By Zack Needles
Of the Legal Staff
Cherry Hill, N.J.-based Flaster/Greenberg has brought aboard two-lawyer firm Fried & Epstein, an insurance coverage litigation boutique that represents policyholders.
Attorneys John W. Fried and Lee M. Epstein have joined the firm as shareholders and will be based in Manhattan and Philadelphia, respectively.
“The reason we feel they’re a match is their practice specialty is very compatible with our existing focus,” Peter Spirgel, managing shareholder of Flaster/Greenberg , said, explaining that both his firm and Fried & Epstein are often involved in cases in which they’re adverse to insurance companies.
Spirgel said Fried and Epstein brought with them a lot of new corporate relationships that Flaster/Greenberg hopes to take advantage of.
In return, according to Epstein, Flaster/Greenberg offered the two-lawyer firm more support and more resources, allowing it to better compete with the large firms that typically defend insurers in coverage litigation.
“We have gotten involved in larger litigations all across the country and now we’ll have the resources and backup we weren’t able to have at a two-partner shop,” Epstein said. “Some of our cases where we’re involved in suing multiple insurance companies – five, six, or sometimes 10 – they’re typically all represented by large firms. This gives us a better opportunity to compete on a level playing field.”
The addition of Fried & Epstein also gives Flaster/Greenberg its first physical presence in New York, with locations in Manhattan and Pleasantville, according to Spirgel.
According to Spirgel, his firm already had several clients based in Manhattan, typically requiring at least one lawyer to be in New York City every week.
Spirgel said the firm currently has no plans to further expand in New York, however.
Another new addition the acquisition brings Flaster/Greenberg is a white-collar criminal defense practice.
Spirgel said his firm’s clients thankfully haven’t needed white-collar defense services very often, but in the instances where they have, the firm typically had to refer those matters out.
Having that capability in-house now may change that in some cases, Spirgel said.
Epstein said the opportunity to cross-market his and Fried’s services to the firm’s existing clients is another advantage of the move.
“Basically, [in the past] we would sit there and have to wait for a client who had a problem that turned into an insurance coverage problem to call us,” Epstein said, noting that at Flaster/Greenberg, they now have a “built-in client base.”
Zack Needles can be contacted at 215-557-2493 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @ZNeedlesTLI.