Partner, Corporate and Securities Services
Entrepreneurs, closely held entities, and publicly traded corporations seek out Eric Scher for his strengths in transacting their funding, formation, operations, and expansion. Having advised more companies than most entrepreneurs will ever contemplate, his rich knowledge of corporate transactions and structuring is a real asset that his clients pencil into the margin of their balance sheet.
Successfully bringing a new entity to the world takes courage and a stomach for uncertainty. But when it’s less than an hour old and weighs only seven pounds in the palm of one hand, the reliance that human being will have upon us for the next two decades gives meaning and purpose to our plans.
For Eric Scher the birth of his son was a profound moment that revealed with crystal clarity why he must consider his plans carefully. Feeling a deep commitment to his wife and new family, he began thinking long and hard about how he was going to provide for his family. Allowing the stability of their financial future to remain in someone else’s hands was suddenly no longer a viable option. That’s when he knew with certainty that everything about his life, particularly his law practice, was about to change.
From City Towers to A Suburban Foundation
Only a decade prior, Eric had started on the golden road—law diploma in hand, he secured a job in Manhattan as a corporate lawyer, and began strategizing his moves from one firm to another, each time securing a better position with a more prestigious law firm.
Then in October 2001, with corporate deals drying up in the wake of the dot-com crash and the fallout from 9-11, the ride abruptly ended. Learning the stark reality of someone else calling the shots, his position was cut along with most of the other lawyers in his department. The legal job market was in turmoil, and it took over four months to find a new position. The prestige and promise of remaining a rising New York City corporate lawyer was suddenly in question.
With options no longer abundant, Eric landed a job with a small, but rapidly growing suburban firm on Long Island. “While my first few months working on Long Island were definitely a culture shock,” Eric recounts, “once I adjusted to the different lifestyle and work environment I really thought that this could be the place where my career would unfold and develop the way that I always envisioned it.”
Suburban address not withstanding, in the traditional sense Eric’s career was flourishing. He was closing complex deals and unlike his tenure with the huge and more mature firms in the city, he was actually helping to establish this firm’s corporate and healthcare practice. The firm was growing at a rapid pace and Eric’s career seemed to be right where he wanted it to be.
Cut Down the Safety Net
“Having done very well in my early career moves, I came to believe that the grass is always greener,” Eric states. “Over time, I developed a nagging sense that even though I was happy where I was, there may be another opportunity that I was missing out on.” Nevertheless, with no underlying sense of urgency to seek out opportunities, he never started looking.
“Pretty soon, it was clear to me that my career had reached a certain plateau” Eric recalls. “I was doing well, but deep down I knew I had to make a change. Unfortunately, nothing was really pushing me out the door.”
Every entrepreneur remembers that moment when they decided to forego the safety net of their job and pursue their passion. For Eric, it was the birth of his son. It helped him realize that he was just not “wired” to thrive long-term in the sort of “institutional” law-firm environment in which he had been working his entire career.
“Many of the people closest to me – my father, brother, other family members and close friends – had all succeeded working outside of a formulized work environment, either by working for themselves or in a close-knit environment more suited to the individuals running the show.”
In addition, many of the clients that he had encountered had achieved great success by walking away from the confines of a larger organization to strike out on their own and take control over their own careers.
“I had observed many great examples, and I knew that this was what I needed to do in order to best provide for my new family.”
Examples Can Only Point the Way
Eric began to realize that even without knowing it, he had been preparing for this moment his whole career.
“I always admired those clients I represented and worked closely with who had built something on their own – either from scratch or by taking a fledgling business and creating something bigger and better” says Eric. “I was constantly tapping into their thought processes and was able to see how each step they took led not only to the next step but to the many steps beyond that. In business, as in life, decisions made today are not just about tomorrow, but the string of days that follow, stretching off into the future.”
In fact, he had witnessed this first-hand at his firm on Long Island, where the founding partner had hung out a shingle over twenty years prior, and with time had almost single-handedly built a firm of over fifty lawyers, tailoring the environment to the image that he sought to achieve.
“I now realize what a blessing in disguise it was,” Eric recounts, “for me to leave the high-flying corporate law firms and associate with people growing their own firms.”
Bold Moves Hold Promise
When Eric first met Steve Furnari they were both associates in a large New York City firm ten years ago. With careers that took them their separate ways, they remained friends and spoke often regarding professional matters. By the time Steve first approached Eric in the summer of 2007 about joining Furnari Scher, Eric knew that the time had come to make a move.
“My career had fallen into a predictable pattern and complacency had taken over” Eric says. “I felt that I wasn’t reaching my potential and I spent more and more time wondering how I could improve my situation.”
With the birth of his son, Eric had reached a crossroads and knew that the only way to re-invent his career, take charge of his own life and best provide for his family was to explore the unique opportunity being presented by Steve and his partner Greg Levine.
“Steve and Greg were offering me a fresh opportunity with their firm” Eric recalls. By leaving his associate position on Long Island to become a partner in Furnari Levine, Eric knew that he would have the chance to control his own destiny and be a part of a growing practice from the early stages.
“I knew that I was too good a lawyer not to have the faith for this kind of move” Eric remembers. “After all, I wasn’t doing anything radically new – like opening a deli or a car wash – rather, I was striking out on my own with people I knew, who had a plan in place and had already made it on their own. They had already gone through the exact same experience that I was contemplating.”
Even though the decision to join Furnari Scher was an easy one, it was not made without a certain amount of natural apprehension.
“Obviously, any time you leave a comfortable situation in order to chase your ultimate goal of working for yourself and being part of a dynamic and growing business, you have to be willing to accept the increased risk that such a move presents” says Eric with a knowing smile. “But regrets? No, I don’t have any of those.”
Areas of Practice
Eric Scher’s practice focuses on corporate and transactional law issues, as well as health law matters. He represents and advises both entrepreneurial start-ups and established privately held and publicly traded companies regarding:
- General corporate, business and real estate matters
- Federal and state securities laws
- Commercial law
- Mergers and acquisitions
- Public and private offerings of debt and equity securities
- Initial public offerings and secondary placements of securities
- Venture capital financings
- Capital leasing and secured loan transactions
- Negotiation of joint ventures and strategic relationships
- LLC operating agreements
- Shareholder agreements and partnership agreements for closely held entities and family businesses.
- J.D., Brooklyn Law School, 1994
- Brooklyn Law Review, Executive Notes and Comments Editor 1993-1994
- Author: Sawyer v. Whitley: Stretching the Boundaries of a Constitutional Death Penalty, 59 Brook. L. Rev. 237 (1993)
- SCRIBES Award (Outstanding Student Note Published in Brooklyn Law Review), 1994
- B.A. University of Rochester, 1991
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