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Tully Rinckey has acquired a small Manhattan law practice, as the Albany, New York, firm spends the next four years adding satellite offices and broadening its caseload to include corporate, institutional and commercial law clients.
Founding partner Mathew Tully will invest up to $15 million by the end of 2020, opening more branches and pushing the firm into Dublin and Hong Kong. He is determined to diversify Tully Rinckey’s portfolio by creating a corporate law practice that will rival the divorce, trust and employment law practices the firm has built over the past 13 years.
Nine months ago, Tully Rinckey did not have an immigration law practice. Today, there are three immigration law attorneys at the firm.
Last week, the firm acquired Doherty and Associates, a Manhattan firm founded six years ago by corporate and commercial law attorney John Doherty, a graduate of the Fordham University School of Law.
Tully Rinckey was formed in 2004 and has grown to 130 employees, including 74 attorneys at eight offices.
The firm is headquartered in suburban Albany and operates branches in Binghamton, Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, San Diego, Washington, D.C., and now New York City. The company plans to expand into Europe this year by opening an office in Dublin, Ireland.
Tully Rinckey finished 2016 with $16.2 million in revenue. That number is projected to grow by more than $3 million a year, reaching $29.3 million by the end of 2020.
Tully said the firm will grow by building a corporate and commercial law practice to advise clients on investments, mergers and acquisitions, immigration and litigation matters. The firm also will go after larger clients.
The firm’s highest-paying client accounted for less than .1 percent of all revenue last year.
A year ago, Tully Rinckey was focused primarily on representing individuals. The only time it worked with CEOs was on matrimonial and other personal legal matters.
“Now we can handle his businesses, as well as his mistresses,” Tully said.
The firm is entering larger markets by identifying attorneys who can help build Tully Rinckey’s commercial and corporate law practice.
Tully believes he can offer clients a good value by opening small practices in bigger cities, using staff in Albany to provide back office and legal support. Overhead costs in Albany are much less expensive than other markets, he said.
For example, the firm pays about $16 per square foot to lease its headquarters on New Karner Road in Colonie, an Albany suburb. The lease rate for Tully Rinckey’s Washington, D.C., office is $70 a square foot.
Tully figures his firm can advise corporate clients in New York City at an hourly rate of $175, compared to the $500 to $525 an hour rate that many Manhattan firms charge.
It is a strategy the firm plans to use when it begins opening international offices.
The firm does not plan to start trying to go head-to-head with practices such as Whiteman Osterman & Hanna, the Albany region’s largest law firm with 79 attorneys. WOH has large corporate, environmental and immigration practices.
“We won’t compete in this market with WOH,” Tully said. “Don’t get me wrong, we would love to have [the University at Albany’s] immigration practice.”
But that is not Tully Rinckey’s strategy here. The firm will build its immigration practice by grabbing market share in other cities.
Doherty, who joined Tully Rinckey after his firm was acquired last week, will oversee Tully Rinckey’s New York City practice.
“With this team behind me, I can go after bigger fish,” Doherty said.