By Patrick Connelly, originally published in Buffalo Law Journal, Buffalo Business First on Jun 16, 2019, 9:10pm EDT.

Phillips Lytle Among Firms in Global Ranking

Five questions from the Buffalo Law Journal

Phillips Lytle LLP, Harter Secrest & Emery LLP and Hodgson Russ LLP were recognized as leading firms in New York by the UK-based Chambers and Partners.

The global rankings, a fixture since 1989 in the legal profession, are “the most notoriously difficult to crack,” according to the National Law Review. They offer a who’s who in individual practice areas and recognize leading firms and individuals.

The most recent U.S. rankings were released this month and are available at chambers.com.

Western New York attorneys and practice groups at firms were ranked in various areas.

Rankings of practice groups are based on sophistication of work, client service, depth of team, value for money, culture and accessibility, and commercial awareness. Client feedback plays a role, as well.

Phillips Lytle partner David Flynn organizes the submissions each year for his firm. The Buffalo Law Journal spoke with him about what’s involved and more.

Congratulations on the latest rankings. How did Phillips Lytle fare and what’s it like annually to see how the firm compares to others in the state and beyond?

Phillips Lytle is ranked by Chambers USA in six practice areas this year including Corporate/M&A; Litigation – General Commercial; Real Estate; Environment; Labor and Employment; and Energy: State Regulatory and Whole Electric Market.

Additionally, we had 20 attorneys recognized as leaders in their field. The thing that is most satisfying is that the rankings are, in large measure, based on client feedback. Specifically, we are highest-ranked for environmental law in Western New York, which is a distinction we are very proud of.

Are there any up-and-coming attorneys who you and your colleagues are proud of for taking some major steps forward in their practice area in the last few years?

With her expanding expertise and continued involvement with the firm’s environmental clients, we are pleased that Kimberly Nason has been listed as an “Associate to Watch” for the third consecutive year.

She has been involved with regulatory compliance, environmental due diligence and transactional support. In particular, she has handled complex Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act compliance and permitting matters, as well as land use and zoning matters focusing on compliance with the state Environmental Quality Review Act.

She is the only “Associate to Watch” for environmental law in New York state.

What is involved in putting together the submission package? When does the process begin?

It is quite an involved process with extensive collaboration between attorneys and our marketing team. We start at least three months in advance of the submission and have discussions throughout the year in preparation for this effort. This recognition is a source of pride for our attorneys and the firm.

As one of the attorneys in the environmental law practice group, what separates Phillips Lytle from other firms?

Our environment practice being ranked 11 consecutive years, which is quite an achievement, and four of our attorneys have specifically been identified for their environmental work.

I personally have been ranked for nine consecutive years. The longevity of our client relationships, added value offerings and client service excellence are all critical to receiving these accolades from our clients. It is only through the words of our clients that we are able to be regarded so highly for so long. Our environmental law experience predates the advent of water-pollution legislation in 1970. Many of our environmental practitioners have played important roles in the outcome of significant legal matters.

For any firms not aware of the rankings, where’s a good place to learn about them?

The best place to start is the Chambers USA website. We are fortunate to have been recognized consistently over the years by Chambers USA. Our ongoing presence in these rankings is a testament to the firm’s commitment to client service excellence and the positive feedback provided by our clients.