Main Menu

History of the Firm

KM&M was the idea of an ambitious labor lawyer, Jerry Kauff. Upon graduation from New York University School of Law, he joined the legal staff of the International Ladies' Garment Workers Union. After five years with the ILGWU, he joined the New York firm of Phillips, Nizer, Benjamin, Krim & Ballon, where he represented both labor and management and became its youngest partner. But envisioning something more, Jerry decided to follow his dream to build a firm exclusively devoted to labor and employment law -- a firm large enough to service major businesses but not so large as to sacrifice personal, professional service.

Together with David Dretzin, another experienced and successful labor lawyer, Jerry Kauff founded the firm in 1972 and opened its first offices in a townhouse on Manhattan's Upper East Side. KM&M's unconventional offices reflected a new and different approach to the practice of labor and employment law. Recognizing that it was not a "name brand" institution like many of the large firms with which it would compete, KM&M set about to distinguish itself through its entrepreneurial energy, unflagging devotion to its clients' interests and unmatched work product. As a small business struggling for recognition and respect, KM&M understood the business needs and concerns of its clients. For KM&M, our clients' business was and remains our business.

Ray McGuire, a former law professor, joined the Firm in 1981, bringing with him a wealth of experience in complex employment litigation and high profile labor-management relations, while Ken Margolis, already a seasoned labor and employment lawyer, joined the Firm shortly thereafter in 1985. In time, KM&M, bursting its seams, moved into larger offices in Midtown Manhattan. But the philosophy Jerry developed in the early days has remained the Firm's hallmark: passionate, personal commitment to our clients.