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10 Boutiques Giving Big Law A Run For Its Money

By Jacob Fischler

Excerpt from Law360, Washington (July 8, 2015) -- In a trend that has been developing for years, top boutiques continue to encroach on big firms' territory by blending the same high level of skill and expertise with a lower rate structure and greater client accessibility, analysts say. The ideal boutique attorney has years of big firm experience, but is less expensive and easier for clients to get on the phone. And the best boutiques — whether specializing in a niche or providing a range of practice areas — have adhered to a strategic vision of growth based on where the firm fits in the legal market, industry watchers say. "Just trying to collect lawyers to be a boutique is not enough," said Carey Bertolet, a managing partner at recruiting firm Laurence Simons International Group Ltd. "If they can say, 'We want partners, and here is how partners are going to fit in with what we're already doing and here's how we're all going to benefit' — now you're cooking with gas." As the results of this year’s U.S. Supreme Court term showed, boutiques are capable of competing with — and beating — the best big firms at the highest level. Here, Law360 looks at 10 boutiques that have established brands on par with the biggest firms.

Morvillo LLP

New York-based Morvillo focuses on financial matters, including U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission investigations and white collar defense. The firm was launched in May 2012 by three sons and the brother of late defense attorney Robert G. Morvillo, who took on a slew of high-profile cases during a distinguished career, representing clients like Martha Stewart and former American International Group Inc. CEO Maurice "Hank" Greenberg. The boutique has successfully traded on its namesake's reputation, and continued his legacy to become a premier litigation firm. Gregory Morvillo went toe-to-toe with hard-charging U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara to win a landmark Second Circuit decision in December that raised the bar for prosecuting individuals who are one or more layers removed from sources of confidential information and overturned the conviction of his hedge fund manager client. “I think they've just done really headline-grabbing work,” Bertolet said.


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