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Levy Goldenberg LLP: Grabbing the Bull By Its Horns in the Heart of Manhattan’s Financial District

Andrew Goldenberg, Adam Michael Levy (Photo by Deutsch Photography)

Nestled in the bustling heart of downtown Manhattan’s Financial District — just steps from the Charging Bull — Levy Goldenberg LLP focuses its practice predominantly on commercial and real estate litigation. Built on what it calls “a commitment to extraordinary legal representation,” the new law firm is already carving a niche as a trusted partner for businesses and individuals endeavoring to navigate complex legal landscapes in and around the Big Apple.

Levy Goldenberg is quickly earning a reputation for its unwavering dedication to its clients, and is raising eyebrows amongst their peers. The firm’s namesake partners — Adam Michael Levy and Andrew Goldenberg — blend sharp legal acumen with an innovative approach to consistently deliver favorable outcomes for their clients. Combined with a strong sense of community engagement and a vision to contribute positively to the ever-evolving legal fabric of New York, Levy Goldenberg is here to stay.

What does it take for a law firm to not only thrive but shine in the heart of New York City, where the legal landscape is as dynamic as the city itself? In this exclusive profile, Mann Report sat down with the partners of Levy Goldenberg LLP to find out.

Tell us about the journey that led you to co-found Levy Goldenberg LLP.
Adam Michael Levy (AML): My family has been practicing law in New York City since the 1920s, beginning with my great-grandfather Murray A. Meyerson who, in addition to being a litigator, was also heavily involved in various New York civic organizations and was a former Master of the Nathan Hale Masonic Lodge; continuing with my Uncle J. Stanley Shaw, a one-time candidate for Mayor of New York City who subsequently headed various iterations of the Shaw Licitra law firm; to my uncle Stanley M. Moskowitz, cousin Judd Friedman, etc. I began my career knowing I had some big shoes to fill, and I humbly intended to carry on this tradition.

Coming out of New York Law School, I began my career as a litigator working at Shaw Licitra Gulotta Esernio and Schwartz, which ultimately (years later) led to an association with Goldberg Weprin Finkel Goldstein LLP’s litigation department. After 10 years of honing my craft working for others, I endeavored to follow in my forebears’ footsteps and hung my own shingle with the establishment of Adam Michael Levy P.C. During the following nine years I built that firm from the ground up, having launched without a single client. That said, I always knew that I wanted to partner with others who shared the same vision, work ethic and dream of building a legacy in New York. The trick was finding the right person.

In 2022, as we emerged from the pandemic, I was introduced to Andrew by a mutual col- league. We connected immediately. I think we saw a lot of ourselves in each other — we’re both from Long Island and share similar pedigrees, ambitions, character and values. Once the chemistry was clear, we launched forward to establish Levy Goldenberg LLP with sheer will, grit, an entrepreneurial spirit and, of course, with the well-heeded advice obtained from those we trust. But if you ask me where our motivation really comes from, it was an answer to a simple question: Why not us?

Andrew Goldenberg (AG): I am the proud child of first-generation immigrants who came here in the 1970s from Romania. Born in New York City, I have always considered this place my home. Having been raised by parents who came here from a former Soviet-bloc country, the importance of family, education and hard work was ingrained into my mind at a very early age.

After graduating from Albany Law School in 2007, I began my career at Bryan Cave (now Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner) as an associate and developed an appreciation for big firm culture. However, it wasn’t until I began working for the boutique law firm, Stamell and Schager LLP, that I cut my teeth and gained hands-on, complex litigation experience alongside my mentors, Jared Stamell and Richard Schager. However, like Adam, I understood that my vision and professional goals would never be realized under the umbrella of someone else. So, in February 2020, a month before the world shut down, I went out on my own, founding Goldenberg Law LLC. While being a solo practitioner was both a highly challenging and rewarding experience, I knew I needed more support to grow and see out my vision.

Meeting Adam through a mutual colleague was fortuitous. Not only do we have similar skill sets and tremendous drives to succeed, but we also complement each other on many levels. If we had to define our dynamic, Adam is more of the big picture guy, while I excel at execution. That said, we collaborate daily on strategy and everything else to effectively represent our clients and push the firm’s continual growth. At the end of the day, though, we are both Long Island-bred family men, who share a passion for hard work and creative problem-solving. During off-hours, we both enjoy the solace of skiing and snowboarding in Vermont.

