1972: The Founders
Initially known as Liebman & Flaster, P.A., the firm began in 1972 when Rick Flaster (top left), a Harvard Law School graduate, left Wall Street's Stroock Stroock & Lavan, to form a two-lawyer tax practice with Emmanuel ("Manny") Liebman. The firm of Liebman & Flaster, P.A. brought sophisticated approaches to legal practices in tax, corporate, real estate, mergers and acquisitions, pension planning and estate planning to South Jersey clients.
Celebrated for his office collection of over 1,400 hippopotamus in a Wall Street Journal feature on workspaces, Rick Flaster continued to serve as a member of the firm's original Tax and Corporate Practice Group until his death in 2010 at the age of 67.
In 1976, Shareholder Steve Greenberg came on board. A graduate of Yale Law School in the same year, Steve is currently the president of the firm and is still a member of the Business and Corporate Practice Group. The firm would change its name to Flaster Greenberg in 1999. In addition, and most notably, Steve was a recipient of the 2016 New Jersey Law Journal Lifetime Achievement Award.
1980s & 1990s: Finding Our Niche
As the firm expanded and its clients began looking to its attorneys for broader representation, the decision was made to expand the capabilities of the firm from strictly handling tax and directly related matters, to including other synergistic areas, such as securities law, bankruptcy, and ultimately, litigation. The firm added the following attorneys and practices:
- Laura Wallenstein 1980 – retirement, Estate Planning, Business & Corporate Law
- Allen Fineberg 1985 – present, Business & Corporate Law
- Alan Zuckerman 1988 – present, Taxation
- Phil Kirchner 1992 – present, Litigation
- Steven Sacharow 1996 – present, Family Law
- Frank Wisniewski 1999 – present, Real Estate & Land Use
- Kenneth Goodkind 1999 – present, Litigation
Throughout its expansion, however, the firm’s marketplace niche and core vision remained steady: Concentrate on serving the closely held business community and its principals (including professional practices), carefully coordinate all of their needs, and continue to attract recognized experts in their fields.
During this pivotal time, the firm would also change locations. On December 8, 1995, it moved from an office at 5 Greentree Road in Marlton, where it had been located since 1986, to its current home of almost 30 years at 1810 Chapel Avenue West in Cherry Hill.
A Unique Compensation Formula
A key turning point in the development and cohesion of Flaster Greenberg came in 1994 when it adopted a formulaic approach to the compensation of its principals and a democratic approach to firm governance, with a rotating management committee. While the shareholder compensation formula has undergone some “fine tuning” at the edges, it has essentially remained the same since inception. Very carefully researched and considered, the formula considers a variety of factors, but excludes seniority.
As a result, the newest attorney in the firm can be the most highly compensated. In addition, a formulaic approach adopted and accepted by all the principals creates a direct relationship between the originations and productivity of the principals and their compensation, and virtually eliminates politics in the determination of compensation. The results have been outstanding: Since the adoption of this transparent compensation formula, the firm continues to attract top-level talent and maintains positive and overall high attorney satisfaction.
2000s: Expanding Our Reach
Locations & Practices
With the turn of the century, the pace of growth accelerated with the additions of the following attorneys and practice areas:
- Alma Saravia 2000 – present, Healthcare Law
- Frank Riesenburger 2000 – present, Environmental Law
- Mitchell Kizner 2000 – present, Environmental Law
- Robert Washburn 2000 – present, Real Estate & Land Use
- Jeffrey Cohen 2001 – present, Litigation
- Doug Stanger 2001 – present, Bankruptcy
- Kenneth Gilberg 2007 – retirement, Labor & Employment
Joining them in the mid-2000s and rounding out the list of current shareholders who have been with the firm for 15 years or more are Michele Tarantino, Co-Managing Shareholder Jordan LaVine, Marty Judge, Bill Burnett, Co-Managing Shareholder Steve Poulathas, and Tami Bogutz Steinberg.
The 2000s and 2010s brought other notable events as well, including:
- 2002 – Opens Cherry Hill, NJ Conference Center
- 2006 – Opens Philadelphia, PA Office at Ten Penn Center
- 2006 – Adds national Trademark Practice
- 2007 – Opens Trenton, NJ Office
- 2009 – Expands Philadelphia Office into Four Penn Center, with Addition of Griffin & Vogler
- 2011 – Renovates Cherry Hill, NJ Office and Dedicated RJF Conference Center in Memory of Richard J. Flaster
- 2013 – Opens First NY Office with Addition of Fried & Epstein LLP, Bolstering National Insurance Coverage Practice
- 2014 – Opens Linwood / Northfield, NJ Office
- 2017 – Elects Alan Zuckerman as Managing Shareholder
- 2017 – Forms Board of Directors
- 2018 – Launches Cannabis Law Practice Group
- 2018 – Formalizes Pharmaceutical Industry Group
- 2018 – Adds national Aviation Practice
- 2018 – Opens Princeton, NJ Office
- 2019 – Opens Conshohocken, PA office at One Tower Bridge with addition of Plotnick & Ellis LLP
- 2020 – More than Doubles IP/Patent and Insurance Recovery Groups
- 2021 – Elects Co-managing Shareholders, Jordan LaVine and Steven Poulathas
- 2018 – Expands Footprint into South Florida with a Boca Raton Office
- 2020 – Adds Square Footage to Conshohocken office to Accommodate Growth
- 2021 – Relocates Philadelphia office to 1717 Arch Street to Accommodate Growth
- 2021 – Renovates Cherry Hill office
- 2022 – Upgrades and improves firmwide technology
- 2022 - Steve Greenberg steps off of Board of Directors
- 2023 - Alan Zuckerman steps off of Board of Directors, completely transitioning firm leadership to the “Next Generation”
Other Noteworthy Milestones
- 2012 – Installs two electric car charging stations in Cherry Hill location
- 2012 – Selected as one of the Best Places to Work by South Jersey Biz
- 2013 – Named to The National Law Journal's 2013 Midsize Hot List
- 2017 – Selected as one of the Best Places to Work by South Jersey Biz
- 2018 – Recognized as one the Best Places to Work in the medium-sized company category by NJBiz and Best Companies Group
- 2019 – Named by South Jersey Biz to their 2019 Best of Biz list in the Corporate Law category
- 2020 – Hires 23 more attorneys
- 2021 – Recognized as one the Best Places to Work in the medium-sized company category by NJBiz and Best Companies Group
- 2022 – Forms Women’s Advisory Group, an extension of the Women’s Initiative.
- 2022 – More than 70 attorneys; 125 Total Employees
- 2022 – Recognized as one the Best Places to Work in the medium-sized company category by NJBiz and Best Companies Group
- Celebrating 50 Years of Legal Excellence
- We Earned Our Reputation
- Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
- Pro Bono
- Women's Initiative
- The Lighter Side of Law
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