Doing Well By Doing Good

Editors’ Note

Richard A. Rosenbaum, Greenberg Traurig

Richard A. Rosenbaum

Richard A. Rosenbaum is the Executive Chairman of Greenberg Traurig, a unified international law firm of more than 2,650 attorneys in 47 locations around the globe. He has long been considered a thought and change leader in the broader legal profession. He joined the firm in 1985 as its 90th lawyer and has since been integrally involved in forming and successfully executing the strategies which have led to the firm’s growth and unique culture across the United States, Europe and the Middle East, Latin America, and Asia. He closely guards the firm’s long-term core values while still aggressively navigating ever-changing times. Rosenbaum has always put the firm’s clients and people first, understanding that a law firm leader works for them, first and foremost. He is proud of his work in founding the firm’s renowned and wide-ranging “commitment to excellence” program, which ensures that all these values remain core to the firm’s daily practice and global brand for many years to come.

Shari L. Heyen, Greenberg Traurig

Shari L. Heyen

Shari L. Heyen is Senior Vice President, Co-Chair of the firm’s Global Restructuring & Bankruptcy Practice, and Managing Shareholder of its Houston office. Heyen has experience in complex restructuring, bankruptcy, insolvency, and complex commercial litigation matters. She has represented numerous creditors’ committees, debtors, bank groups, acquirers and other significant constituencies in national Chapter 11 cases and workout proceedings, including complex oil, gas, and energy cases. Heyen has broad experience in the prosecution and defense of fiduciary litigation, real estate, oil and gas, healthcare, receiverships, and alternative energy matters.

Jaret L. Davis, Greenberg Traurig

Jaret L. Davis

Jaret L. Davis is Senior Vice President and Co-Managing Shareholder of the firm’s Miami office. He oversees approximately 200 attorneys and 200 business staff based in the firm’s founding office and focuses his practice on structuring and negotiating domestic and cross-border mergers and acquisitions, capital raising transactions, and large financings. For over a decade, Davis has led the efforts of the Miami office and served as one of several leaders guiding efforts of the firm globally to be a dominant player in the technology industry.


Barbara A. Jones, Greenberg Traurig

Barbara A. Jones

Barbara A. Jones is Co-Managing Shareholder of the firm’s Los Angeles office and Chair of the firm’s interdisciplinary Blockchain & Digital Assets practice. A member of the firm’s Global Corporate practice, Jones maintains a diverse corporate and securities law practice across industry groups, emphasizing complex international and domestic transactions, including private and public financings, dual listings, mergers and acquisitions, strategic collaborations and joint ventures, and licensing transactions. She serves as a trusted advisor to public and private company boards of directors on governance matters and complex regulatory reporting and compliance issues.

Firm Brief

Greenberg Traurig, LLP (gtlaw.com) has more than 2650 attorneys in 47 locations in the United States, Europe and the Middle East, Latin America, and Asia. The firm is a 2022 BTI “Highly Recommended Law Firm” for superior client service and is consistently among the top firms on the Am Law Global 100 and NLJ 500. Greenberg Traurig is Mansfield Rule 6.0 Certified Plus by The Diversity Lab. The firm is recognized for powering its U.S. offices with 100 percent renewable energy as certified by the Center for Resource Solutions Green-e® energy program and is a member of the U.S. EPA’s Green Power Partnership Program. The firm is known for its philanthropic giving, innovation, diversity, and pro bono.

When did you know you could make a difference and how did that impact your career choice?

Rosenbaum: When I was a boy, there was a bully who terrorized the neighborhood. One day, I came home bruised-up after my own encounter. My mother told me, “Find that bully, look him in the eye and fight back.” He never dared confront me or my friends again. Like that, I became the de facto neighborhood protector. This lesson stayed with me: to stand up for what is right. Perhaps it even propelled me to pursue a career in law, a profession in which I could fight for my clients’ interests, upholding the rule of law, and making a difference.

Benjamin Franklin’s quote, “do well by doing good,” captures the idea that personal success can often be aligned with finding a moral purpose in your own life and turning that discovery into making a difference in other’s.

What are the keys to finding purpose in the practice of law and how does Greenberg Traurig’s “Commitment to Excellence” program reinforce the firm’s purpose?

Rosenbaum: At Greenberg Traurig, we believe that finding purpose in the practice of law can take on many forms, including maintaining core values and culture, fostering diversity, providing pro bono legal service, embracing ESG (environmental, social, and governance) goals, and adhering to an elite standard of ethics and professionalism to offer the highest level of legal services to clients.

I feel humbled to witness the benefits of our “Commitment to Excellence” program which I helped develop. This initiative serves as a comprehensive guide for consistency of quality, compliance with the highest ethical legal standards, and allows us to work as one unified law firm with a common value system spanning practices, sectors, and worldwide locations.

“In a dynamic global economy, it’s crucial that we stay ahead of growth trends, ensuring we remain aligned with our clients’ evolving needs.”

Richard Rosenbaum

Greenberg Traurig now has more than 2650 attorneys in 47 locations worldwide. How does purpose play into this growth?

Rosenbaum: Franklin also said: “Well done is better than well said.” As top-tier lawyers and a leading global firm, our goal is to demonstrate our commitment to excellence in every facet of our work. Our truest measure is found in our actions, not just our words. We are nimble, act swiftly, and strive to deliver uncompromising value to our clients.

