Bloomberg Law
July 27, 2023, 9:00 AM

They’ve Got Next: The 40 Under 40-Priyanka Timblo of Holwell Shuster & Goldberg

Lisa Helem
Lisa Helem
Executive Editor
MP McQueen

Please describe two of your most substantial, recent wins in practice.

In July 2021, I examined a key fact witness in one of the first Covid-era civil jury trials—a massive antitrust dispute between a MacAndrews and Forbes company and News Corp. This was the rare monopolization case that made it to a jury. The courtroom was retrofitted with plexiglass, and everyone was in masks. The case was a nail-biter, settling three days into deliberations after three weeks of trial.

In September 2022, I was co-lead counsel to investment fund Melody Business Finance in a case involving loans defaulted on by former hedge fund billionaire Philip Falcone. I examined the key direct witness, and we won a $69.8 million judgment—99% of the maximum amount sought, including attorney’s fees.

In my pro bono practice, I won an appeal at the Board of Immigration Appeals in 2019 and led a civil rights case in Louisiana in partnership with the ACLU in 2021.

What is the most important lesson you learned as a first-year attorney and how does it inform your practice today?

One of the most valuable lessons I learned was during my clerkship. I would sometimes see lawyers in court who were not as prepared as they could be, or who were not being assertive enough in impressing the merits of their client’s case to a judge—particularly when they were asked a difficult or unexpected question from the bench. These seemed like lost opportunities. Those observations cemented in me a commitment to fiercely protecting my client’s rights, particularly in the courtroom.

That means, first and foremost, consummate preparation (i.e., being better prepared than the other side). But it also means thinking quickly on your feet and having the confidence to assert your client’s rights at every possible chance, especially when challenged by the judge or the other side. To do that, you have to get comfortable taking well-calculated risks in the moment, which comes with experience and seasoning.

There is also a mental attitude to it, which is making sure you’ve said everything that you need to say and covered all your bases before ceding the podium. Or, as I like to call it, “leaving it all out on the dance floor.”

How do you define success in your practice?

The answer is simple—by being the template I never had. I was born in India and spent much of my childhood there. There were no lawyers in my family, and it was rare to see women in the workplace, let alone in powerful leadership positions. I became a partner at an elite New York law firm with no template for how to get there or what that looked like for someone from my background. I did it through tenacity and by constructing my own vision—of course, with the invaluable support of my colleagues at Holwell Shuster & Goldberg.

That do-it-yourself philosophy continues to guide me as I think about what success looks like at every stage in my practice: What would my younger self be inspired by? What kind of role model do the young, diverse lawyers of the next generation want and need to see? And then I try to make that vision a reality through hard work.

What are you most proud of as a lawyer?

Joining the partnership at Holwell Shuster & Goldberg. As much as I love the practice of litigation, the honor of helping to build a legal institution that will endure beyond my lifetime is the great privilege of my career. We are a young firm, 11 years in. The firm will touch so many lives—our associates, future partners, the staff, our clients, and the broader legal community.

My partners and I are acutely aware of that, and in every decision we make—building out new practice areas, taking on new cases, growing our ranks—we are mindful of how it will change the culture of the institution.

Participating in those decisions and bringing my own perspective to them is what I’m most proud of in terms of what I do in my career, and I take it very seriously. Our partnership is a close-knit group, and building this place together is a deeply personal endeavor to all of us—one that goes beyond lawyering.

Who is your greatest mentor in the law and what have they taught you?

Mike Shuster, a founding partner of HSG, is my greatest mentor. Mike is the quintessential trial lawyer—in the way that he inspires his teams, conducts himself with clients and judges, and even in the way he moves in the courtroom. I have learned so much just by observing him. But beyond that, Mike has mentored me to stay grounded and true to what matters most: my internal values, my family, and my personal well-being. One of the most memorable things he has said to me is that it is not what I do, but who I am, that is valuable. With that as my north star, riding the highs and lows of life as a high-stakes litigator is a lot easier.

Tell us your two favorite songs on your summer music playlist.

“Better Things” by The Kinks: Nothing like unbridled optimism to get me through a deposition-filled summer! “Chasing After You” by Ryan Hurd & Maren Morris: I’ve always been a sucker for country duets, and I find myself listening to this one on repeat.

Priyanka Timblo of Holwell Shuster with her family.
Credit: Priyanka Timblo and Jonathan Hurtarte/Bloomberg Law

Priyanka Timblo, in addition to her antitrust matters, led Holwell Shuster’s support of the ACLU of Louisiana’s Justice Lab initiative. She authored the original complaint in an April 2021 lawsuit against the city of Hammond, Louisiana, and several police officers alleging use of excessive force. The case settled on favorable terms this year.

To contact the reporters on this story: Lisa Helem at; MP McQueen at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: MP McQueen at; Lisa Helem at

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