Over 18 months ago, I had the humbling experience of being elected unanimously as the managing principal of Porzio, Bromberg & Newman after spending two decades at the firm as a litigator. My predecessor had held the role for 20 years, so this was a novel experience for many of us. As all who have served in such roles are aware, being granted the highest level of trust and inheriting responsibility for an institution that dates to 1962 is an honor.
Transitioning to a leadership role for an organization of this size required tremendous thought and input from all areas of the firm. Porzio is a full-service,
This transition in leadership was part of the firm’s strategic plan and was executed over a three-year period. To ensure a mindful process, the firm engaged an external consultant who collaborated with the principals to evaluate the current needs of the firm. This was a critical step in the process since the firm had grown from two offices in 1997 to six offices at the start of this transition process, so the needs had evolved significantly over the years. Through our
With the priorities identified, we then set out to execute our plans. This process brought to light an area of opportunity for Porzio, which was to strengthen its internal management structure. Given the growth of the firm, it was no longer logical or feasible for one person to govern without greater delegation. We took this opportunity to create what is now the firm’s management committee to assist in making and carrying out firm decisions. Involving others, and delegating certain responsibilities, also permits the cultivation of a new generation of leaders.
To advance our priorities, the firm began aggressively recruiting new talent. We made strategic hiring decisions in support of growing our industry focus and increasing internal capabilities. We leveraged relationships with clients, referral sources and industry contacts to hire more than 50 new employees, including three principals. We strategically targeted lawyers with backgrounds in industries where we had identified synergies and opportunities for growth among our current clients. We also recognized the ability to succeed called for internal alignment. After gathering internal feedback, the firm restructured its administrative departments and created a C-level leadership team consisting of a chief administrative officer, a chief financial officer
An Industry Focus
Acquiring additional talent helped us to realize our goal of expanding into emerging industries. Porzio has taken an industry focus to serve its clients’ needs for decades, as is evident by the success of its first subsidiary, Porzio Life Sciences. To expand its ability to drive value to clients by leveraging industry experience across practices and services, the firm recently turned its attention to three emerging industries: cannabis, data privacy/cybersecurity
These industries were identified as opportunities by looking where evolving industries intersected with our areas of core competencies. Since the firm and our subsidiaries have a long history of working with clients in highly regulated industries like life sciences, nutraceuticals/supplements, education
A New Kind of Team
Through the process of identifying priority industries, we found it very important to look for new and innovative ways to help our clients in these and other industries.
Any firm leader who has worked to develop new industries, practices
Facing Up to Dissimilar Challenges
Despite best efforts, no leader can ever truly be prepared for all of the challenges that come with being in the leader’s chair. We can only strive to be the best leaders and stewards of our organizations and help our people get through the most difficult times. Earlier this year a member of the Porzio family tragically lost her life in an incidence of domestic violence. No process or leadership training can ever prepare you for how to react at that moment or how to guide your team through a senseless tragedy. In this
At the forefront of all we do is client service. The firm leveraged its leadership transition into an opportunity to reframe and refocus its efforts on clients, people