In a dynamic global economy, it’s crucial that we stay ahead of growth trends, ensuring we remain aligned with our clients’ evolving needs. For example, we recently opened in Singapore to expand our Energy Transition and Infrastructure practices to advise clients involved in helping Southeast Asian countries achieve their climate goals, an estimated annual cost of approximately $210 billion.

We also recently opened in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, areas experiencing robust finance funds inflows, attraction of major global sports and entertainment events and talent, and significant infrastructure projects. We are expanding our capabilities in these respective practice areas to meet the needs of clients in the Middle East as well as those looking to conduct business there.

Globally, we are expanding our Private Credit capabilities as that market is expected to balloon to $2.2 trillion by 2027. We are also expanding in other sectors of expected growth including Restructuring, Energy, Infrastructure, and Healthcare. In all these examples, our purpose remains steadfast: to leverage these opportunities for sustained growth to be able to deliver unparalleled service and value to our clients.

Our unique global and collaborative platform allows us to quickly build multidisciplinary teams as needed. We combine regional attorneys with intricate knowledge of local laws and attorneys from around the world with deep knowledge of specialized industries to create bespoke teams who can swiftly advise clients on complex matters wherever and however they need.

Did you feel you had a special purpose in attending law school?

Heyen: I was a CPA before I went to law school, and I really wanted to use my accounting background to work in the restructuring world. I have always been driven by the desire to shift into a higher gear in complex reorganization situations and experience the thrill from implementing business solutions in distressed financial conditions.

What purpose-driven trends are affecting bankruptcy clients?

Heyen: With an increase in mandated ESG requirements, there is a heightened focus on companies meeting their environmental and diversity responsibilities in the reorganization and bankruptcy world. Strengthening governance structures and transparency, ensuring ethical decision-making, and adherence to compliance standards – for example, climate change impacts, pollution, sustainable resource management, and an emphasis on social factors – are key. In addition, we regularly collaborate and align with clients on programs and initiatives that focus on delivering measurable progress in diversity and inclusion across the board, not simply checking boxes and completing surveys.

Greenberg Traurig received the Global M&A Network “Restructuring Law Firm of the Year” honor, and you received the “Woman Restructuring Leader” award. How do these recognitions reflect the firm?

Heyen: We are proud of our group’s accomplishments and the work we do for our clients. Doing exceptional work requires a team of diverse professionals who collaborate and bring different perspectives to each engagement. Great leaders lead by example, with intention and a servant mentality. It is our authenticity that draws people closer, allows others to trust us, and showcases the team’s capabilities. These honors demonstrate that we have built a strong legal team, notable for our collaborative work ethic.

What informed your decision to become a lawyer?

Davis: Had anyone suggested to me during my formative years that I would become a lawyer, I would have been quite surprised. I was interested in business and technology. In college, I learned how combining these interests with a law degree would allow me to play a role in operationalizing ideas, ranging from social justice to a start-up business plan. Since that realization, this concept of bringing ideas to life has become my North Star.

What is your favorite part of the practice?

Davis: My favorite part is the impact. Technology and entrepreneurship are potential silver bullets to attack many of society’s ills. My practice and my life have revolved around doing my part, individually, by facilitating transactions for clients, and on a more global scale, by working on innovation ecosystems from Miami to Oslo to Montreal.

What purpose-driven trends are you seeing in technology and entrepreneurship?

Davis: Over the past 20 years, Miami has experienced a “movement” to develop our community into a major tech and innovation hub. That movement has provided a focal point drawing engagement from business, government, nonprofits, and the media. This focal point forces these groups to go beyond their traditional boundaries which is critical for any city and is one of the most powerful aspects of other mission-oriented pillars such as pro bono, DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) and ESG. Our firm has dedicated many resources towards their development and nurturing. We believe that facilitating how the diverse spheres of our community can find common purpose is a critical role which allows us to leverage our “day job” skills in service of our fellow residents.

What inspired you to become a lawyer and focus on transactional law?

Jones: I became a corporate/transactional lawyer to be a “change agent.” Practicing corporate law provides the opportunity to combine one’s knowledge of the law and the ability to analyze a particular set of facts with the purpose of then finding an ethically appropriate and suitably practical solution to a client’s needs. Ideally, that solution results in a benefit not just for the client, but also serves as a best practice or model to be employed by others in fostering positive social, cultural, and economic change and progress.

What purpose-driven trends do you see affecting corporate clients?

Jones: Purpose-driven initiatives are playing an ever-increasing role for corporate clients. DEI and ESG have become key factors for in-house legal teams and decision-makers in differentiating among firms as part of a proposal process for new or continuing engagements. A law firm’s commitment is expected to align with the corporate and social responsibility initiatives of the client to foster and promote positive change.

What is the importance of having a collaborative culture and team?

Jones: Greenberg Traurig is a role model amongst law firms for fostering collaboration within a geographically and ethnically diverse workforce focused on driving positive results internally and for our clients. Our firm’s culture is unique in the social programming, leadership, affinity groups, and local initiatives that emphasize corporate and social responsibility within the firm and our local communities to serve as effective change agents. Just as in any client engagement, it is the collective power of the team that far surpasses the impact of any one individual in effecting positive change. When you have a workplace where everyone feels valued and respected, we unlock the authenticity needed to address our goal of delivering excellence and value to clients across a global platform.

Rosenbaum: During one of the most challenging periods in world history, we execute from a position of strength as one united global firm that fosters individual empowerment and collective achievement. We are highly ranked attorneys who value working together for our clients, our communities, and each other – a shared experience for the benefit of all.