Five decades ago, while at lunch in a South Florida deli, attorneys Mel Greenberg, Robert Traurig, and Larry J. Hoffman, saw an opportunity to establish a new breed of law firm for South Florida; one that mirrored a New York style firm. In 1967, they founded the law firm Greenberg Traurig Hoffman, a quality business law firm where client service and collaboration ruled.
This new model was strong and scalable: deliver the quality of legal work to which substantial U.S. commercial clients were accustomed; truly listen to and work hand-in-hand with clients to help them achieve their goals (not simply drown them in legalese); and do so while offering a decentralized structure that would help them control their legal costs. This approach would also allow the new firm to develop substantial and long-term relationships with some of the top businesses in the region and, eventually, the world.
In the early 1990s, the consolidation of firms had started to take off. The firm developed and executed a strategy that would allow it to deliver the United States to clients at much better value through quality lawyers in the key growth, financial, and political centers in the United States. Clients no longer needed to hire two different firms for the same matter. Because matters were priced locally and with flexibility, they could take advantage of market differences when it came to budgeting.
The firm’s cultural strategy attracted the highly ranked attorneys, who were already perceived as leaders in their community. These individuals wanted to join a firm of positive people who valued working together and shared experience and clients for the benefit of all involved.
The new firm was (and remains) non-bureaucratic. When clients needed a decision, they knew they were talking to someone who could make it happen.
From the beginning, Greenberg Traurig selected laterals not solely on traditional criteria, but also on how well they fit this new culture of collaboration. Additionally, the firm focused on creating a business staff roster that aimed to be the best in the profession.
Early on, Greenberg Traurig developed a strong commitment to giving back to the community. Attorneys and business staff striving to make a difference by leading, volunteering, and donating to a rich spectrum of causes.
Fifty years after its founding, Greenberg Traurig has more than 2,000 attorneys and 38 locations on three continents.
As each new office opened, this unique culture was replicated, but never dictated. The firm grew by way of laterals who fit in and had a passion for quality work and collaboration, and in response to client needs. Greenberg Traurig has never added lawyers through a merger and remains one firm. Each new office can be traced to an opportunity to better serve clients.