Legal Information

The enterprise case for practising regulation in paradise

(Reuters) – Virtually each large regulation agency can brag about having workplaces in cities like New York, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.

However what about locales off the overwhelmed monitor, particularly glamorous ones just like the Hamptons, Aspen or St. Thomas?

As attorneys hesitantly return to the workplace following the COVID-19 pandemic, a perennial regulation agency actual property query is getting a brand new twist: The place does it make most sense for big corporations to retain a bodily presence domestically?

The pandemic proved attorneys can work from nearly wherever successfully and effectively. However consultants inform me that doesn’t imply corporations seeking to scale back overhead ought to rush to shutter their far-flung outposts.

If something, the other.

“I discover that corporations are extra versatile on small workplaces lately with the main focus actually on the expertise,” mentioned Lisa Smith, a principal at Fairfax Associates.

Think about Greenberg Traurig.

Greenberg Traurig’s workplace in Bridgehampton, New York. Photograph credit score James Poster.

In early 2022, the two,500-lawyer agency opened two new workplaces on Lengthy Island, New York — one in Bridgehampton, well-known as a playground for the luxurious and highly effective, and one in Backyard Metropolis (OK, not precisely paradise).

Govt chairman Richard Rosenbaum informed me the brand new outposts have aided the agency in attracting and retaining attorneys “who not wish to commute” into Manhattan.

Furthermore, the Bridgehampton workplace presents proximity to a consumer base of company principals, funding bankers and such who “due to the pandemic are more and more spending a number of time within the Hamptons,” he mentioned. “So-called small markets may be very helpful to purchasers and finally helpful to (authorized) expertise and the agency.”

As a advertising and marketing bonus, the brand new workplace is within the coronary heart of Bridgehampton on Montauk Freeway and incorporates a distinguished Greenberg Traurig signal. “We’ve gotten emails from actually everywhere in the world from individuals who noticed the signal asking ‘What, are you guys in all places?’” Rosenbaum mentioned.

(So … a bit like a high-class model of plaintiffs’ attorneys freeway billboards?)

Lengthy Island co-managing shareholder Brian Doyle mentioned the workplace can also be successful with colleagues visiting the Hamptons. Agency attorneys from Los Angeles, Atlanta, Denver, Boston and Tel Aviv, in addition to those that usually work in Manhattan, have all made use of the area, which may accommodate greater than 20 attorneys, he mentioned.

The Backyard Metropolis workplace, whereas missing in jet-setters, presents proximity to native courts and companies, plus a neater commute for Lengthy Islanders than schlepping to Manhattan.

Authorized advisor R. Bruce McLean, a companion on the Zeughauser Group, known as Greenberg’s transfer “an fascinating tactic” to encourage attorneys to return to the workplace, however added, “A query is, are you able to be in all places your attorneys wish to dwell?”

Possibly not in all places, however a number of different large corporations additionally supply attorneys an opportunity to apply high-end regulation whereas residing in prime trip spots.

For instance, 800-lawyer Duane Morris has a small workplace in Truckee, California, a gold rush-era ski city close to Lake Tahoe, prompted by particular consumer wants.

With a number of ski areas together with Palisades Tahoe (previously generally known as Squaw Valley) and Alpine Meadows as purchasers, Duane Morris attorneys within the occasion of a catastrophic or deadly harm — suppose snowboarder versus snowcat — can “get out to the resort at a second’s discover,” companion John Fagan informed me. That permits them to help with the investigation and speak to resort staff underneath the umbrella of attorney-client privilege.

Fagan, who received his begin as an affiliate engaged on a large wrongful loss of life swimsuit towards Alpine Meadows after an avalanche there killed seven folks in 1982, mentioned purchasers balked at paying attorneys to drive 4 hours from San Francisco to Tahoe for depositions.

In response, Fagan’s predecessor agency Hancock Rothert & Bunshoft, which merged with Duane Morris in 2005, opened the Tahoe workplace 35 years in the past.

“I gladly volunteered” to work there, mentioned Fagan, an avid skier and certainly one of two attorneys plus a paralegal based mostly within the workplace close to the jap fringe of Truckee.

Holland & Hart’s Aspen workplace goes again even additional. It was the Denver-founded agency’s first regional outpost, launched in 1965 when Aspen’s improvement was in its heyday.

Whereas ski trade purchasers had been the preliminary driving drive, work now consists of land use, actual property improvement, environmental and pure sources and personal consumer companies, each domestically and as a part of firm-wide groups.

Companion Mark Hamilton is certainly one of eight attorneys and 4 workers who work from Aspen, the place the agency for many years has owned its workplace constructing on East Foremost Road.

When Hamilton tells attorneys outdoors 400-lawyer Holland & Hart the place he’s based mostly, he mentioned their response is usually the identical: “Gosh, how’d you work that out?”

It’s not all champagne powder although. “The price of residing in Aspen makes it not a easy calculus, even for a profitable lawyer,” he mentioned. “It’s not for everybody.”

As a bonus, the 7,000-person city presents ample alternatives to rub shoulders with potential purchasers. Just like the Hamptons, a “disproportionate quantity” of the wealthy and highly effective “come by means of Aspen on a regular basis,” Hamilton famous. “It’s a gathering place for folks from throughout.”

For attorneys preferring solar to snow, it’s laborious to beat Ogletree Deakins’ workplace in St. Thomas within the U.S. Virgin Islands (a territory of the USA since 1917).

Companion Charles Engeman informed me he “packed up and moved to the Virgin Islands” 30 years in the past after quitting his job as an affiliate at Goodwin Procter in Boston.

He practiced with a neighborhood agency for 10 years, then joined 875-lawyer Ogletree to open a five-lawyer workplace in St. Thomas, the place he mentioned it stays the one Am Legislation 200 agency based mostly on income with a neighborhood presence. Workplace attorneys concentrate on defending employers, particularly these within the tourism trade, in labor and employment issues.

Overlooking the good turquoise waters of Lengthy Bay, the workplace additionally makes a pleasant recruiting hook, Engeman added, with regulation college students typically asking “Oh, how do I get to that workplace?”

Our Requirements: The Thomson Reuters Belief Rules.

Opinions expressed are these of the creator. They don’t replicate the views of Reuters Information, which, underneath the Belief Rules, is dedicated to integrity, independence, and freedom from bias.

Jenna Greene

Thomson Reuters

Jenna Greene writes about authorized enterprise and tradition, taking a broad have a look at developments within the occupation, faces behind the instances, and quirky courtroom dramas. A longtime chronicler of the authorized trade and high-profile litigation, she lives in Northern California. Attain Greene at [email protected]

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