Greenberg Traurig

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Greenberg Traurig, LLP and Greenberg Traurig, PA
(trading as Greenberg Traurig)
Greenberg Traurig, LLP
No. of offices 36
No. of attorneys Approximately 1,750
Major practice areas Business Reorganization and Bankruptcy
Litigation
Corporate and Securities
Intellectual Property and Information Technology
Entertainment
Real Estate
Tax, Trusts and Estates
Global
Trade
Governmental Affairs
Public Finance
Environmental and Land Development
Gaming
Key people Richard A. Rosenbaum, CEO
Cesar L. Alvarez, Co-Chairman
Matthew Gorson, Co-Chairman
Hilarie Bass and Brian Duffy, Co-President
Larry J. Hoffman, Founding Chair
Date founded 1967
Website
gtlaw.com

Greenberg Traurig (officially Greenberg Traurig, LLP and Greenberg Traurig, PA) is an international law firm founded in Miami, United States in 1967 by Larry J. Hoffman, Mel Greenberg and Robert Traurig. It has 36 offices in the United States, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia.[citation needed]

Greenberg Traurig has approximately 1,750 attorneys and its largest office is in New York City.[citation needed] In the U.K., the firm operates as Greenberg Traurig Maher LLP and in Poland, it operates as Greenberg Traurig Grzesiak sp.k. Additionally, Greenberg Traurig, LLP has a strategic alliance with independent law firm Studio Santa Maria in Milan and Rome.[citation needed] Greenberg Traurig is the ninth-largest U.S.-based law firm by number of lawyers.[citation needed]

Greenberg Traurig is managed by its CEO, Richard A. Rosenbaum; Co-Chairmen, Cesar L. Alvarez and Matthew Gorson; and founding chairman, Lawrence J. Hoffman.[citation needed]

History[edit]

Greenberg, Traurig and Hoffman was founded in Miami, Florida in 1967 by attorneys Larry J. Hoffman, Mel Greenberg, and Robert H. Traurig. The firm initially had only one associate and one junior partner, and had no plans of expanding outside the Miami metropolitan area. As recently as 1991 it only had two offices, in Miami and Fort Lauderdale.[citation needed]

In the 1970s, Greenberg, Traurig and Hoffman became Greenberg, Traurig, Hoffman, Lipoff, and Quentel with the addition of attorneys Norman H. Lipoff and Albert D. Quentel as named shareholders.[1] Former Florida governor Reubin Askew was a named shareholder in the early 1980s while he also sought the Democratic nomination for president.[citation needed]

Larry Hoffman became managing partner of the firm in 1991, at which point the firm began to expand nationwide, beginning with the opening of an office in New York City.[2] In July 2009, Greenberg Traurig entered the London market, forming a new UK firm, operating as Greenberg Traurig Maher LLP.[3][4]

In 2013 the firm launched a residency program to hire associates who aren’t recruited in traditional on-campus interviews by allowing them to spend up to a third of their billable hours in training for a one-year trial period.[5][6][7]

