Lubna Faruqi

Everyone has ideas, but I find that bringing them to life often requires collaboration. For the best results, I make it a priority to hire great people and give them the tools they need to succeed to carry out whatever the project or task might be.


Lubna Faruqi is a co-founder and managing partner of Faruqi & Faruqi, LLP. Ms. Faruqi grew up in Montréal. She graduated from McGill University Law School at 21 years old with two law degrees: a Bachelor of Civil Law (B.C.L.) and a Bachelor of Common Law (L.L.B.). After working in the Bureau of Antitrust in Canada’s Department of Consumer and Corporate Affairs for several years, she moved to New York City and found a position with Kaufman Malchman Kirby & Squire, LLP, specializing in shareholder litigation. Her brother joined the firm a few years later.

After working together for several years, the siblings co-founded Faruqi & Faruqi, LLP in 1995. Over 23 years later, the minority-owned and woman-owned firm has five offices around the country and has scored numerous victories on behalf of clients in securities, antitrust, and consumer class actions, as well as in shareholder derivative and merger and transactional litigation.

Where did the idea for your company come from?

By the time my brother and I decided to start the firm, we had been working in this field for many years. We enjoyed working together and came to a point where we felt that we finally had the knowledge and experience to branch out on our own. We learned so much at Kaufman Malchman Kirby & Squire, LLP, and were fortunate to have such wonderful and supportive mentors there who encouraged us to make this leap.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

I wake up around 6:30 A.M. and immediately start to read the news. I enjoy reading Law360 in particular and often forward pertinent articles to our team. After spending some time trying to avoid the temptation of online shopping, I head to the gym to exercise before going into the office. At the office, I stay productive by making sure that I get through all of the items on my to-do list before the end of the day. There are always so many things to attend to that I don’t get to eat lunch until late afternoon. Our office has a beautiful, sunny kitchen, so I like to make my lunch from scratch there. It gives me a great opportunity to talk with my team informally as they go about their day. We end up swapping a lot of recipes! After lunch, I usually have meetings with team members or potential clients until the evening. I’m always amazed at how quickly the day goes by.

How do you bring ideas to life?

Everyone has ideas, but I find that bringing them to life often requires collaboration. For the best results, I make it a priority to hire great people and give them the tools they need to succeed to carry out whatever the project or task might be.

What’s one trend that excites you?

I am very interested to see how cryptocurrency will be treated by investors and the Securities and Exchange Commission in the next few years. It has a lot of implications for our field, and I think it will be the next frontier of securities litigation.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

I am more productive as an entrepreneur when I stick to a schedule. I find that if you don’t, little things will pile up and make it difficult to accomplish big things. Our work is very collaborative, so I make sure to include time in my schedule to follow up with my team about particular cases or projects to make sure that everything is on track.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Let the answers come to you. You don’t have to have answers for everything.

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.

There is no such thing as work-life balance. Work is a large part of life and often demands your full attention. You will always be faced with competing professional and personal responsibilities, and seeking balance is a losing battle. I think the best you can do is to take pride in your work and try to find the joy in it.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

I suppose that this is sort of an obvious suggestion, but I’d have to say persevere! That is the only way to succeed in any business.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

Not to sound like a broken record, but hiring great people has helped us grow our business. No one does anything alone. Hiring people who are reliable, kind, and do excellent work is the key to growing any business. In the legal profession, you need people who are capable of performing high-level analysis, writing well, and working together. Having people like that in place has helped us attract more clients and rack up more victories, which is the only way to grow as a law firm.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

I’ve been fortunate to avoid any major failures as an entrepreneur, but I have certainly made mistakes along the way. To make sure that small mistakes don’t become big mistakes, I make it a priority to look at the situation objectively early on and try to understand what happened and how the issue can be mitigated or avoided in the future.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

I think someone should write a cookbook called the “No Box Diet,” which contains easy recipes without any ingredients that come from a box. Cooking is one of my greatest passions, and I’m a firm believer that good health starts with fresh, unprocessed food. I would absolutely buy that cookbook!

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

We recently bought a dart board for the office and held a tournament! People are really enjoying it. Everyone at our firm works hard, so it is important to give people an opportunity to take a break and have some fun once in a while.

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive? How do you use it?

I can’t think of a piece of software or a web service per se, but I rely heavily on my iPhone’s calendar to make sure that I get everything done on time.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

I find that as a lawyer, you are constantly reading out of necessity to do your job—memos, treatises, cases, you name it! I recommend that everyone in our community take the time to read fiction when they can. Not only is reading essential to being able to write well—a must in this profession—but it provides a bit of a mental vacation from the stress of the daily grind. And if you can fit in something humorous, that’s even better! I’ve been enjoying a collection of the Far Side cartoons that my husband bought me. It’s brilliant!

What is your favorite quote?

• “There is only one thing in life worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked above.” – Oscar Wilde

Key learnings:

• No one does anything alone. Hire a great team and give them the tools they need to succeed.
• Plan your day carefully to make sure that things don’t fall through the cracks.
• Always try to find the humor in any situation.