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10 June 2020

Goldberg Segalla founder and father-of-nine steps back to step up home schooling

Rick Cohen resigns as managing partner saying Covid-19 lockdown meant work/home responsibilities were 'too much'

By Ben Edwards

Rick Cohen

Rick Cohen: 'It has been an honour to guide this firm from seven lawyers on folding tables in Buffalo to over 400 lawyers '

Goldberg Segalla’s founder and managing partner, Rick Cohen, has announced he will step down to spend more time with his wife and nine children — six of whom are aged between four and eight and are currently being home-schooled.

The move begins the first phase of a leadership transition at the fast-growing Buffalo-based firm, which he founded 20 years ago and is currently ranked just outside the US top 100 by size.

Cohen will remain a member of the firm’s five-person facilitation committee, which will collectively handle managing partner responsibilities until a new managing partner is elected in January next year. Partner Chris Belter, another member of the committee, will take up the newly created role of chief operating officer.

Cohen said: “Twenty years ago, I had a vision of a law firm that would be different, where people would come together as a team to support each other and our clients. Twenty years later, we have not only realised but have vastly expanded upon that dream. It has been an honour to guide this firm from seven lawyers on folding tables in Buffalo to over 400 lawyers in more than 20 offices in 11 states.”

The newly created COO role will help free up more time for the managing partner to concentrate on growing the firm’s client base, with Belter focusing on day-to-day business operations and overseeing its response to the Covid-19 crisis. 

Belter has been with Goldberg Segalla since November 2001 and is chair of the firm’s corporate services and commercial litigation practice, and its construction practice.

Belter said: “Rick has been not only a partner but a friend to me for two decades. And as both a partner and friend, I’m thrilled that our firm has evolved to a point where Rick doesn’t have to carry all of this load alone, and will be able to spend more time with his family. 

“I’m also grateful, though, that Rick will remain a close advisor to me as I step into the new role of COO, and will remain an integral part of our leadership through the Facilitation Committee and other roles.”

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