  • 1967 – Greenberg Traurig Hoffman is founded in Miami, Florida by Larry J. Hoffman, Mel Greenberg and Robert H. Traurig.
  • 1970 – Norman Lipoff and Albert Quentel become named shareholders.
  • 1984 – The firm opens its West Palm Beach office.
  • 1985 – The firm opens its Fort Lauderdale office.
  • 1991 – The firm opens its Tallahassee and New York offices.
  • 1993 – The firm opens its Washington, D.C. office.
  • 1996 – Cesar Alvarez is named CEO.
  • 1998 – The firm opens its Atlanta and Tysons Corner offices.
  • 1999 – The firm opens its Delaware, Phoenix, Boston, and Chicago offices.
  • 2000 – The firm opens its Los Angeles and Denver offices.
  • 2002 – The firm opens its New Jersey office.
  • 2003 – The firm opens its Amsterdam and Dallas offices.
  • 2004 – The firm opens its Silicon Valley, Orange County, and Albany offices.
  • 2005 – The firm opens its Houston, Las Vegas, and Sacramento offices.
  • 2006 – The firm opens its Tampa office.
  • 2007 – The firm is named USA Law Firm of the Year by Chambers and Partners.[8]
  • 2008 – The firm opens its Shanghai, Austin, and White Plains offices.
  • 2009 – The firm opens its London office, which operates as Greenberg Traurig Maher LLP.
  • 2010 – Richard Rosenbaum is named CEO. The firm opens its San Francisco office.
  • 2011 – The firm opens its Mexico City office, which operates as Greenberg Traurig, S.C.
  • 2012 – The firm opens its Tel Aviv office, which operates as a branch of Greenberg Traurig, P.A., Florida, USA. The firm also opens its Warsaw office, which is operated by Greenberg Traurig Grzesiak sp.k., an affiliate of Greenberg Traurig, P.A. and Greenberg Traurig, LLP.
  • 2013 – The firm opens its Seoul office, which operates as Greenberg Traurig LLP Foreign Legal Consultant Office.

Offices[edit]

Greenberg Traurig has 36 offices worldwide.

North America[edit]

Greenberg Traurig's founding office in Miami
Greenberg Traurig's largest office is in the MetLife Building in New York City. The New York office is one of many offices founded in the 1990s, when GT expanded from a local Miami firm to become one of the largest in the United States.

Europe[edit]

  • Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • London, England (Greenberg Traurig Maher LLP)
  • Warsaw, Poland (Greenberg Traurig Grzesiak sp.k.)
  • Milan, Italy (Strategic Alliance with Studio Santa Maria)
  • Rome, Italy (Strategic Alliance with Studio Santa Maria)

Asia[edit]

Corporate social responsibility[edit]

Since its launch in 2009, Greenberg Traurig has participated in the American Bar Association’s National Pro Bono Week.[9]

Fellows program[edit]

The Greenberg Traurig Holly Skolnick Fellowship Foundation was established in 1999. The Foundation supports Equal Justice Works public interest lawyers.[10] Previously named the Greenberg Traurig Fellowship Foundation, the program was renamed in 2013 in honor of the late Holly Skolnick, a Greenberg Traurig shareholder who helped establish the foundation and served as its president.[11]

Family court program[edit]

The Family Court Legal Services Project is a pro bono program where attorneys from law firms and corporations provide advice and counsel during 30-minute one-on-one sessions to pro se litigants who come to family court on matters involving child support, visitation, custody, guardianship and paternity.

Greenberg Traurig helped spearhead the New York City Family Court Legal Services Project, which provides low-income litigants in family court with free legal advice.[12]

Holocaust reparation clinics[edit]

In 2008, in association with Jewish service organizations and in cooperation with various law firms, Greenberg Traurig attorneys in South Florida participated in pro bono legal clinics assisting Holocaust survivors applying for reparations from the German government.[13]

Housing Court initiative[edit]

The firm helped spearhead a Housing Court initiative along with Judge Fern Fisher, Chief Administrative Judge of the Civil Court of the City of New York, that addresses pro bono legal needs of owners of small properties in Brooklyn who cannot afford their own attorney.[14]

Controversies[edit]

Lobbying and Jack Abramoff scandal[edit]

In January 2001, lobbyist Jack Abramoff left Preston Gates & Ellis to join Greenberg Traurig. Abramoff brought a book of business then worth more than $6 million annually to Greenberg Traurig, according to his own estimates. At the firm he assembled "Team Abramoff," a lobbying team that was involved in the Jack Abramoff Indian lobbying scandal and the monetary influence of Jack Abramoff. A Greenberg spokesman said that its federal lobbying revenue in 2005 was 1 percent of its total revenues of $860 million.