Since we founded Levy Goldenberg in January 2023, we have already grown leaps and bounds by nurturing relationships and going the extra mile for every client. While there is always a learning curve involved in starting something new, the energy and limitless potential inspire and give us the drive to succeed each and every new day.

Building a new firm requires a strong vision. What was the vision behind Levy Goldenberg LLP?
AML/AG: We wanted to provide clients with a practical, honest and transparent approach to navigating commercial and real estate disputes in New York City. While we know we’re not blazing any trails, we also see that firms can practice more efficiently and effectively by incorporating modern technology with the more traditional tenets of practice — which can never be replaced. Moreover, the complex challenges that individuals and businesses face when entangled in commercial and real estate disputes have motivated us to demystify the legal process and make it more accessible for our clients.

We also wanted to provide more cost- effective services to ensure that excellent legal representation remains within reach and is not reserved exclusively for those with the most means. We are dedicating ourselves to being forthright and direct with our clients while translating complex legal concepts into plain English. This guarantees that our clients are not only well-informed, but also actively involved in their legal proceedings. This vision has laid the foundation for our firm’s identity.

What are some of the key legal challenges and opportunities in New York City, especially in commercial real estate litigation?
AML/AG: There are many challenges and opportunities that have flowed from the pandemic. One of the biggest challenges gain- ing a lot of press in the past year relates to Manhattan office buildings and their evolving role in a post-pandemic world. The rise of remote work has prompted businesses to reassess their office space needs, which has presented a challenge for our commercial landlord clients who have faced reduced demand for traditional offices.

The pandemic has also led to an increase in commercial lease disputes, as tenants and landlords grapple with issues related to rent abatements, force majeure clauses and other unforeseen circumstances arising from business disruptions. In our experience, these disputes often result in lease renegotiations or, when negotiations fail, abandonments and bankruptcy filings.

Although these and other challenges exist, as always there are unique opportunities that arise, including the adaptive reuse of commercial properties for residential or mixed-use developments that could help revitalize certain areas of the city, including the Financial District which we call home.

There is no denying that the post-pandemic environment has been tough on the city and our clients. However, adapting to changing tenant demands is essential for our client’s continued success and the success of Manhattan as a whole.

What are your long-term goals and aspirations for the firm, and how do you see it contributing to the legal community and New York City in the years to come?
AML/AG: First and foremost, we are focused on continuing to expand our footprint in the New York market. Since we launched in January 2023, our client base has grown significantly from those clients that migrated with us from our respective individual practices. Also, any New York City firm will tell you how competitive the market is for acquiring talent to augment a growing firm. Nevertheless, we’ve continued to add attorneys to our team, and our intentions are to continue expanding with an eye toward providing a one-stop, full-service shop for all of our clients’ real estate and commercial needs.

To achieve this, we must maintain an unwavering dedication to excellence and tenacity in achieving our clients’ goals. At the end of the day, we are fully cognizant of the fact that our clients’ successes go hand in hand with our own.

We are also committed to nurturing the next generation of legal talent. We view our firm as a platform for fostering young lawyers’ growth and development, mentoring them to become leaders in their own right. By providing opportunities for learning and professional advancement, we hope to contribute to a thriving legal community in NYC and beyond, while simultaneously improving the firm’s own prowess.

Ultimately, we see our firm contributing to the legal community and New York City by not only providing exceptional legal services but also by being a force for progress and innovation. Our overarching goals center on making a meaningful and enduring impact, not just within the confines of our practice but on the broader legal ecosystem.

Lastly, why did you choose Fraunces Tavern for the cover shot?
AML/AG: We love Fraunces Tavern and everything it stands for. The history, the atmosphere, its warmth, the food, etc. Last year we hosted our holiday/launch party in the Piano Room (where we are sitting) and we intend to keep doing so for years to come. Frankly, we’re in awe of what Fraunces has meant to New York and our entire country, and we are honored to contribute to even a small part of its continued success and tradition.

For those who do not know, Fraunces is located one block from our offices (54 Pearl St.) and is one of the oldest taverns in the United States. Moreover, Eddie Travers, his family and their partners who currently own and operate the Tavern, are clients of ours and we’ve established what we can only hope will be an enduring relationship for years to come.