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Interview Series

Christian Antkowiak

Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC, United States

31 Oct 2023

Legalink is a remarkable network in that its members are some of the most highly regarded, sophisticated practitioners both in their home countries and also in the international legal landscape

Can you provide insight into the historical journey and founding principles that underpin Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney? Additionally, how has the firm's evolution unfolded over the years?

Founded in 1850, Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney is a full-service law firm with approximately 450 attorneys and government relations professionals who serve the legal and business needs of regional, national and international clients. While our firm originated in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, it has expanded, to over 15 locations in Pennsylvania, Florida, Washington, D.C., Virginia, New Jersey, Delaware, New York, North Carolina and California.  We believe that expansion has been – and will continue to be – fueled by our commitment to developing partnerships with our clients and a deep understanding of their operations, businesses and industries. We understand the service and partnership attributes our clients most. By encouraging open and candid conversations with our clients, we strive to anticipate and mitigate legal problems when possible but also are ready to react quickly and decisively when circumstances require.


Could you provide an overview of the primary practice areas and specialized domains that Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney presently focuses on?

Buchanan is a business centric firm with specialties in, among other things, corporate finance and commercial law; litigation; energy law; intellectual property (including patents, trademarks and copyrights); labor and employment; commercial and real estate lending; tax; healthcare; life sciences; real estate; bankruptcy and creditors’ rights; and government relations and other regulatory-related counsel. As a member of Legalink for over 20 years, we have helped hundreds of our international colleagues find solutions for their clients’ legal problems in each of these practice areas.     

By way of illustration but not limitation, we recently assisted a UK client in an asset acquisition involving a satellite company that included complex US regulatory approvals.  We also assisted a Japanese based client in the acquisition of a business through a coordinated bankruptcy process.


In the context of Legalink, could you develop upon the significance of personal connections and the valuable friendships cultivated by Buchanan's partners and associates through participation in sectorial practice group meetings and conferences?

We feel that connections and friendships are essential to the success of Legalink. The relationships that Buchanan’s partners and associates cultivate with other Legalink members allow us to collaborate on complex matters and provide mutual clients with access to a wider range of legal services and expertise.  Through these relationships, we are given priority access to excellent legal services and can readily contact an attorney in another country and be treated as if we were engaged in one extended partnership.

Legalink does a great job of curating practice group meetings and conferences where Buchanan’s partners and associates can connect with other Legalink members. These events have provided us with opportunities to share best practices and learn about new developments in the law while building meaningful relationships globally.


Reflecting on your firm's affiliation with Legalink, how has this global network influenced both the day-to-day operations and the overall reputation of Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney within the legal marketplace?

Legalink is a remarkable network in that its members are some of the most highly regarded, sophisticated practitioners both in their home countries and also in the international legal landscape.  Our relationship is mutually elevating.  We have been fortunate to be able to offer our clients access to this network over the years; and, as a result, enhance our commitment to client service and delivering best-in-class legal services.  We often remark that we would accept many Legalink partners as our own and it is this trust and admiration that allows us to now think of Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney has a multi-national law firm.


Looking forward, what strategic objectives and aspirations does Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney have on its horizon?

The firm’s strategic objectives and aspirations include expanding our practice areas and specialized industries to meet the changing needs of our clients, further expanding our geographic reach, continuing to attract and retain the best legal talent, and investing in technology and innovation to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of our services.  We will continue to grow in the next five years through smart, deliberate strategies that allow us to maintain our culture, grow our bench strength, and continue to deliver high quality legal services to our clients.


In your capacity as the partner representing Legalink within your firm, how do you ensure that all members of Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney fully comprehend and leverage the advantages stemming from being part of a global network like Legalink?

We are tireless advocates of the Legalink network – emphasizing both its ability to enhance our value to our clients, but also the opportunities before us in terms of servicing so many clients of our friends and colleagues throughout the world.  Among other things, we regularly:

  • Conduct training sessions on the benefits of Legalink membership;
  • Encourage lawyers to participate in Legalink events and meetings;
  • Share information about Legalink member firms and their capabilities; and
  • Facilitate collaboration between Buchanan lawyers and Legalink member firm lawyers.


Could you elaborate on the benefits of referring clients to other Legalink member firms in diverse jurisdictions? How does this practice foster trust and confidence within your client relationships?

There is rarely higher praise in the legal profession than someone who says, “this colleague is a ‘lawyer’s lawyer.”  We feel that way about many of our Legalink colleagues and that recommendation always carries weight.  By referring cross-border matters to other Legalink member firms, we demonstrate our commitment to providing our clients with the best possible legal representation. We know that by referring our client to a Legalink member, we are confident that they will be in good hands with reputable and experienced partner firms.

Overall, referring clients to other Legalink member firms is a mutually beneficial practice for both Buchanan and its clients.


Drawing from your experience, how has the exchange of best practices and knowledge with other Legalink member firms contributed to Buchanan’s ability to remain at the forefront of meeting client needs and exceeding their expectations?

We are continuously exposed to new ideas and perspectives by exchanging best practices and knowledge with other Legalink member firms. This helps is to stay ahead of the curve and develop innovative solutions to our clients’ problems. We collaborate on complex matters on a regular basis. This allows Buchanan the opportunity to bring together the best and brightest minds from around the world to work our clients’ matters.


Are there any new developments at Buchanan that you want our Legalink members to know about? 

The firm recently launched Buchanan Innovate, a cutting-edge, digital solutions center that is an expansion of Buchanan’s current technology solutions platform. Poised to transform how the firm operates, the Buchanan Innovate team is focused on developing digital tools like advanced data analytics, visualization, and automation that increase efficiency and effectiveness for the lawyers and their clients.

Another pillar of the Buchanan Innovate platform is digital literacy. We recently launched Buchanan Artifex, the firm’s AI tool which is an internal, secure platform that creates a sandbox environment where lawyers can provide customized service for clients through AI, including but not limited to advanced legal research and due diligence, predictive outcomes of cases, and real time matter management updates for clients. The private AI Platform will provide convenience, access and user experience while upholding the strictest security and data privacy measures for the firm’s internal users, all while helping them deliver more value to our firm’s clients. Overall, Buchanan Innovate and the tools that are created through the digital solutions center will be transformative.