Setting Standards: Randy Leff’s Pursuit of Legal Excellence and Lasting Legacies

Randy Leff | Co-Managing Partner at Ervin Cohen & Jessup (ECJ)
Randy Leff | Co-Managing Partner at Ervin Cohen & Jessup (ECJ)

Randy Leff is a legal luminary who is a Co-Managing Partner at Ervin Cohen & Jessup (ECJ) bringing over 30 years of expertise in navigating high-stakes business disputes. His dynamic approach to litigation spans diverse sectors, including technology, healthcare, real estate, manufacturing, food and beverages, entertainment, biotechnology, and financial services.

Randy’s reputation is built on delivering custom-tailored legal services infused with enthusiasm, creativity and passion. Recognizing the intricate link between immediate legal concerns and long-term business goals, Randy collaborates closely with clients to develop innovative strategies. From litigating multi-state class actions to resolving disputes pre-filing and strategizing business expansion, he consistently delivers exceptional results.

Beyond his role at ECJ, Randy’s influence extends to GGI’s Executive Committee, showcasing his commitment to international legal collaboration. His expertise isn’t confined to courtrooms—many clients have invited him to join their management teams as outside general counsel where his strategic insight propels organizations forward.

As a sought-after public speaker, Randy shares his wisdom at GGI seminars globally. Through his involvement in GGI, he represents businesses in litigation and transactional matters nationwide, particularly assisting Asian-American individuals and entities in Los Angeles’ Koreatown and the San Gabriel Valley.

Let’s delve into the story of a leader whose legal acumen is matched only by his dedication to advancing business objectives!

Unveiling the Strategy

In the complex realm of estate battles, Randy is a seasoned legal representative who found himself at the forefront of a challenging $120 million case. Facing formidable opposition from two major law firms, Randy navigated the legal intricacies on behalf of a trustee entangled in a conflict with child beneficiaries. As Randy recalls, “At the outset, it was an uphill battle.”

Undeterred, Randy strategically approached the situation and leveraging communication to break the united front of the opposing parties. “Open and unemotional explanation of key facts played a pivotal role,” he states. Over time, Randy successfully fostered trust and respect with one of the siblings and her counsel while also skillfully dividing the opposition. “Developing that relationship was crucial,” Randy emphasizes.

This strategic alliance proved instrumental in shifting the dynamics of the case. “I was able to work productively towards resolution,” Randy shares by highlighting the transformative power of trust and effective communication in even the most challenging legal landscapes.

Strategic Focus, Personalized Service

Randy has drawn on over 30 years of legal experience and challenges the conventional dichotomy of legal work by offering a unique blend of advantages. ‘Big firm work’ and ‘small firm work’ each have their merits but Randy stands out at Ervin Cohen & Jessup which is a midsize firm that bridges the gap by providing the ‘best of both worlds.’

At our midsize firm, we boast a formidable bench,” Randy asserts by emphasizing the strength of assembling a team tailored to the unique needs of any legal matter. Unlike the big firm approach which tends to inundate cases with numerous associates, Randy prioritizes a strategic focus. “I’ve built my practice by listening to clients,” he notes, “understanding their short-term and long-term business goals.”

The key to Randy’s success lies in the personalized approach taken after establishing client objectives. “We develop an individualized focused strategy,” he explains which is grounded in a deep understanding of the law and case-specific facts. This ensures a cost-effective pursuit of the desired outcome. It’s a methodology that sets Randy apart offering clients the efficiency of a large firm and the specialized attention of a small one.

The legal landscape is often perceived as black and white, Randy’s approach adds a spectrum of nuance, providing clients with a winning combination of expertise, strategic focus and cost-effectiveness.

Client Rapport 101

When delving into a new client’s world, Randy emphasizes the importance of industry immersion. “We familiarize ourselves with the latest developments through research, AI and interviews,” he states. This deep dive ensures a thorough understanding of the client’s crucial concerns and their position in the industry.

