Manatt, Phelps & Phillips has become the latest firm to open an office in Boston’s busy legal market, a move it’s making with the help of Holland & Knight cybersecurity and privacy co-chair Scott Lashway.
Lashway will be leading the Boston office, Manatt’s 10th nationally, and will serve as co-chair of firm’s privacy and data security practice alongside CEO and managing partner-elect Donna Wilson.
One of the primary motivators for Lashway’s move to Manatt was the opportunity to work with the practice which closely aligns to his work and client base, he said.
“It was a bit of a no brainer as my clients and industries both here in Boston and elsewhere around the country and globe continue to see cyber risk and data privacy matters at the top line of the company,” Lashway said. “They’re looking for larger teams and greater expertise.”
Lashway has built a practice counseling clients on cybersecurity and privacy issues and assists them in preparing and handling data breach responses and subsequent litigation and government inquiries.
Lashway spent the first part of his career at Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. And just prior to joining Holland & Knight in 2016, he spent five years at MassMutual Financial Group as vice president and head of investigations.
In its new home in Boston, Manatt will continue to work with its stable of clients in the city’s booming healthcare, financial services and digital technology spaces and will look to expand its offerings in the city through the addition of new attorneys and professional services providers internally as well as laterally, he said.
“Boston is home to some of the best-known and longest-established companies that are constantly evolving to meet new challenges,” said Wilson in a statement.
“Scott is a natural fit because his practice aligns perfectly with our integrated professional services approach that allows us to counsel both the disruptors and the disrupted,” she added.
A Unique Offering
Manatt joins a growing number of Big Law firms making their mark in Boston. Arent Fox, Hogan Lovells, Kirkland & Ellis, Morrison & Foerster, Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, and Womble Bond Dickinson are just some of the firms that have opened offices in Beantown over the last two years.
Unlike many of its Big Law counterparts, Manatt brands itself as a professional services firm with nearly 100 non-lawyer consulting professionals across the firm offering clients a hybridized legal and consulting approach— a concept that is fairly new for the Boston legal scene.
“Where legal advice ends these days often because of various pressures with clients, they’re looking for support and operationalizing that advice as it impacts business decisions and compliance or regulatory obligations,” said Lashway, who will be joined in Boston by Manatt senior managing director Patricia Boozang, who provides consulting services around healthcare and insurance.
Clients want practical legal advice that contemplates business implications and are looking for lawyers and professional service providers that help implement that advice, said Lashway.
“We always struggled with that [in-house] where rubber hits the road or legal advice needs to be operationalized,” he said, recalling his time at MassMutual.
“[Manatt] has a full suite of lawyers and professional business advisers that are able to do that and I think that’s going to be welcomed by the Boston business community.”