Two veterans of large and midsize law firms, including the chair of Flaster Greenberg’s litigation department, have started a new employment law boutique.
Michael Homans has joined forces with Julianne Peck to form HomansPeck in the Philadelphia region. Homans left Flaster Greenberg, where he was litigation chair, after 15 years at the firm. Peck has been a solo practitioner since 2014, until joining forces with Homans, and was a shareholder at Rubin, Fortunato & Harbison before that.
“For years I’ve been talking to Mike about joining forces with him because we’re very similar, and we have similar backgrounds,” Peck said.
The partners each represent both individual employees and employers. Peck said that experience has helped her reach resolutions for clients more quickly than she might be able to otherwise.
“I’ve got numerous multibillion-dollar companies I represent,” Homans said. “They know I represent employees sometimes, and they think it makes me a better lawyer.”
Both lawyers started their careers as associates at Drinker Biddle & Reath. Homans said it has always been a dream of his to set up a small law firm, and now was the right time to do that in terms of his own finances and his clients’ receptiveness.
The last year has also been a particularly active one for lateral movement among labor and employment practices, including groups at large and midsize firms as well as national labor and employment boutiques.
It was not easy leaving Flaster Greenberg, Homans said, but he looks forward to the benefits of operating from his own firm. Without the pressures of a larger firm, like profits per partner and higher overhead, he said, HomansPeck can offer more competitive rates.
“Clients like it when they are a big fish in your pond, and I’ve heard a lot of clients say we’re actually moving to smaller firms,” Homans said. “[They] know if we go with a boutique firm with two lawyers, that’s our lawyer and he or she is able to take care of us.”
Since going solo, Peck said she is able to be more creative in running her practice, in terms of billing and services.
“When you work for yourself you can really give the kind of attention you want to clients,” she said.
HomansPeck also has one associate, Kristina Bevenour, and will be hiring a paralegal and administrative assistant in the near future. Homans said the firm will eventually grow larger, but he is not expecting to bring on more partners right away.
Peck will continue to work out of her office in Paoli, and Homans is subleasing office space from Flaster Greenberg in Philadelphia.
“Michael Homans is a great attorney and we wish him much success in his new endeavor of having his own boutique smaller law firm,” Flaster Greenberg managing shareholder Alan Zuckerman said in a statement. “We intend to have a continuing cooperative relationship with Mike, and he won’t be far from us.”