Mark J. Lesko at the U.S. Attorney's offices in Brooklyn, March 2019.

Mark J. Lesko at the U.S. Attorney's offices in Brooklyn, March 2019. Credit: Linda Rosier

One of the nation’s largest law firms is planning two offices on Long Island and has hired a former top federal prosecutor from the region.

Greenberg Traurig LLP will open its 41st office in Bridgehampton on Tuesday and begin operating in Garden City this week, executives said.

The firm has 2,400 attorneys around the world and its U.S. workforce makes it the ninth largest in this country, according to a ranking by the National Law Journal. The firm’s gross revenue totaled about $2 billion last year.

As part of Greenberg Traurig’s expansion, it hired Mark Lesko, former acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and four partners from the Farrell Fritz law firm in Uniondale.

Richard A. Rosenbaum, executive chairman of Greenberg Traurig, said the Long Island move is part of a larger strategy to have offices closer to employees’ homes and to their clients. He said the firm is responding to the work-from-home phenomenon, which gained widespread acceptance because of the pandemic.

Richard A. Rosenbaum, executive chairman of Greenberg Traurig.

Richard A. Rosenbaum, executive chairman of Greenberg Traurig. Credit: Greenberg Traurig LLC/Jimmy Poster

"This is a way of bringing the office closer to [employees’] homes … They don’t have to commute for a couple of hours every day," said Rosenbaum, who lives in Amagansett and has been based at an office near Grand Central Station in Manhattan.

"There also are a tremendous number of clients on Long Island that we hope to serve," Rosenbaum told Newsday on Monday. He predicted Greenberg Traurig will have more than 30 lawyers in Garden City and 10 to 15 in Bridgehampton in about a year.

Lesko will be based in Bridgehampton. He was acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District from March through June of 2021 after serving as First Assistant U.S. Attorney and then acting Assistant Attorney General for the U.S. Department of Justice’s National Security Division until recently. In 2009-2012, he served as Brookhaven Town supervisor.

Lesko said on Monday that joining Greenberg Traurig appealed to his interest in starting and growing a business.

"It was just an unbelievable opportunity to do something entrepreneurial, to grow a law firm into a major player on Long Island," said Lesko, who also once led Hofstra University’s Center for Entrepreneurship and the venture capital fund Accelerate Long Island. He said he will represent defendants in white-collar crime cases.

The local offices will be run by co-managing shareholders John P. McEntee and Brian Doyle, both former partners in the Farrell Fritz firm.

Brian Doyle.

Brian Doyle. Credit: Brian Doyle

"My decision [to join Greenberg Traurig] was primarily driven by the ability to solve clients’ problems," said McEntee, who has represented the Islanders hockey team. With Greenberg Traurig’s network of offices and experts around the globe, "we can legitimately say to clients: ‘No matter where your problem is, no matter what it is, we can solve it.’ "

John P. McEntee.

John P. McEntee. Credit: Jeff Bachner

Greenberg Traurig was founded in 1967 by three attorneys over lunch at a South Florida deli. They opened a Manhattan office in 1991, and in 2003, the first international office in Amsterdam.

The other Farrell Fritz partners joining Greenberg Traurig are David Gilmartin Jr. and Kathryn Cole. In addition, James Miskiewicz, an attorney for the Long Island Power Authority, has been hired.

Farrell Fritz managing partner Robert Creighton said on Tuesday, "We remain focused on providing our clients with the full breadth and depth of our expertise, and on the continued growth and expansion of our practice and our professionals."

Of his former colleagues, Creighton said they are "accomplished professionals" and "we wish them well."

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