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Jay D. Rosenbaum

Partner and International Private Clients Team Leader  |  Nixon Peabody LLP

United States (MA, NY)


Personal and estate planning
Administration of estates and trusts

Enhanced Q&A

What has been the highlight of your practice over the past 12 months?

A highlight for me this past year has been the deepening of relationships with the next generations of my client families. It has been a strategic priority for me to expand my relationships beyond the patriarchs and matriarchs I have traditionally advised, and the results have been very gratifying, not just in expanding business relationships but in developing new friendships as well.

How did you get into private client?

I began my career at a much smaller firm. I was the first summer associate ever hired by the firm and the first attorney that they hired out of school. In Boston in the 1980s/90s there was a lot of high-powered corporate work being done by the middle market firms. I was hired to do this type of work, working with privately held businesses on the edge of the first tech boom. I got involved doing VC deals and IPOs. I was spending a lot of time with the families and hearing what was not being paid attention to – their family work. I enjoyed the conversations and realised that there was more work to be done. I later moved into the private client work full time.

What advice would you give rising stars/new lawyers in the private client world?

Get out and meet everybody. Technical expertise is assumed by every client and potential client. Where you will distinguish yourself is through your Rolodex (if such a thing still exists!) or contact list.

What is your favourite quote?

Having been locked up at home for the better part of the past year, a sentence I read in A Traveler at the Gates of Wisdom, a novel I read a few weeks ago, resonates: “When brothers are reunited, it goes against God and nature for either of them to retire to bed sober!” I look forward to reuniting with friends, colleagues and clients around the world – my brothers and sisters in so many ways – and putting this to the test.

Do you have any outside interests or hobbies?

I spend quite a lot of time with charitable boards. Right now the bulk of my philanthropic time is devoted to a vocational training and workforce development organisation in Massachusetts that focuses on helping refugees and immigrants to learn English so they can enter the workforce improve their employment generally. Our retraining skills are being applied as well to help the broader population get back to work on what we are hoping will be the back end of the Covid crisis. Beyond that I am busy keeping fit and of course enjoying my family!

Where have you seen growth in your practice over the last year?

Surprisingly, the primary driver of growth in my practice was precisely as I predicted pre Covid: inbound investment in the US. I suppose in retrospect the “flight to safety” during stressful times – even when those of us in the US might not feel like everything is on track – should not be a surprise. That combined with many families’ existing plans being implemented as expected led to a very busy year.

What is the main area of growth you predict for the next 12 months?

I think the coming year will be busy for many of the same reasons last year was, especially as (hopefully!) the world opens up and people can begin to travel again. We are already seeing signs of significant new overseas investment in US property, perhaps reflecting a belief that depressed values in some metropolitan areas are poised to recover as people feel more comfortable living in cities. I am working as well with a number of families to establish US bases of operations for their businesses in the US, and to help family members settle in the US. I expect to see more and more of this work in the coming months, too.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Lighten up! That guy was so serious sometimes.