Albany, N.Y. – Phillips Lytle LLP announced that it has appointed Jeffrey B. Schwartz to become its new Albany Office Leader. Mr. Schwartz, a partner with the firm, will take over regional leadership from Richard E. Honen, who has led the Albany office for 15 years. Mr. Honen will continue to lead Phillips Lytle’s growing Venture Capital & Technology Practice, focusing more of his time on direct client work, including guiding the firm’s work to support the state’s innovation ecosystem.
Mr. Schwartz will guide Phillips Lytle’s new organization-wide, talent-driven growth plans in the Capital Region. The firm has set a hiring target of 40 attorneys to actively expand its expertise through the attraction, retention and development of top legal talent, while also recruiting boutique law firms and specialty practices in existing and new markets.
Phillips Lytle is also doubling-down on its longstanding work to build a diverse, inclusive legal workforce by empowering its attorneys, providing the tools and support they need and expanding talent pipelines that connect to its communities.
“Our attorneys drive our firm’s success, so it’s essential that we put talent at the center of our growth strategies across all our markets. With the right mix of expertise, passion and strategic thinking within our workforce, we’ll have the fuel we need to meet our objectives focused on client service excellence and innovation in service delivery,” Mr. Schwartz said. “I’m excited to guide our firm’s growth plans here in the Capital Region – there is so much legal talent in this market and the surrounding regions that could thrive if empowered by a firm like ours.”
“I want to extend my gratitude to Rich for his support and collaboration over the years,” Mr. Schwartz added. “He has made a tremendous impact for our regional business community, providing mentorship and assistance to countless entrepreneurs throughout their companies’ startup-to-maturity life cycles. His ongoing leadership of the firm’s Venture Capital & Technology Practice will ensure it remains the go-to legal resource for high-growth startups, innovative investors and venture capital firms.”
“Jeff will be an outstanding leader for our Capital Region team at Phillips Lytle,” Mr. Honen said. “Since joining the firm in 2003, he has served as a key advisor for some of the region’s most prominent startups, established firms and capital providers as they navigated challenges and pursued mergers, acquisitions and equity investments. This experience, plus his abilities to recognize talent and empower his colleagues, will help Jeff guide the growth of our office.”
Mr. Schwartz concentrates his practice in banking and corporate law, including venture capital transactions, equity and asset acquisitions and dispositions, and general corporate counsel services. In addition to his experience serving startups and emerging-growth tech companies with formation, financing arrangements, and other needs, Mr. Schwartz represents various capital providers – from angel investors to venture capital funds. He also represents banks and institutional lenders as well as borrowers in matters related to financing, including secured and unsecured credit facilities.
Mr. Schwartz, who has been recognized among America’s Leading Lawyers for Business by Chambers USA, currently serves as a mentor for startup incubator and accelerator Spark Saratoga, a trustee for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Upstate New York/Vermont Chapter and on the judging panel for the Venture B Plan Series led by the Center for Economic Growth.
Mr. Honen focuses his practice in corporate, finance and venture capital law, as well as complex mergers and acquisitions and commercial litigation. He has been involved with some of the most significant deals in the Capital Region. He provides corporate counsel to a broad spectrum of companies – from startups to FORTUNE 50 firms – and has lectured extensively, particularly on topics of corporate law, venture capital and entrepreneurship.
Mr. Honen has become known as a tireless mentor who gives generously of his time and expertise to many emerging-growth companies in the Tech Valley region. Over the last 30 years, he has volunteered thousands of pro bono hours educating, mentoring, and advising entrepreneurs and startup companies. Regularly recognized by The Best Lawyers in America and Upstate New York Super Lawyers, Mr. Honen has received the Center for Economic Growth’s Jeffrey A. Lawrence Lifetime Contributor Award and the Magical Mentor Award from Upstate Venture Connect.
Mr. Honen has served as a judge and mentor for business plan and startup competitions, such as the New York Business Plan Competition, 43North and competitions led by FuzeHub, RPI and Communitech, and he has provided his insights and support to Innovate518, the Questar III New Visions Program, CEG, the Capital Region Chamber of Commerce and WAMC Radio.
Phillips Lytle LLP is a premier regional law firm that is recognized nationally for its legal excellence. With offices across New York State and in Chicago, IL; Washington, D.C.; and Canada, our attorneys serve a multinational client base, including Fortune 1000 companies, global and regional financial institutions, not-for-profit organizations, middle-market companies, startups, entrepreneurs and individuals on important matters affecting their businesses and personal wealth. For more information, visit phillipslytle.com.