Business of Law

Small Firm Hires Greenberg's Top DC Gun to 'Punch Above Our Weight Class' in New Outpost

Little known in BigLaw circles, a 16-attorney South Florida law firm has hired the managing partner of Greenberg Traurig’s office in Washington, D.C., to open its new outpost in the nation’s capital.

Ronald Kleinman will start Monday at Colson Hicks Eidson, where he will head the D.C. office, the firm announced today. Partner Joseph Matthews says he will be the only other lawyer in the firm’s new outpost right now, but it is expected to grow, reports the Blog of Legal Times.

At least initially, the D.C. office is expected to focus on litigation and arbitration; Kleinman is an international and treaty law practitioner who has represented terrorism victims, reports the Miami Herald (reg. req.). Before Matthews joined Colson Hicks, he served as special counsel to then-U.S. Sen. Bob Graham (D-Fla.).

The firm intends to compete directly with BigLaw practitioners in its new D.C. office, in part by offering contingent fee and alternative billing arrangements, Matthews tells the BLT.

“International arbitration has been the domain of large law firms, but we feel we can punch above our weight class and we’re looking forward to being involved in that area,” he says.

The Colson firm has long had relationship with Greenberg Traurig and will be subleasing office space from Greenberg, Matthews tells the law blog.

Greenberg Traurig announced in a written statement provided to the BLT that litigators Laura Klaus and Sanford Saunders will now be in charge of its D.C. office

“We thank Ron Kleinman for his contributions to our firm as he embarks on a different path,” the statement says, wishing him well and looking forward to a continuing collaborative relationship. It anticipates a seamless transition to the new regime under Klaus and Saunders, who are already established leaders in the office.

Matthews will be splitting his time between the Washington and South Florida offices of Colson Hicks.

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