Becker Glynn was officially formed on July 1, 1987. The Firm, however, traces its roots to a predecessor firm founded in 1968. In May of that year, Robert B. Glynn, his Harvard College roommate David J. Melamed, and others began the law firm of Fox Glynn & Melamed. Joseph D. Becker joined two years later and became a key partner in that firm.
The founding partners of Fox Glynn & Melamed had begun their careers at traditional Wall Street firms and shared a keen interest in international affairs and law. They set out to create a firm where lawyers worked collegially and clients received the highest quality legal representation. That firm flourished for 19 years, building a domestic and international practice and representing significant European and Latin American interests. In 1986, the International Financial Law Review surveyed the top twenty international law firms in New York and included Fox Glynn & Melamed as the only small law firm in its rankings.
In 1987, our predecessor firm split and Joseph Becker, Robert Glynn and David Melamed founded Becker, Glynn & Melamed. Rachel K. Wasserman and Robert C. Muffly, who had begun their careers at the prior firm, joined them. The Firm suffered an initial setback with the untimely death of its founding managing partner David Melamed in 1990. That year, however, saw Richard N. Chassin, who had also begun his career at the predecessor firm, join Becker Glynn. One year later, Peter M. Hosinski, who had worked for major firms in Washington and Tokyo, and shared a similar interest in international transactional work, arrived and the Firm changed its name to Becker, Glynn, Melamed & Muffly.
Becker Glynn grew slowly in its first decade, focusing on its core competencies and attracting lawyers similarly devoted to a collaborative, small firm culture. In the 1990’s, the Firm represented Germany’s largest utility in its investment of more than $1 billion to acquire the largest U.S. coal company from Du Pont, and the Firm greatly expanded its representation of development finance institutions, particularly International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group. Becker Glynn continued to develop its private client practice, providing tax and estate planning advice to high net worth international families and family offices. The Firm also maintained and grew its practice representing foreign and domestic clients in a wide array of business pursuits and investments, and widened its geographic base to include Asia.
Also in that first decade, the Firm’s litigation team handled domestic and international lawsuits and arbitrations, winning a significant jury trial in a complex contract and employment discrimination case brought in federal court against a large Dutch corporate client of the Firm and obtaining a substantial securities fraud arbitration award for a European trust company against a major American banking institution. For a leading Italian energy conglomerate, the Firm obtained federal court temporary and permanent injunctions protecting trade secrets against a competitor. The Firm also began its successful defense of a major Swiss financial services company in a number of class action suits, including a successful jury verdict in federal court.
On December 31, 1999, founding partners Joseph Becker and Robert Glynn stepped down and became of counsel to the Firm. The ensuing decade brought continued, gradual growth to Becker Glynn. The Firm added partners to strengthen its corporate, litigation, private client, trust and estate, and tax practices, and promoted partners from its associate ranks to its litigation and corporate groups. The Firm also added practice groups in bankruptcy and debtor and creditor’s rights, employment law and executive compensation.
By mid-2012, Becker Glynn numbered 13 partners and 29 lawyers in total. On July 1, 2012, to honor Becker Glynn’s 25th anniversary and to recognize the efforts of Richard Chassin and Peter Hosinski in building the Firm, we changed our name to Becker, Glynn, Muffly, Chassin & Hosinski LLP.