Greenberg Traurig doubles with Graham & James team

Miami law firm Greenberg Traurig is doubling the size of its New York office by taking on a team from Graham & James and merging with a niche high-tech firm.

The New York office of Graham & James broke away from its California-based parent firm earlier this month when it merged with Cleveland’s Squire Sanders & Dempsey (The Lawyer, 3 July).

Former Graham & James chairman Lawrence Blume and 50 other lawyers in New York are moving to Greenberg Traurig. The firm is also merging with local 40-lawyer high-tech litigation practice Camhy Karlinsky & Stein, boosting it to 750 lawyers, with 220 in the New York office.

Greenberg Traurig has 18 offices across the US, principally in Miami, New York, Los Angeles and Denver. But Blume says that it is the firm’s practice Shearmans expands in California in Latin America and its focus on intellectual property which attracted him and his team.

He says: “Internationally it does a lot of Latin American and European work, and nationally it does intellectual property, IT and securities, so the fit was marvellous.

“I think that there was a feeling, or at least a concern, as to how dedicated Squire Sanders was to New York and to developing a major commercial financial practice here. Clearly Greenberg Traurig is committed to doing that, and we believe that longer term it is a stronger firm.”

Graham & James’ clients in New York include Glaxo Wellcome, Standard Chartered Bank and Nomura Securities. Greenberg works for AT&T Wireless and Exxon among others.

Blume will not take on a management role at Greenberg, but will instead be involved in integrating the new firm and doing client work in his M&A practice. There are 12 former Graham & James partners moving to the new firm.

Outside the US, Greenberg Traurig has only one office – in S_o Paulo, Brazil. Blume says that a move into London being considered.

“For several years it has been looking in London and we hope to establish there very soon. We are looking at the opportunities,” he says.