It can be tricky when you start working with high-profile clients. Are there things I shouldn’t ask? Should I respond immediately? Can I tell other people about my client? These are a few questions you may have. But don’t worry, I spoke with a revered litigator with decades of experience. Mathew Rosengart, a shareholder in the media and entertainment litigation and commercial litigation departments at Greenberg Traurig LLP. He has worked with some big names including Britney Spears, Steven Spielberg, Ben Affleck, Keanu Reeves, Verizon, Meta, and more.
But Rosengart isn’t in it for the proximity to celebrity or wealth. He’s on a mission to make the world a better place. “In the morning I might be speaking to an executive at a corporation and in the afternoon I might be talking to a high-profile celebrity,” he told me. “What I’ve learned from being in a position to represent these types of individuals and corporations is that your work as a litigator is going to make a difference.”
I spoke with prominent litigator Mathew Rosengart about advice for professionals working with high-profile clients.
Be Diligent In What You Do
Representing public figures is not easy. They have put their trust in you to protect and represent them to the best of your ability. Remember, if you do an outstanding job you may get introduced to even more successful clients. And that includes having a history of winning cases or forming partnerships with public figures and corporations.
“Do excellent work, and be diligent in what you do. In addition to being excellent, working very hard, and being diligent, there’s a personal nature to those types of matters,” Rosengart said. And he’s right— working with high-profile clients includes having many personal conversations that should not be repeated for the safety and privacy of the client. No matter how fascinating or surprising your conversations are with the client, you should always stick to the rules of the non-disclosure agreement or contract you signed.
Try To Respond Immediately
A large part of working with public figures is being available often. Reply to high-powered clients as soon as possible. Make sure when you respond that you are contacting them when they aren’t working. According to Rosengart, immediate responsiveness is essential to maintaining a good relationship with high-profile clients. “Strive to respond immediately, but also be very sensitive to the particular client’s needs and schedule,” he told me. “For example, a celebrity client might be on a movie set, a high-profile corporate client is in the office from 7 am until a late hour. You have to adjust your communication.”
And part of that communication includes email, texting, and phone calls. Be especially responsive when it comes to phone calls. You do not want to leave a client waiting for too long. Rosengart said “there’s always a balance between ensuring that your client is well informed as you build trust while also being very respectful of their schedule.”
A huge part of the reason high-profile clients select specific lawyers and advisors is because of their ability to respond immediately. But don’t fret if you can’t respond once or twice in your career, but definitely make striving to reply a priority.
Build Trust With Your Clients
Establishing trust is one of the most important parts of working with high-profile clients. Even if your client is famous, it does not mean that they don’t want to be treated like everyone else.
Also, you may want to get introduced to these kinds of clients through your manager or colleagues. When someone can vouch for your trustworthiness that goes a long way. Rosengart believes that “things like credibility and trust are essential.”
He recommends that professionals with high-profile clients be responsive and clear with clients. “I am also candid, but never over promise. If you practice at the highest level, whether you’re representing clients in corporate America or in Hollywood, building trust is absolute,” he said.