This year marks the 20th year it has been my privilege to send this annual note on behalf of my partners and our attorneys and staff. It has been quite a two decades!
Since our founding, we have seen our Firm grow from 8 lawyers and 3 staff in 1997 to today with over 130 lawyers and over 225 employees in fifteen offices in seven states. Amazingly, most of our original group still is with us. Ted Freeman, Bart Gary, Phil Savrin, Mary Anne Ackourey and Dana Maine were there when we opened the doors and still continue to be our partners to this day.
The past twelve months have seen continued growth and further changes to our FMG family. We celebrated our 20th anniversary in April with our merger with Gilbert Kelly in California. This wonderful firm brought us thirty new attorneys so we now have over fifty attorneys with new offices in San Diego, downtown Los Angeles, downtown San Francisco and Sacramento. This year also brought us a very strong lobbying and government relations team in Atlanta headed by Dan Lee. Additionally, we added a tremendous immigration team led by Layli Deal and Ken Levine. Jeff Allen and his group joined us in San Francisco bringing a significant Fortune 150 client and further strengthening our national litigation practice.
Among other honors, our firm was invited to join Lexwork International, a distinguished alliance of law firms throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia with over 3,000 attorneys around the world. FMG also was rated once again as a first-tier outstanding law firm by Best Lawyers in America. Virtually every partner also was recognized by one or more of the four major national attorney recognition groups – Best Lawyers, Super Lawyers, Chambers, and Benchmark Litigation.
Awards aside, we are particularly proud of a trial record we believe is second to none. Our attorneys tried over 25 cases to verdict throughout the country with over a 90 percent favorable outcome. Our partner Paul Bigley alone tried 7 significant jury trials this year. Paul recently was invited by Stanford University to serve as a guest instructor in their trial advocacy program, a just recognition for a truly great trial lawyer.
Finally, I want to repeat a message I share each year. In a world of change, one constant is our appreciation for our clients. Any success we have achieved is only because you continue to entrust us with your legal matters. We recognize and value that the relationship between lawyer and client is much more than a typical business arrangement. It is a partnership to confront the difficulties and risks of a legal system that can be challenging and often is not fair. We strive every day to meet and exceed your expectations, and we are thankful for the opportunity to represent you.
On behalf of the entire FMG family from all corners of our great nation, we wish you a happy holiday season and a safe and prosperous New Year.