Firm Doubles in Size With Former Hofheimer Lawyers
by Christine Simmons

Real estate boutique Romer Debbas is bringing on a seven-attorney group from shuttered firm Hofheimer, Gartlir & Gross.

The former Hofheimer attorneys include partners Louis Sherman, Sharon Zimmer and Peter Reiter; counsel Robert Howard and Suzanne Wismer; and of counsel Arthur Michaelson and Jules Levy. Five of the seven attorneys focus on new development projects, commercial leasing, transactions and finance, while two focus on trusts and estates and tax.

Romer Debbas said the group, which joined Aug. 1, almost doubles the firm’s size. It now has 15 attorneys and 10 support staff. The firm, founded in 2011 with three attorneys, including co-managing partners Pierre Debbas and Michael Romer, plans to move to a new office later this year to accommodate the growth, Debbas said.

Debbas said Reiter has been a mentor and close friend to both him and to Romer. When Reiter learned the Hofheimer firm was dissolving, he started discussions with Romer Debbas.

Debbas said the firm believed any risk associated with expansion was far outweighed by the benefits. “We saw it as a phenomenal opportunity to add several complementary practice areas,” he said. “It gives us a tremendous amount of credibility.”

Hofheimer Gartlir, which had 24 attorneys at one point, closed this summer after 135 years, in part due to financial struggles and its partners heading in different career directions (NYLJ, June 30).