A lot can happen in one year. Just ask Patrick MacQueen and Benjamin Gottlieb, the founding partners of MacQueen & Gottlieb, PLC, the rapidly-growing real estate law firm celebrating its first anniversary today.
“A year ago today we were starting a brand new firm because we wanted to be in charge of our own future,” said MacQueen, who along with Gottlieb formed the firm in October 2016. “We didn’t really know what to expect, but we knew what we wanted, and in the first year, we have exceeded even our own high expectations.” The firm far exceeded its growth goal of 20 percent in the first year and is well on track to continue to grow as the firm begins its second year.
MacQueen and Gottlieb met at their previous firm, a real estate boutique firm. They quickly realized they were kindred spirits. MacQueen and Gottlieb tend to build off each other’s successes, which has resulted in the firm reaching new heights each month.
“We realized very quickly that we shared a similar point of view about the law, real estate, and how we wanted to practice,” said Gottlieb.
The firm practices primarily in the area of real estate law, working with clients both large and small. On the large side, they have been retained by Dunn & Gibson of New York to handle a $180 million deal here in the Valley and served as local counsel in the purchase of the High Street development adjacent to Desert Ridge Marketplace. The $129 million transaction was completed in August with private equity firm Harbart Management Corp. acquiring the property from ScanlanKemperBard Cos. and Wayzata Investment Partners LLC. On the litigation side, the firm has handled a variety of cases, including complex easement disputes, commercial landlord-tenant disputes, flooding cases, quiet title disputes, and real estate fraud cases.
According to MacQueen, these are the types of clients and transactions the firm sees as part of its future. “We love working on smaller deals where it’s very personal work,” he said. “In a dispute with an HOA, or a dispute over a sales contract, you know the clients personally and intimately. But we also want to swim with the big fish in the big pond of real estate law. It’s tremendously exciting, challenging and rewarding when you prevail in a case that involves millions and millions of dollars.”
Gottlieb agrees “The stakes are very high and it’s a tremendous rush when you work with clients who have so much on the line,” Gottlieb said. “We also know we’re qualified to take on complex and challenging litigation cases, and our track record proves it. And as we grow in size and stature, we’ll be able to take on even more of that kind of work.”
That desire is playing out exactly as they had planned, with the firm now representing US Bank and one of the Southwest’s largest commercial property management companies. Their success in the area of litigation includes a verdict in an oral argument in the Arizona Court of Appeals by MacQueen, and Gottlieb prevailing in a three-day jury trial regarding a quiet title dispute where the Court awarded Gottlieb’s clients reimbursement of their attorney’s fees and costs.
The early success of M&G should not come as a surprise. Both attorneys have been on the fast track to success since their college years.
MacQueen graduated with honors from Michigan State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Business with an emphasis in finance. In law school, he was number one in his class at the University of Detroit’s Mercy School of Law. He moved to Phoenix after law school and began practicing in 2006 at Lewis & Roca as an associate. He moved to Mack Drucker Watson in 2009 and was there until 2013 when he took a position as in-house counsel for one of North America’s largest land-developers. His success even translates to his leisure activities, where MacQueen played on the golf team at Michigan State and still plays to a scratch handicap. He has been named to the Southwest Super Lawyers Rising Stars list (which recognizes the top 2 percent of attorneys in any area, as determined by their peers) for the past six years.
Gottlieb’s career trajectory is similarly successful. He too graduated with a degree in Finance from the
business program at Michigan State, graduating with high honors. He then graduated from the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University where he was a Pedrick Scholar and served as the managing editor of the Arizona State Law Journal. In the latter capacity, Gottlieb was the recipient of the Outstanding Managing Editor award. Since law school, he has acquired extensive experience in real estate law and civil litigation and has prosecuted multiple jury trials to successful verdicts in Maricopa County Superior Court, and has also prevailed in appellate cases at the Arizona Court of Appeals. He was also selected to the Southwest Super Lawyers Rising Stars list in 2017.
When they founded the firm, MacQueen and Gottlieb were hoping to be able to sustain the two partners, an office manager and a paralegal. But in just a year, the firm has expanded well beyond the initial team. M&G already has added a third attorney, a second paralegal and a law clerk, and according to Gottlieb, M&G is just getting started.
“As long as we continue to provide the level of service we have promised to both our clients and ourselves, the firm will continue to grow,” he said. “We have 20 years of combined experience between Patrick and I, and we’ve seen and done a lot. We remain very optimistic about the firm going into 2018.”
MacQueen & Gottlieb was founded on the principle that there is a superior way to deliver legal services than the status quo. MacQueen and Gottlieb formed M&G to create a different kind of firm that uses state of the art legal software and technology combined with award-winning legal minds to provide the best real estate representation available. In addition to real estate law, the firm also offers services including litigation, business law and estate planning. M&G is located at 1 E. Washington St., Suite 500, Phoenix, AZ 85004. Contact the firm at (602) 533-2840 for visit them on the web at www.MandGLawGroup.com.