Distinguished Leader: Greg Arovas
Partner Greg Arovas was named as a leading New York litigator.
What are some of your proudest recent achievements?
My proudest achievements have been in cases where we were able to mobilize multidisciplinary and often worldwide teams to litigate complex disputes involving issues that at first impression seemed inconsistent and incompatible. One example is a series of cases for Samsung against Ericsson that were litigated multiple times over many years. Each iteration of the cases and trials built on previous disputes, and became increasingly complex and multidimensional. Many of the cases involved balancing conflicting themes, such as attacking and defending patents and invention stories for technology adopted in the same communications standards, harmonizing conflicting behavior of the parties over many years to address antitrust, competition, tort and equitable claims and defenses, and balancing the legal themes and evidence needed for cases in legal systems around the globe with significantly different rules and requirements while preserving a consistent thematic approach for the overall dispute.
Another example is a district court trial where we defeated claims of infringement and proved invalidity on multiple communications patents for a series of defendants from around the globe. Each defendant had its own story, history and products, but because they were all tried before a single jury we needed to weave together a single story with a consistent theme that worked for all the witnesses and parties.
Name a lawyer or mentor whose leadership inspired you.
My father. As a first generation American, and the first generation in our family with access to higher education, he believed anything was possible with hard work, perseverance and humanity. He wasn’t a lawyer, but he taught me to lead based on core values and principles. That the best way to lead, is to lead by example, expecting as much or more from yourself as anyone else on the team. To always take ownership and responsibility proactively. To never lose sight of quality and creativity. And to focus on helping everyone on the team to achieve the goals together.
How are the business and profession of law changing, and how should lawyers adapt for the future?
Technology has been changing law for many years, and the pace of change is accelerating rapidly. Many of these changes have the potential to be good and bad at the same time. For example, the phenomenal advancements in communications have allowed lawyers unprecedented freedom to manage their time and increase efficiency without having to be in the office all the time. At the same time, being reachable at any time of the day or night has blurred the boundaries between work and personal time. In the future, advanced software and artificial intelligence has the potential to replace many of the least enjoyable or intellectually challenging aspects of practicing law, but at the same time could deprive lawyers the opportunity to develop solid foundational skills. Regardless of the particular technology, lawyers at all levels of seniority at both outside firms and clients need to work together to deploy technology for the betterment of the profession, to increase efficiency and the value of the service provided by lawyers without stripping the profession of its core values or skills.
What is the best advice for someone considering a career in law, or someone already in the profession who is seeking to make a greater impact?
Learn from others, but make sure to always be yourself. When I first started practicing, I spent years reading transcripts and sitting in the back of courtrooms watching trials. I think I expected to find the secret to success, but instead realized that there are almost as many different approaches to practicing law as there are successful lawyers. But one common thread that connected everything I read and saw was authenticity. Working hard and preparing is a given. Creative arguments and unique insights are important too. But you will never be your best unless you are being yourself. Sincerity and authenticity will make everything you present come across more natural, persuasive and believable.