Lee Hoffman Talks to Law360 about New Role as Chair of Pullman & Comley
Lee Hoffman, who was elected as chair of Pullman & Comley in September 2022, spoke to Law360 about the firm's move into new markets, practice areas that are poised for growth and goals for the coming year.
Lee’s focus is continuing the expansion of the firm begun by his predecessor, James “Tim” Shearin, who remains with the firm as a member of the Litigation practice. According to Lee, “Tim Shearin started and I will continue expansions in family law, alternate dispute resolution, appellate and (in) our trusts and estate practices,” he said. “For me personally, I think there’s still significant areas of growth in energy and environmental law and intend to pursue these both personally and through the firm.”
Lee mentioned the firm’s recent expansion into Western Massachusetts and Rhode Island. “Both of those expansions were based on client needs to work and have physical presence in those jurisdictions,” he said. "We have clients that have facilities and labor and employment needs, and that's the predominant reason we opened the Rhode Island office. In Massachusetts, a lot of it was property tax valuation, property tax appeals, as well as general corporate work and real estate finance."
When asked about the firm’s busiest or fastest-growing practice areas, Lee noted that, in addition to a marked uptick in mergers and acquisitions, the firm is seeing significant growth in its Cannabis practice. “Now that Connecticut has legalized recreational cannabis, we’ve seen a significant increase as entities have gone through the license application process. We’re dealing with some more traditional things that you have whenever you open a business, such as real estate and land use and hiring new employees.”
He added, “We’re also seeing an uptick in public private partnerships with the federal and state funding for various infrastructure improvements. We’re working with both private developers and municipalities to do financing and project development for big projects.”
Lee noted that in terms of business goals, the number one priority is the development of the next generation of leadership in the firm.
“The nice thing about this firm is, while we do have a 100-year history, we are always looking forward. As we look forward, identifying the next generation of our leadership is the key to sustain success. We have a younger generation of partners who are very capable professionals and need to be able to develop their leadership skills so they can sit in positions of increasing authority.”
To read the full interview, please visit the Law360 site here.