Greenberg Traurig

Nancy A. Mitchell, Greenberg Traurig

Nancy A. Mitchell

Connecting with Clients

Editors’ Note

Nancy Mitchell is also Co-Managing Shareholder of the New York office, and Co-Chair of the Business Reorganization & Financial Restructuring Practice for Greenberg Traurig. Prior to joining the firm, she served as an Executive Director for CIBC World Markets Corp. She was previously a partner with a major law firm where she focused her practice on restructuring and bankruptcy, and corporate finance.

Culturally, what has made this firm so successful?

It has always been the firm’s emphasis on collaborative practices. In an industry that is very personality driven and where people tend to be very protective of their client relationships, our firm has managed to create a structure whereby people feel really comfortable sharing those relationships and their expertise. They collaborate with each other to build a strong platform, and that’s the first thing that jumps out at me when I think about our firm relative to others. When I talk to recruits, I hear that there is a lot of struggle at other firms over things like origination credit, which is a conversation that just doesn’t come up here. It’s all about creating a greater whole.

Would you give an overview of the business reorganization and financial restructuring component?

From our perspective, our business reorganization practice is a bit different than that of our competitors because it serves two functions: one is to undertake great cases that we create. We’ve done a very good job at that.

The other function is the day-to-day service of the needs of our client base in connection with the issues they may experience in the business reorganization area. This means that we have a much broader practice than many of our competitors in terms of the kinds of things we are able to do.

We can be in the middle of a billion-dollar restructuring deal while also representing a lender or client in a middle market deal, as well as conducting proofs of claim for clients that have had suppliers go bankrupt.

We have a very broad practice with middle-market and larger clients in all positions in the cases in the mix. That is reflective of our client base across the country.

When you’re dealing with clients at what is often a scary time for them, how do you foster a relationship that instills their confidence in you?

The hardest thing about being a restructuring lawyer is that you often see people at the lowest point in their professional lives. Connecting with those people and helping them understand that I’m not just their lawyer but someone who will help them get through this creates a very personal relationship and connection.

The best restructuring lawyers are those who connect with their clients and really care about their problems, but who don’t become so involved that they lose objectivity.

What advice do you give women about the kind of career this industry can offer?

I never felt disadvantaged by being a woman. I have had spectacular mentors throughout my career who were men and who have advanced my career and been great to me. What I know to be true here is that we have a level playing field. One has to be smart and focused, and not let anything get in the way of doing the best for the client every day. If someone does that, the opportunities are there, no matter who that person is.•