Top Lawyer 2023: Keith Galbut

Editorial StaffSeptember 1, 2023
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Photo by Mirelle Inglefield
Photo by Mirelle Inglefield

Specialty: Civil Law, Transactional
Law School/Year Graduated: Arizona State University, 2003
Years in Practice: 19 

Do you specialize in any particular industry or transaction type?
Our firm specializes in working with small and medium high-growth companies and entrepreneurs to assist them in maintaining healthy growth while protecting their interests. A significant portion of my practice is focused on construction and real estate development industries, specifically luxury residential construction matters.

What are some of the biggest legal issues affecting the residential real estate industry right now?
The biggest challenges [are] maintaining performance, timeliness and costs in the face of the significant pressures of the market and industry. The proper selection of the contractors and contractual strategy are key in managing these challenges.

You’ve spent a lot of time traveling and studying in other countries. How do these experiences help shape your practice?
At the end of the day, everything in life comes down to people and relationships. Travel has allowed me to better understand people with many different backgrounds and perspectives, which I believe is invaluable to success in business, the practice of law and life.

You taught international business law at the Thunderbird School of Global Management for 10 years. What would you say was your biggest impact during your time there?
As a proud alumnus and an admirer of the program throughout my adult life, teaching at Thunderbird and having the opportunity to work with such great students was a tremendous privilege. One of my goals was to impart that legal considerations should be deeply integrated within a business’ strategy, and not as an afterthought to simply document a deal.

Who are your role models or inspirations in your field?
My father, Martin Galbut, who was a founding partner at Galbut Beabeau, is my hero and role model in the legal field and life. 

What’s your favorite local haunt?
For coffee and breakfast meetings, I’m often found at Weft & Warp Art Bar + Kitchen in the Andaz [Scottsdale Resort & Bungalows], and after hours, one of my favorite restaurants is Roka Akor. Both are conveniently located near our office.

How we Picked our Top Lawyers

PHOENIX magazine generates its Top Lawyers list via an online survey of practicing attorneys in the Greater Phoenix area. Partnering with Colorado Springs-based information research firm Data Joe, PHOENIX disseminates emails to each of the roughly 16,000 active attorneys licensed with the State Bar of Arizona, directing them to an online portal managed by Data Joe. The survey, which takes place over six weeks, asks respondents to provide the names of up to three attorneys they deem the best in 39 legal specialties. To spread the votes democratically, respondents are asked to nominate at least one attorney in each category who works in a firm other than their own.

At the conclusion of the voting, Data Joe tallies the votes digitally and verifies that vote recipients are in good standing with the State Bar. PHOENIX editors then set the vote thresholds in a manner that ensures the top 10 to 20 percent of vote-getters in each category make the Top Lawyers list. Our fact-checkers then call each attorney on the final list to confirm their affiliation with a Valley-based firm and obtain accurate contact information.

PHOENIX does not give preference to attorneys who advertise. Top Lawyers earn their place on the list purely by virtue of the votes they receive, and our sales staff does not see the list until the lawyers have been confirmed by our fact-checkers. 2023 is the second year PHOENIX has conducted Top Lawyers.