Monday, May 2, was a big day for me: I joined specialist litigation firm Tabet DiVito & Rothstein LLC as a partner.
There’s a story here, of course. Katten is a great firm with great people. I learned a lot while I was there. But I’ve worked my entire career at some pretty large law firms, and while I appreciated the opportunities, experience, and advantages that big law presents, it was time for a change.
The law firm model faces what appear right now as permanent changes in its economic structure. While mergers continue apace, with the apparent conviction that bigger is better (hmm…!), smaller firms also offer clients substantial virtues—not least of them flexibility, high-quality, and value.
So I made a move. Tabet’s a smaller firm, but a specialist one.
There’s a unique attractiveness to practicing in a litigation boutique. Staffing is easier and more efficient, rates can be more flexible, and it’s easier to provide personalized, high-quality service, which to my way of thinking depends a lot on face-time with clients.
Generally, a boutique has a smaller client team able to develop a greater depth of knowledge of the client’s needs and business, thus providing services that can be more focused and efficient.
At this point in my career, I’m attracted to the sense of direct ownership and responsibility of client matters. Everything in a boutique is more present and immediate. It’s really exciting. Not to mention that at smaller firms, the conflict problems that can arise at big law firms simply do not exist.
So my leap to Tabet is part of a wider issue: As the economics of competition continue to tighten for law firms, and as innovative companies seek experienced talent to handle the highly complex, nuanced legal and technical challenges, smaller and more focused firms are proving increasingly to be on the GC’s favorites list.
At Tabet, I’ll be in good company with colleagues who also left big law and who believe that to remain competitive in serving both Fortune 500 clients and smaller, more entrepreneurial companies, law firms have to provide a compelling value along with their expertise.
It’s my goal to leverage nationally Tabet’s reputation as a sophisticated litigation boutique, offering the firm’s proven skills and experience to world-class companies and innovators.
I’m also looking forward to having the opportunity to build a world-class patent litigation practice focused on such clients, with the freedom to supplement the team before and as the client work grows. Having a flexible, highly qualified team of attorneys that can present experience alongside value is vital.
The law firm model is evolving. I’m evolving with it.