National Law Journal Recognizes Lightfoot Partner Sam Franklin as a 2017 ‘Elite Boutique Trailblazer’

Lightfoot, Franklin & White, LLC founding partner Samuel H. Franklin has been named a National Law Journal Elite Boutique Trailblazer for 2017.

The publication is recognizing movers and shakers in the legal industry who have made an impact in the boutique sector through new types of strategies or innovative court cases. After extensive vetting and interviewing, the National Law Journal selected a handful of attorneys out of hundreds of nominations.

Franklin is profiled alongside the other honorees in the September issue.

“Sam is a trailblazer in every sense of the word,” said Lightfoot managing partner Wynn Shuford. “He helped establish a firm that is innovative in its structure and strategic in its pursuit of excellent client service. That leadership continues today and will remain a lasting legacy for years to come.”

Franklin co-founded the firm in 1990, when class actions were booming, and Alabama had some of the country’s toughest anti-defense jurisdictions. Among many high-profile cases over the years, he argued for Auburn University when the State of Alabama prioritized K-12 education over higher education in the proration funding crisis; for R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company and other manufacturers in smoking and health litigation; and most recently for ExxonMobil when the State of Alabama sought to impose punitive damages in a dispute over the calculation of royalty payments.

Lightfoot, Franklin & White is more than just impressive case wins, however. Franklin and his co-founders wanted to create a firm that broke out of long-held norms. They developed a compensation system from scratch that shortened the path for younger partners to earn the same as senior lawyers. From its early days, Lightfoot’s flexible structure also allowed it to better accommodate women — with a resulting solid track record for gender diversity.

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