Tully Rinckey PLLC, an Albany–based law firm with an office in Syracuse, has opened a location in New York City and plans to open an office in Dublin, Ireland this year.
The new offices are part of the firm’s five year plan through 2020 to expand with international offices, says Mathew Tully, attorney and founding member of Tully Rinckey.
“For the last 12 years, we’ve been pushing heavy plaintiff side work … divorces, DWIs, [traffic tickets,wills] … so now what we’re trying to do is expand that horizon,” says Tully, who is among 20 partners at the firm. “That has worked well for us,” says Tully. He spoke with CNYBJ on March 2.
The firm entered the Syracuse market four years ago with one attorney, he says. Tully Rinckey now has nine lawyers in its Syracuse office, but its “intention” is to grow to 25 attorneys in the next three years with the focus on international business.
“We have more immigration work. We have more tax work. We have more corporate transactional work today than we have attorneys qualified to do that work,” says Tully.
The types of attorneys that Tully Rinckey wants to recruit and hire “all generally work at Bond,” says Tully, referring to Syracuse–based law firm Bond Schoeneck & King PLLC.
Tully’s law firm is “having difficulty” recruiting the lawyers it seeks in upstate New York.
“So that’s why we went into New York City first, so that we could add the immigration attorneys and the tax attorneys that I need before I go into Dublin,” he says.
Tully acknowledges it’s “hard to, on a dime, pivot” and start recruiting attorneys for work focusing on tax and immigration law.
He calls Syracuse and Albany “old school” legal markets and figures it will take “time for us to rebrand ourselves and change our impression.”
To recruit lawyers that want to handle tax law, Tully contends his firm will have to be “very aggressive in our outreach to get those people to come to Tully.”
CNYBJ asked Tully how much it is costing the firm to open the offices in New York City, Dublin, and other overseas markets.
“We have a tentative budget of $15 million that we’re planning to invest over the next 36 months,” he says.
Tully notes that the $15 million figure is across all of Tully Rinckey’s operations, both in Europe and in New York.
“What I need is those attorneys in New York that can service the work over there, which right now is my main problem,” he adds.
In addition to its locations in Albany, New York City, and Syracuse, Tully Rinckey also has offices in Binghamton, Rochester, Buffalo, Washington, D.C.
and San Diego, California, for a total of eight.
Tully Rinckey employs about 135 people, including about 80 “fee earners” — eight paralegals and 72 licensed attorneys, Tully says.
Five year plan
The law firm’s latest five year plan started in 2016 and, in developing the plan, Tully Rinckey’s partners pondered what its future would look like for growth in upstate New York.“We don’t believe it is in upstate New York. The future of the legal profession for us is overseas,” says Tully.
The firm evaluated competitors, economic growth rates, population statistics, and international trade
“We came to the conclusion that we could more aggressively grow than our competitors in upstate New York by going overseas and then coming up with a very unique business model where we can farm that work back up into Syracuse,” he says.
Tully Rinckey plans to open an office in Dublin later this year to service clients across Europe in the European Union.The attorneys in the office will be able to work in the various regions of the European Union because European citizens have the right “to practice in other areas in other countries,” Tully notes.
“So, what we’ll be able to successfully do is create these five, 10attorney
offices in these foreign countries and do some of the work there but most of
the heavy lifting will be farmed back to Buffalo, Syracuse, and Albany,” he explains.
Tully anticipates his firm’s international offices will handle matters pertaining to tax law, immigration law, and corporate transactions.
The firm represents “several” Irish businesses that have operations in Albany. He’s hoping to attract other Irish firms or those from other European countries to assist them in incorporating in the U.S., particularly New York state.
“If you have a manufacturing business or a servicebased business in Europe, we’ll be able to bring you to the American market,” says Tully.
The firm will also serve U.S. firms that want to enter the European market.
Tully Rinckey opened its New York City office in January and anticipates opening its office in Dublin in either October or November of this year.
As for future overseas growth, the law firm plans to open a location in Dubai, UAE in either late summer or early fall 2018 and then an office in Hong Kong in 2019.