In 2000, before Abramoff joined the firm, Greenberg had $3.3 million in lobbying fees. After he joined in 2001, the firm took in $16.2 million in fees. By 2002, that number jumped to $17.7 million, and $25.5 million by 2003.[15] The firm became one of the top 10 of Washington lobbying firms, moving from 16th place to fourth, according to the National Journal.[16]

In early 2004 Greenberg Traurig fired Abramoff and subsequently received praise from federal investigators and members of Congress for its cooperation in the Abramoff investigation, according to the ABA Journal.[17]

On July 12, 2006, the Alabama-Coushatta tribe filed a federal racketeering lawsuit against now-convicted Abramoff and his cohorts. Greenberg Traurig was not a named defendant. Its lawsuit states that "There was a nexus between Greenberg, the enterprise and the pattern of racketeering." According to the suit, internal Greenberg e-mails showed that Abramoff associate Michael Scanlon, although not a member of the firm, "billed hours to tribal clients through Greenberg and that members of the law firm, including attorneys Kevin Ring, Shawn Vasell, Stephanie Leger, Todd Boulanger and others, fabricated hours and time entries for Scanlon." The suit also says the firm allowed checks sent by the tribe to a bogus Abramoff-linked think tank to be funneled and cashed through Greenberg Traurig.[15]

In March 2008, prosecutors in Guam indicted Greenberg Traurig on felony counts of allegedly making improper billings to Guam's superior court under the guise of charging for lobbying services by Jack Abramoff.[18] In April 2008, the charges of deception, theft and conspiracy were dismissed by Guam prosecutors after Greenberg Traurig agreed to refund $324,000 in lobbying fees to the Guam judiciary.[19]

Other[edit]

  • In November 2008, a New York State court refused to dismiss a suit alleging that Robert J. Ivanhoe, chairman of Greenberg Traurig's New York City office and head of its real estate group, disregarded his "legal and fiduciary duties" by taking a personal financial stake in a competitor to a client that had invested in a multibillion-dollar real estate venture.[20] The former client had sued Ivanhoe and Greenberg Traurig in April 2008 for breach of fiduciary duty, aiding and abetting breach of fiduciary duty, tortious interference with prospective economic damages, and malpractice. Greenberg Traurig responded that the allegations were "without merit" and that it would appeal the ruling.[21]
  • In June 2006, Greenberg Traurig agreed to pay the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation $7.6 million for its role as a legal adviser to the now defunct Hamilton Bank of Miami, to settle allegations that it had helped to cover up bank officers' financial misconduct. The firm paid an additional $750,000 fine to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency for allegedly protecting the bank's officers "by making materially false and misleading assertions and by suppressing material evidence."[22]
  • In December 2008, the firm and several current and former firm attorneys (Harley Lewin and Steven Wadyka) were sued in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia by Catherine and Richard Snyder of Herndon, Virginia. Also named in the suit, Greenberg Traurig's client, Diane Von Furstenberg Studios, Conde Nast Publications, The New Yorker and New Yorker staff reporter, Larissa MacFarquhar. The Snyders' suit stems from a suit filed in the same court by Diane Von Furstenberg Studios against Catherine Snyder in December 2006 for trademark infringement, which resulted in an award of damages to DVF Studios. The Snyders' complaint alleges, among other things, that the Greenberg attorneys made false statements to the court when applying for a search warrant and that one (Wadyka) impersonated a federal officer by flashing a badge and stating that he was with the office of the U.S. Attorney. The suit also alleges that the attorneys failed to post a required bond and that the search of the Snyders' home exceeded the scope of the warrant and resulted in the seizure of many personal items. The suit also alleges that the firm's attorneys improperly brought New Yorker staff reporter MacFarquhar, who was profiling Lewin for a forthcoming article, into the Snyders' home while conducting their raid in December 2006 pursuant to the search warrant.[23]
  • In November 2006, Jay I. Gordon, the former chairman of Greenberg Traurig's tax practice, resigned from the New York bar and was disbarred for taking over $1.2 million in kickbacks on tax shelters that he had recommended to wealthy clients of the firm.[24]
  • In December 2005, Leonard Ross, an attorney formerly with Greenberg Traurig's Philadelphia office, was charged with fraud and corruption as part of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation into city government. Ross was a friend and former law partner of Philadelphia Mayor John F. Street: Federal prosecutors alleged that Ross's employment at Greenberg was "entirely dependent on his relationship with Mayor Street" and "a motive for selling his office as a PLC [Penns Landing Corporation] board member."[22]
  • In May 2005, Philadelphia partner Robert S. Grossman plead guilty to charges that he had lied in a 1996 bankruptcy case to cover up his improper diversion of over $100,000 to his personal account when he worked as a real estate developer in Virginia. Greenberg Traurig professed surprise at Grossman's arrest the following November for failing to report to prison, and stated that Grossman hadn't disclosed the criminal proceeding to the firm. Greenberg has stated that it now does background checks on all new employees.[22]
  • In 2001, Victor Reyes, who headed the Hispanic Democratic Organization and had close ties to Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, joined Greenberg Traurig and led the firm's Chicago lobbying practice. After Reyes's arrival, from 2001 to 2005, Greenberg earned $3.5 million in city-related legal fees, including for representing the city in the United Airlines and RCN Cable TV bankruptcies. US Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald subsequently alleged that Reyes's law office was central to a patronage scheme to funnel city jobs to pro-Daley campaign workers. Reyes resigned from Greenberg in August 2005, and in September federal prosecutors indicted five city employees, including a former Reyes aide, in the scandal. Reyes wasn't charged, but prosecutors called him as a "co-schemer" in the indictment.[25] Greenberg CEO Cesar L. Alvarez stated, "I don't know about anything [Reyes] did in the firm that was wrong. I can only know what I have seen, and I only know that he hasn't been charged."[22]

