s original demand was for about $3.25 million, and the settlement, although confidential, was in that range, he says.
Van Fleet says Verma did partner-level work in the case. "I was technically first chair, but he did all the work," he says.
Verma also serves as in-house counsel for several clients. That includes working on-site as in-house counsel for a Houston subsidiary of a major financial institution. In that position, which he held from October 2010 to Sept. 1, 2011, he handled all types of transactional issues as well as litigation.
He says he also has served as in-house counsel for two other clients, helping one put together a compliance program so it can train employees to work in foreign countries and assisting the other with deal-related matters.
His in-house counsel work is just part of his docket, Verma says, noting that he handles other matters while doing it.
Verma finds time to represent pro bono clients through the Houston Volunteer Lawyers Program. Since April 2012, he has represented a seriously injured former human resources director in appealing the denial of Social Security disability benefits.