Jeffrey A. Wothers, an insurance coverage and business litigation lawyer in Baltimore, is also the young managing partner at Niles, Barton & Wilmer, the oldest law firm in Maryland. We spoke to him for our Q&A, “Insurance Exchange,” in the 2012 issue of Maryland Super Lawyers. The following is a blog-exclusive excerpt.
You belong to a group called Law Firm Alliance. What is it?
Law Firm Alliance is an alliance of midsized firms around North America, including Canada and over in Europe. The Alliance helps us when we need local counsel in different regions. From the client’s standpoint it makes it pretty seamless, because we just work throughout the network and use attorneys that are in the Alliance to work with us as local counsel.
We meet every six months. I’ve developed very nice relationships with the other managing partners and other members of the other firms in our Alliance. So when I get the chance to work with these other firms, typically I know people. It’s not just opening a book and looking at a name. It’s a relationship based on trust.
And I assume it’s another way a midsized firm can survive in the global age.
Absolutely. I have a client right now that historically used national counsel: big firms that had a presence across the country. We had been approved by them a few years ago, and we’ve had a chance to work with them more intensely here in the last couple of years. In speaking with their general counsel, he talked about how he likes the fact that we’re midsized, and we’ve got a pricing structure that is midsized, and we’re not passing along all of this overhead in our pricing structure. Yet when they’ve needed things, resources, more broadly than you would expect from a midsized firm, such as counsel in other states, we’ve been able to provide those kinds of resources, too.