On 1 November US firm Baach Robinson & Lewis changed its name to Lewis Baach.
Name partner Jeffrey Robinson’s exit prompted the move, but the firm took the chance to put founding partner Eric Lewis’s (pictured) name first, to “recognise the contribution of the fraud and insolvency practice” he developed.
It is difficult to imagine many firms making such a concession at the expense of brand consistency, but then Lewis Baach revels in its distinctiveness.
“Our concept is different from most other US law firms,” says Lewis. “For a start we’re all litigators, so we’re more like a barristers’ chambers than a firm.”
The Washington DC-based, 11-partner firm has evolved over 15 years from a practice that primarily served the London insurance market to one that handles insurance, financial, insolvency and commercial disputes for clients in the UK, Middle East, Latin America and Europe.
“We set up the firm in 1996, but a lot of us had practised together before,” says Lewis. “Many had been working in the insurance market since the 1980s. I was lead US lawyer for BCCI’s liquidators.”
The BBCI case took Lewis to 20 countries and became the basis for his firm’s referral network in the Middle East and Europe. Lewis Baach now has four offices and is considering another in the Middle East. But it wants to remain nimble.
“Not being part of a bureaucracy means we can be agile,” argues Lewis. “When the opportunity arose to represent four British Guantanamo Bay [inmates] against [former US Secretary of Defense] Donald Rumsfeld it took about five minutes to decide to do it.”
Although the firm is happy to tinker with its brand it is adamant there is consistency in its service.
“We’re quite old-fashioned,” says Lewis. “But I think the profession has come back to us.”
Managing partner: Martin Baach
Turnover: $18m (£11.4m)
Number of partners: 11
Number of equity partners: Seven
Number of lawyers: 25
Number of fee-earners: 30
Number of offices: Four
Locations: Buenos Aires, London, New York, Washington, DC
Main practice areas: Fraud, financial and commercial litigation, insolvency, insurance, investigations
Key clients: Akai, Algosaibi Brothers Company (Saudi Arabia), liquidators of Carlyle Capital Corporation, Madoff International Securities