New law firm GeyerGorey LLP is building its business around two trends: the increasingly important role of the Justice Department in policing corporate America, and the increasing pressures on law firms to provide more cost-effective service to corporate clients.
The firm, which includes 10 senior-level attorneys, is focused on antitrust law, white-collar criminal defense and Foreign Corrupt Practices Act compliance. Prior government experience is required for partnership and all but one of the attorneys is a former Department of Justice prosecutor.“We’re beefing up our practice because there is intense demand for our expertise, our knowledge about how enforcement agencies work, how they make decisions and how we staff our investigations with senior level attorneys,” said Bradford Geyer, a former federal prosecutor who co-founded the firm in 2012.
The firm’s approach involves billing and staffing flexibility and a low overhead structure. Four of its 10 attorneys are partners and it plans to double in size by next year.
Recently, GeyerGorey announced the addition of two former attorneys from the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division, Allen P. Grunes and Maurice E. Stucke.
“They are leading intellectuals, in addition to being very accomplished former prosecutors and attorneys in their own rights with very sophisticated Fortune 500 clients, they are also leading lights in the anti-trust world,” Geyer said.
The firm’s lawyers have experience in business related counseling and litigation, criminal and civil antitrust, procurement fraud, foreign bribery and whistle blower actions. They are mostly alumni of DOJ’s Antitrust and Criminal Divisions.
Several firm partners, such as Grunes, Stucke and Phillip Zane, a former federal clerk, have a background in legal theory and scholarship and have published extensively in the area of antitrust law.
Former federal prosecutors Geyer, Hays Gorey and Bob Zastrow founded the firm following field office closures in the Antitrust Division.
“The Antitrust Division let a lot of talent go and we see opportunity in that,” Geyer said. “We got two of them and I hope to announce another one sometime over the summer.”
Grunes, an attorney in the Antitrust Division from 1995 until 2007, joined the firm as a partner. He is an expert in media, entertainment and antitrust litigation, government relations and mergers and acquisitions.
Grunes, who was named “Washington Super Lawyer for 2013″ by Super Lawyers magazine, is a graduate of the Rutgers School of Law-Camden.
Stucke, who joined as the firm as counsel, is an expert in competition law. He is a law professor at the University of Tennessee and will continue to work remotely from Knoxville.
Grunes said working at GeyerGorey appealed to him because of the convergence of expertise in theory, legal scholarship and experience in federal investigations at the firm.
“People who have been at the DOJ are generally team-oriented, they are hard workers, they are focused and they have a lot of skills that you get being in the government,” he said.
GeyerGorey has benefited from an increased emphasis on regulation at the DOJ and a recession environment in which big companies are demanding billing concessions from law firms, according to Geyer.
To lower overhead costs, the firm’s lawyers telecommute and frequently meet clients in their home offices. They collaborate on cases and hire outside experts as needed.
According to Grunes, many competing firms follow an “outdated business model,” and GeyerGorey “may be the future of a lot of legal services.”
Advancements in technology and access to legal information have made large staffs unnecessary, said Zane.
“A lot of big firms every week, or sadly almost every day, are having to come to terms with a new reality,” he said. “All sorts of things that used to take a lot of time and a lot of people are now automated.”
The firm intends to focus its expertise on the increasing overlap between bribery and antitrust violations in international cases, particularly in Asia and the Middle East. “A lot of the international cases, especially the international cartel cases, involve suspicion of an antitrust offence and suspicion of an FCPA offence,” Zane said.
According to Geyer, beyond being unencumbered by a traditional business model, his staff of former federal prosecutors has inside knowledge and relationships that aid their work, particularly in the area of FCPA compliance and antitrust issues.
“Every agency has a different organizational mindset,” he told Main Justice. “Each one of those agencies have different goals, [and] different intake requirements, in order to know how you can triangulate off of all these different interest groups on the other side trying to cause your client all these different problems, [you] have to understand all these nuances and relationships.”