References[edit]

  1. ^ GTlaw.com
  2. ^ Greenberg Traurig Endows the Larry J. Hoffman Greenberg Traurig Distinguished Professorship
  3. ^ Focus: Greenberg Traurig Maher, The Lawyer
  4. ^ Thelawyer.com
  5. ^ "‘Residency program’ associates at this BigLaw firm will get more training and less pay". ABA Journal. October 22, 2013. Retrieved 2014-03-27. 
  6. ^ "Law school grads trade top pay for job experience". Sun Sentinel. November 19, 2013. Retrieved 2014-03-27. 
  7. ^ "A Firm Leader's Guide to Survival of the Biggest". The National Law Journal. February 24, 2014. Retrieved 2014-03-27. 
  8. ^ "Greenberg Traurig Selected by Chambers and Partners as USA Law Firm of the Year". BusinessWire. November 20, 2007. Retrieved 2014-03-27. 
  9. ^ "Celebration Supporters". National Pro Bono Week. 
  10. ^ Equal Justice Works
  11. ^ "Greenberg Traurig Announces New 2014 Public Interest Fellows". Greenberg Traurig. February 19, 2014. Retrieved 2014-03-27. 
  12. ^ "Making Seven Minutes Count"
  13. ^ Law.com
  14. ^ New York State Assembly
  15. ^ a b Greenberg Traurig Has Big Incentive to Make Talks With Tribe Work
  16. ^ Bizforward.com
  17. ^ ABAjournal.com
  18. ^ Greenberg Traurig Indicted in Guam
  19. ^ Felony Charges in Guam Dropped Against Greenberg Traurig
  20. ^ Nama Holdings, LLC v. Greenberg Traurig LLP, Index No. 601054/08 (Sup. Ct. N.Y. Cty. Nov. 18, 2008)
  21. ^ Lawsuit Proceeds Against Greenberg Traurig, Real Estate Head
  22. ^ a b c d Will the Corporate Model Backfire on Greenberg?
  23. ^ "Couple Sues New Yorker & Greenberg Traurig", from Court House News Service
  24. ^ Courts.state.ny.us
  25. ^ Feds link close pal of Daley to hiring
  26. ^ Lopez, Luciana; Raymond, Nate (4 July 2014). "House panel opposes giving SEC documents for insider trading probe". www.reuters.com (Reuters). Retrieved 4 July 2014. 

External links[edit]