Veteran lawyer Scott Cousins opens boutique agency
WILMINGTON – After working on some of the biggest bankruptcy and litigation cases in Delaware courts over the past decade, attorney Scott Cousins has opened his own boutique law firm.
The new firm, Cousins Law, opened Oct. 1 and is located at Brandywine Plaza West, 1521 Concord Pike, just north of the city. In opening the firm, Cousins left Bayard P.A., where he has worked on high-profile bankruptcy cases involving GNC, Libbey Glass and Harvey Weinstein in the last six years.
“This was something that I’ve been wanting to do for quite a few years and I think it’s an excellent time to start,” he said, noting that bankruptcy filings are increasing quickly amid the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Cousins, who has practiced in Wilmington for more than 20 year starting at the Delaware office of Miami-based mega firm Greenberg Traurig LLP, is among a small rush of new law offices opening in the city. Florida-based Saxena White P.A., New Jersey-based Porzio, Bromberg & Newman, Los Angeles-based Lewis Brisbois, and Boston-based Block & Leviton LLP have all opened Wilmington offices in the last six months.
Cousins said that he envisions the new venture as a “law firm to other law firms,” explaining that he has the expertise to step in and help with cases where conflicts of interest may arise or local counsel is needed for out-of-state firms.
“I’m not going to compete with a big Wall Street law firm because I’m small, but because of my experience I can do high-quality work and then return the client,” he said.
Cousins said that he believes there is a need for more boutique firms like his as many firms have grown larger or smaller in the last decade, effectively squeezing out mid-sized firms.
So far, Cousins said that the phone has been ringing and he’s been working in tandem on cases, including serving as local counsel for an out-of-state firm with a case in the Court of Chancery and working with a big Wall Street firm on another recently filed case.
“The local counsel role is the way to develop different relationships, and if you treat those with respect and you do a really good job, hopefully you get another phone call,” he said.
While the firm is currently a solo operation, Cousins said that he expects to add more attorneys next year, including both veterans and young associates.
“I really enjoy working with young associates and teaching them the ropes and hopefully some life lessons too,” he said.
Cousins is not only well-versed in the restructuring and bankruptcy practice in Wilmington, but he’s also spent time in corporate America, serving as general counsel at Florida-based NextEra Energy Resources, a renewable energy leader and one of North America’s leading energy suppliers. There he was involved in the development, financing, and construction of almost 20 wind and solar projects along with other corporate duties.
While at NextEra, Cousins said he worked with roughly 70 in-house lawyers covering all manner of responsibilities from litigation to merger and acquisition to regulatory compliance. He also saw the corporate convergence efforts firsthand.
“We spent a lot of time trying to get our work with outside law firms to a manageable level. From an outside lawyer’s perspective, it gave me a really good insight on how in-house lawyers view outside counsel,” he said.
By Jacob Owens