Richard Ginsburg (pictured), a partner in Weil, Gotshal & Manges, has returned to the Dallas office after spending more than eight years in the firm’s London office and four years in the firm’s New York office. Ginsburg focuses his practice on banking and finance.
Ginsburg says practicing internationally “just happened.”
“When I went to law school, the only thing I knew was that I wanted to do transactional work,” he says. “But to know that I was going to end up spending over eight years in London practicing English law, I never thought about that during law school or even in the year, or three or four years after.”
Ginsburg says he started in Weil’s Dallas office, focusing on private equity finance, when, in the late ’90s, some of the firm’s clients were beginning to expand into Europe.
“They were interested in getting the same level of legal advice and expertise [in Europe] as they had developed in the U.S.,” he says. “Our office was dealing with those types of transactions, so I packed my bags and went.”
“I was in London from early 2000 to late ’08,” Ginsburg says. “I watched the office really develop into being one of the major U.S. offices in London.”
Ginsburg says practicing in London was a learning experience.
“I didn’t go over there with the plan of saying, ‘Well, this is how we did it in the U.S., so this is how you should do it here,’” he says. “The first thing I did was take the English bar exam and get qualified as a solicitor, which I still am today.”
While the legal systems in England and in the United States are similar, there were differences with the English legal style and environment, Ginsburg says.
“There wasn’t a huge difference between legal requirements for companies; it was more me adjusting my style with the way the English approached transactions than the other way around.”
Ginsburg also says it was an adjustment practicing in a smaller country, where companies often did business with many different surrounding countries.
“Generally speaking, a lawyer practicing in any state can advise clients about any other state in the U.S.,” he says. “In England, if there are operations in different countries, you have to get lawyers from every one of those places.”
After spending almost nine years in Weil’s London office, Ginsburg practiced in the firm’s New York office. He says practicing in New York isn’t much different than practicing in Dallas.
“We have clients truly all over the world,” he says. “So, there’s not a huge difference in practice.”
Ginsburg returned to Dallas for several reasons, he says. “I was born and raised in Texas; it’s kind of coming full circle and back home.”
Ginsburg says he is also returning to Weil’s Dallas office because the office has a strong private equity practice and needs the skills and experience Ginsburg has acquired to train and mentor newer attorneys.
“I love teaching and helping young associates learn what we do and why we do it,” Ginsburg says. “The younger lawyers that I work with in all the different offices, that is something they very much appreciate: taking the time to teach them.”
Ginsburg says he is still involved in many cross-border and overseas transactions. “That’s the beauty of being associated with an international law firm,” he says. “You have those opportunities.”
Despite those opportunities, Ginsburg says he enjoys being back for the “good Texas barbecue and Tex Mex.”
— Christine Lesicko