Chair, namesake of Fragomen law firm steps down in leadership transition

A man carrying a briefcase makes his way through Lafayette Park near the White House in Washington
REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
  • Austin Fragomen has served as chairman for 50 years
  • Lance Kaplan and Enrique Gonzalez will be co-chairs effective Jan. 1

Sept 21 - Global immigration law firm Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy said Wednesday that longtime chairman Austin Fragomen will hand over his leadership to two partners, who will serve as co-chairs.

Lance Kaplan and Enrique Gonzalez will co-lead the New York-founded firm effective Jan. 1, 2023, when Fragomen will transition into a chairman emeritus position.

Fragomen has served as the firm's chair since 1972, according to a spokesperson. Founded as Elmer Fried about 20 years prior, the firm changed its name when Fragomen took the helm, the spokesperson said.

Kaplan said the firm has "quite significant growth goals," including expanding into several new locations in the Asia Pacific region, Europe and the Middle East, and increasing the kinds of work the firm does in those markets.

"We see tremendous change post-pandemic" in what the firm can offer clients, said Kaplan, citing in part the workforce impacts of remote and hybrid work. Kaplan has served as managing partner of Fragomen's international practice group overseeing its international growth since 2002.

The law firm counts 6,000 immigration professionals and staff in more than 60 offices globally. A spokesperson said it has more than 675 lawyers and equivalent professionals worldwide.

Fragomen generated more than $805 million in gross revenue in 2021, according to data from The American Lawyer.

The firm launched a technology subsidiary in 2020 with its acquisition of SimpleCitizen Inc, a software startup that develops immigration and visa technology. It made a second purchase in 2021 of Nomadic, a tech company that markets software for corporate traveler management.

"Technology is going to be the key underpinning of all of our vision, and of our future success," said Gonzalez, who has served for 15 years as managing partner of the firm's Miami office.

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Sara Merken reports on privacy and data security, as well as the business of law, including legal innovation and key players in the legal services industry. Reach her at