Greenberg Traurig

Brian L. Duffy, Greenberg Traurig

Brian L. Duffy

Delivering Value

Editors’ Note

Brian Duffy previously served as Chair of the firm’s 600-member Global Litigation Department from 2009 to 2013. He focuses his practice on trial and appellate work in the class action, employment, energy, commercial contract, and product liability areas, serving as national, regional, and local counsel in high-profile cases. He represents public and privately held entities and their principals in complex business-related disputes arising from both internal and external sources. Duffy focuses on a broad array of industries including consumer goods and retail, food processing and restaurants, and energy and natural resources.

What has made Greenberg Traurig such a success?

 It is the culture and the way we interact with each other. We are all focused on delivering great value and service to our clients, and we like each other and recognize that it is a privilege to be of service to our clients, as well as to one another.

How do you define what value means? Can you show that it is not just about price but things like client service?

Price is one part of it but it is also about service. This includes a commitment to meeting the needs of the client from a responsiveness standpoint, and having the kind of business judgment that allows us to figure out how to help clients achieve their goals – this is the sole reason we exist.

It is also about acknowledging economic realities. In some cases, the value equation is more heavily weighted towards price and in other cases, the value equation is more heavily weighted towards service and expertise.

Do you classify the firm as mid-size and are you competing at all levels with boutique firms?

Size is largely immaterial to clients, so it is not a way we define ourselves, nor would we say that size has a value in and of itself.

We need to have sufficient strength, expertise, and geographic reach to meet client needs. It is the only reason to have an organization of this size.

We compete with the other global firms because our core clientele need the abilities and skills that our lawyers have.

How do you balance your managerial duties with the day-to-day client interaction?

When one is in the arena, he knows how tough it is to get hired, to meet the expectations of the client, and to figure out the economics that work for the client, so it makes him a better leader.

If all I did was law firm management, the risk would be losing that connection to both clients and lawyers, and there is nothing more important for a law firm than talent. When I’m out there representing clients, I don’t lose track of that.

I work for my partners and our job is to work for our shareholders and help them be successful in representing great clients.

Has the complexity of this work dramatically changed?

In litigation, clients are saying they want a high level of expertise in a particular subject matter or area. To meet that expectation as a law firm, we need to have the next hot area covered with people who have that level of expertise. Over the past 15 years, we have been seeing more specialized representation.

In addition, the profession has been dramatically changed by technology and that is accelerating which, at day’s end, is a great thing. Anything that allows us to deliver better service and a better price is something we should embrace.•