The firm said Bruce Zirinsky will maintain his separate practice while working with Greenberg Traurig to help its clients through the current "unprecedented period of disruption" as COVID-19 affects the world economy.
"These times required a very urgent bringing together of the best we could find, and Bruce is one of the best in his field," Greenberg Traurig executive chairman Richard Rosenbaum said on Thursday.
A graduate of New York University School of Law, Zirinsky first joined Greenberg Traurig in January 2009, after working as a partner for Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP and as chairman of Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft LLP's restructuring department.
Zirinsky became co-chairman of Greenberg Traurig's restructuring practice before founding Zirinsky Law Partners PLLC in October 2015 as a boutique restructuring firm.
A specialist in cross-border restructurings and bankruptcies, Zirinsky's notable cases have included Northwest Airlines and Republic Airways restructurings.
Rosenbaum said Zirinsky has extensive experience with the airline, energy, hospitality, real estate and gaming industries, all sectors hit hard by the current pandemic.
Rosenbaum said the firm had begun beefing up its bankruptcy practice before COVID-19 hit and that the current conditions have made the task more urgent. He said the firm had remained in touch with Zirinsky and had periodically worked with him, causing them to turn to him in their quest for more restructuring expertise.
"There's very few people in the country with his experience," Rosenbaum said.
Rosenbaum said it would have been "difficult" for Zirinsky to join the firm at this time, so they agreed on an "exclusive strategic alliance" under which Zirinsky will continue to work for his own firm while advising Greenberg Traurig's clients and working on its cases in what Rosenbaum called a "pretty seamless" arrangement.
In the announcement, Zirinsky said he has always enjoyed working with Greenberg Traurig's attorneys.
"I also look forward to working with co-chairs Shari Heyen and David Kurzweil, as well as a range of great practitioners across the firm," he said.
Zirinsky did not immediately respond to requests for additional comment.
--Editing by Nicole Bleier.
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