Knowing the relevant issues like the back of our hands,” Randy and his team build a foundation of trust by demonstrating a profound grasp of the client’s business landscape. Beyond educational credentials, Randy believes that understanding the client’s industry and speaking their language is paramount in establishing rapport.

This industry-centric approach isn’t just about knowledge—it’s about putting the client at ease. “What puts a client at ease better than anything is proof that you understand their industry,” Randy notes. With this understanding in place, Randy collaborates with clients to craft winning strategies underlining the significance of a lawyer who not only speaks the law but also comprehends the intricacies of their client’s business.

The Judgment Call

When diving into a client’s legal matters, Randy’s first query is, “How will this impact your business strategy?” For Randy, the legal response is intricately linked to the client’s overarching business strategy.

While the law is crucial, it’s not always at the center of the universe,” Randy notes by challenging the conventional legal perspective. Understanding the client’s industry-specific needs is paramount for effective representation. “Lawyers need to understand the wants and needs of the business they’re working with,” he asserts by emphasizing the symbiotic relationship between legal counsel and business strategy.

Adding another layer to his approach, Randy brings a wealth of experience and offers a unique perspective on judgment. “Judgment is assembling all the facts and making a reasoned projection of the outcome,” Randy explains. Drawing on his extensive experience, he navigates the complexities of legal issues with a focus on long-term success.

While acknowledging the uncertainties of the future, Randy’s analytical approach which is rooted in unemotional data analysis and client communication establishes a foundation for enduring relationships. “My practice is built on long-term relationships where my clients are rarely surprised,” he shares underscoring the value of foresight and a client-centric approach in the legal realm.

Knowledge Beyond Borders

Randy is an advocate for perpetual learning and he states, “The best lawyers don’t need a reason or a routine to continue their legal educations.” Beyond mandated Continuing Legal Education (CLE) requirements, Randy consistently delves into new laws and pivotal case decisions to enhance his effectiveness.

Reflecting on the evolving landscape of law and technology, Randy shares insights on artificial intelligence sharing, “Many overestimated the immediate effectiveness of generative AI like ChatGPT.” As the initial hype subsides, Randy sees the opportunity to harness AI’s power effectively in legal work adapting to its evolving capabilities.

In his quest for knowledge, Randy’s habits extend beyond legal realms. “I’m an avid reader, usually one book per week, and listen to podcasts on relevant business and human interaction topics,” he discloses. This multidimensional approach ensures that Randy stays not only informed about legal developments but also attuned to broader business and societal dynamics enriching his perspective and contributing to his professional prowess.

Global Horizons

Randy is serving leadership at Geneva Group International (GGI) and he shares, “Through GGI, I meet and collaborate with people from around the world regularly.” Attending GGI conferences three times a year has equipped him with a profound understanding of global business dynamics.

This international exposure has honed Randy’s sensitivity to cultural nuances. Recounting a challenging experience, he notes, “I worked with a Chinese conglomerate during the restructuring of a well-known domestic pharmaceutical company.” Tasked with reclaiming control from a rogue CEO, Randy navigated complexities such as time zones, language barriers and cultural differences inherent in foreign ownership.

Randy’s role in international collaboration not only showcases the intricacies of global business but also underscores the importance of cultural awareness in resolving complex issues. Through his work with GGI, Randy exemplifies how legal expertise, combined with cultural sensitivity, can successfully address challenges arising in cross-border business scenarios.

People First

Inspired by a remarkable mentor, Randy shares, “I’m aiming for the standards he set—brilliant judgment, a strong team, impactful results, and a lasting legacy.” Reflecting on his mentor’s approach, Randy values not just legal victories but also interpersonal connections. “Big verdicts make for big headlines, but it’s the people you meet and how you treat them that will leave your biggest mark,” he emphasizes.

The legal landscape often focuses on outcomes and Randy’s perspective underscores the enduring importance of relationships and respect. This commitment to valuing colleagues and clients aligns with his mentor’s legacy, highlighting the profound impact legal professionals can have beyond courtroom victories—by leaving a lasting positive influence on the individuals they encounter in the course of their work.