Prince: Can you please describe Abrams, Fensterman and your role at the firm?
Carone: Abrams, Fensterman was established in 2000. It’s a full-service law firm with more than 120 attorneys. I run the Brooklyn offices and, as part of the management committee, I help set strategy for the firm. My main roles at the firm are bringing the diverse expertise of the firm’s verticals to our clients and working with our clients on complex negotiations and litigations.

In working with clients, lawyers tend to be somewhat myopic. They often provide their individual expertise and fail to address many of the issues clients have. The way my partners and I think about it is that we need to solve our client’s legal and related problems with appropriate solutions. This means each attorney has to think outside his or her specialty and make sure we’re really delivering complete solutions to our clients.

Prince: You have a reputation for negotiating the impossible. Please explain what that means.
Carone: My specialty is complex negotiations and litigations. I work with a variety of clients, especially when it comes to civil and governmental matters and disputes. Many of my clients are very successful businesses and very often high-net-worth individuals. 

In my world, results are what matter. I don’t get paid for effort. Otherwise each relationship will merely be a “one-off” rather than ongoing. The success of my practice is due to my ability to make sure my clients come away from their legal negotiations and conflicts, including their dealings with governmental agencies, as winners. I’m regularly able to get outcomes for my clients that exceed their expectations. 

The foundation of my approach is to find ways for everyone involved to win. It starts by understanding what constitutes success for my clients. Throughout the negotiations, I stay focused on that. This enables me to develop and execute strategies that will likely let them get there. While the law brackets everything I do, by being smart and creative when it comes to negotiating, if at all possible, I can make sure my clients win. 

What’s also critical in the way I work is that I go to great efforts to make sure the other side also wins. I make a concerted effort to discover what matters most to the other side, whether they are individuals, businesses or governmental agencies. The key is to find meaningful areas of overlapping concerns and interests that I can build upon to ensure all parties come out of the negotiations as winners. I’m almost always able to find areas of commonality. We refer to these aligned perspectives as enlightened self-interests. 

By approaching negotiating in this way even the most confrontational parties are able to come to an agreement getting what they need most. So, getting a reputation of negotiating the impossible—while always maintain credibility—came about by building a track record of negotiations where my clients come away as winners and the other side also comes away as winners especially in situations where initially no one thought anything but burn-them-to-the-ground litigation was the answer.  

Prin​ce: What do you see as the future of your specialty?
Carone: As a lawyer negotiating on behalf of my clients, I’ve consistently been able to get the outcomes they’re looking for. At the same time, I’ve been able to often ensure the parties on the other side of the table also get meaningful results. It’s actually pretty uncommon for any negotiator to work hard to make certain all sides exit a negotiations feeling good about the outcomes and good about the process that produced those outcomes. By totally embracing this win-win approach, I’m finding a lot of demand for my services and that demand is only going to intensify.

For a complimentary PDF copy of Elite Wealth Planning: Lessons from the Super Rich request the book from [email protected]