In Memoriam, Hollis Salzman (1965-2020)

We mourn the loss of our friend and colleague Hollis Salzman, 55, who died unexpectedly on Saturday, October 3, in Upstate New York. Our hearts break for her two children, Finn and Willa, to whom she was devoted and who tragically lost their father, Hollis’s beloved husband David, only a year ago.

The biographical page for Hollis on our website and the press release that we issued announcing her passing describe Hollis’s extraordinary accomplishments as a lawyer. Hollis’s professional accomplishments say a lot about her character: She led cases of great complexity; she held countless leadership positions in the antitrust bar; and she received numerous awards for her excellence. In addition to being a role model and inspiration for all women attorneys, she was a leader in our firm. She was the Managing Partner of our New York office and a member of our Executive Board. She was a pillar in her local community and served on several non-profit boards.

But she was much more than the successes reflected on her professional biography.

Hollis effortlessly blended two seemingly opposite traits: She approached life with a fierce intensity balanced by a gentle grace that was equally strong. 

The practice of law—especially litigation—can be a turbulent experience for clients and lawyers and judges alike. It’s a profession filled with conflicts, disagreements, and misunderstandings. And many lawyers are often jostling and competing for attention—loudly, above the din of others. Hollis was different. She did not crave the spotlight, but commanded attention and respect by her thoughtful and respectful manner. She was a rarity among great lawyers. Hollis never raised her voice. She never talked over people. She listened and she asked questions. She was careful, deliberate, and calm, no matter the challenge. 

Hollis was also authentically compassionate to anyone who was fortunate to find themselves in her orbit. When Hollis asked about you, it was not perfunctory, and her lasting gaze reflected a genuine interest in the people who surrounded her. And she was irreverent, with a quick-witted humor that could lighten the mood in any tense or difficult situation. 

Hollis reflected the best qualities of a lawyer, partner, and friend. She was an inspiration for us all. We will miss her dearly. 

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