A law firm from Long Island that specializes in insurance defense and mortgage foreclosures is looking to open an office in Amherst. The reason for this is that the firm wants to employ dozens of workers from Western New York, moving into a business that former firm Steven J. Baum PC once operated in not long ago. The law firm of Frenkel Lambert Weiss Weisman & Gordon LLP wants to move into Western New York and other upstate New York areas because it has garnered more foreclosure cases in the region. The firm also expects that its casework will continue to expand according to managing partner David Frenkel, according to BuffaloNews.com.
The law firm is looking for a space that has around 10,000 square feet in an effort to hire anywhere from 100 to 125 employees. The company is asking for resumes and is even interviewing people who used to work at the Baum firm, but has no plans of hiring Baum himself. The firm claims that it is not purchasing the Baum firm or its affiliate, Pillar Processing LLC.
“By no reason are we acquiring his firm. I have no interest in bringing Steven Baum into my firm,” he said. “We have done a very good job of distinguishing ourselves in that area. We are a law firm, a litigation firm, and the last thing we want is ever to be tied to his operation.”
Late in the month of November, the firm of Baum told its employees that they would be laid off in February, when the office closes. The numbers are somewhat staggering, 90 attorneys will be laid off, 67 of them in Amherst and the remaining on Long Island. The collapse of the firm occurred after pictures of an old Halloween party appeared of their employees dressed as homeless persons.
Pillar, the affiliate of Baum, also announced that it is shutting its doors, leaving 600 people without jobs, almost all of them located in Amherst. There are four other affiliated title, abstract, and processing firms also closing because of the Baum scenario. Experts in the industry feel that the workload from Baum will be spread out to various firms, including that of Frenkel Lambert, which is approved to handle cases from Fannie Mae.
Frenkel did say that the expansion of his firm into Amherst is not the direct result of the Baum firm closing its doors. He did say that the closing of the Baum firm did help to speed up the process.
“We’ve been looking at Western New York for quite some time to expand our footprint in the state of New York,” he said.
Frenkel said that the law firm will begin with 25 to 30 employees and then continue to expand. Frenkel also stressed that his firm is not hiring solely from the Baum firm, although hundreds of resumes have been submitted from the firm.