MCLEAN, Va. -- July 17, 1998 -- The growing Northern Virginia technology industry accomplished another important step. Greenberg Traurig, an international law firm with close ties to Wall Street and nearly 90 attorneys in the firm's New York office, announced the July 27 opening of its Northern Virginia office. Greenberg Traurig was ranked fourth in the nation last year for the number of public offerings it handled for companies. Attorneys in the firm's new Northern Virginia office will offer its expertise to start-up, emerging and mature technology companies.
"The arrival in Fairfax County of an international law firm of this stature, with its access to the capital markets, reflects growing Wall Street and national recognition of the vitality of this region and the local information technology industry," said Patricia Woolsey, Chairman of the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority.
Greenberg Traurig adapted its expansion strategy to fit this unique technology market. "Rather than merge with an existing law firm, we identified a dozen of the most prominent business and technology lawyers from a half-dozen leading regional law firms, and organized GT LAW around them," explained Cesar Alvarez, President and CEO of Greenberg Traurig. "These attorneys are immersed in the Northern Virginia technology industry and bring experience in business, finance, technology, accounting, and engineering."
Among the group are lawyers who are also MBAs, CPAs, and engineers. Members of GT LAW have worked in investment banking firms, started technology offices for other firms, and hold positions on advisory boards for area technology and entrepreneurial organizations.
GT LAW will serve fast-growing technology companies from the region, many of which are IPO-bound. GT LAW will assist startup, emerging and mature information technology, new media, and other technology enterprises with legal and business planning and the implementation of their strategies. They will help these clients access capital in the private and public markets; handle mergers and acquisitions; provide day-to-day corporate and tax advice; protect intellectual property (including patents, trademarks, and copyrights); provide the full gamut of employment-related services for the technology industry; guide the global expansion and distribution of electronic commerce; and facilitate strategic partnering with leading technology companies from around the world.
The new office will have an unconventional, Silicon Valley style, redefining the practice of law in this region. "We don't just travel in legal circles. We live and breathe in the same high-tech environment as our clients. We read the same publications, attend the same industry functions, think about the same issues. We understand the legal, business, and regulatory obstacles faced by the entrepreneurs. Our legal strategy, business orientation, and significant network of relationships will help our clients build their companies," says Harry M. Glazer, co-managing shareholder of the Tysons Corner office and former head of the Information Technology Practice at Ginsburg, Feldman & Bress.
Glazer's focus is on capital formations, technology joint venture partnerships, and providing corporate/business counseling for rapidly expanding start-ups, emerging, and established information technology businesses. Glazer chairs the Emerging Business Network for the Northern Virginia Technology Council (NVTC), the region's largest technology industry trade association. He is also the co-founder and co-chair of MindShare, the CEO forum for the region's leading emerging technology companies, which NASDAQ annually graduates and honors at its corporate headquarters. In addition, he is a member of the board of directors of the American Electronics Association's Potomac Steering Committee.
Joining Glazer in establishing and managing GT LAW is C. Thomas Hicks III from the law firm of Shaw Pittman Potts & Trowbridge. Hicks opened Shaw Pittman's Northern Virginia office more than 14 years ago. He is a corporate finance and business lawyer who represents information technology firms, computer hardware and software firms, financial institutions, and government contractors. Hicks serves as general counsel to the NVTC where he has been instrumental in enacting legislation in Virginia that has helped create the favorable tax and regulatory climate for technology companies based in Northern Virginia. He is also general counsel to Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts, a member of the board of directors of the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce, and a member of the Northern Virginia Business Roundtable. Hicks also chairs the Governor's Venture Capital Roundtable.
GT LAW's Starting Team of Shareholders Includes:
Evan R. Smith headed the local high-tech practice group at Sixbey, Friedman, Leedom & Ferguson. Smith is a registered patent attorney and has a degree in electrical engineering in addition to his MBA. He has extensive experience protecting rights in software and computer equipment, and coordinates the on-line Intellectual Property Resource Center of the Potomac KnowledgeWay Netpreneur Exchange.
Harvey J. Shulman, joining Greenberg Traurig from Ginsburg, Feldman and Bress, is nationally-recognized for his work on staffing issues relating to the technology industry. As General Counsel to the National Association of Computer Consultant Businesses, he does all of their legislative work and has been extremely successful in changing legislation at the state and federal level to favor technology companies. He has represented hundreds of technology firms on employment, independent contractor, wage and hour and similar issues.
Jeffrey R. Houle is a corporate and securities attorney with significant expertise in initial public offerings (IPOs) and other equity and debt offerings. Formerly with Elias, Matz, Tiernan & Herrick, Houle represents both issuers and underwriters in securities matters.
Timothy J. Jessell, also formerly with Ginsburg, Feldman and Bress, is a CPA and is a tax and mergers and acquisitions attorney, having represented numerous technology firms and staffing companies.
Craig Etter, formerly with Ginsburg, Feldman and Bress, is a CPA who focuses on employment law and tax controversy cases. Etter has authored several articles on employment tax issues. Prior to joining Ginsburg, Feldman and Bress, he was a trial attorney with the Office of Chief Counsel for the Internal Revenue Service.
Lee R. Marks formerly headed the Business Practice Group at Ginsburg, Feldman and Bress. Marks represents several public technology companies whose shares are listed on the NASDAQ Small Cap Market. In addition to his mergers and acquisitions and general corporate work, Marks has represented several companies in international arbitration disputes.