Monthly Feature: Get to Know... Samuel P. Burgess

February 1, 2024

Samuel Burgess knew he wanted to work in the business world. He just wasn’t sure in what capacity. Entrepreneur? Numbers guy? He didn’t know. So after he graduated from St. John Fisher College in Rochester with a bachelor’s degree in sports management, he decided the next logical step would be business school. So he set out for St. Louis, first to help a friend launch a new lacrosse team there and then to enroll in the MBA program at Missouri Baptist University.

But they say timing is everything, and Sam graduated not long before the U.S. economy began to sputter and slip into a recession in 2008. Rather than face a contracting job market, he decided to move to Chicago with his wife, who had just landed a job there, and go to law school at the University of Illinois Chicago. He never looked back.

“Having been out in the working world for a couple of years, I treated law school like a job, and I really liked it. I think it might have taken many of my peers by surprise when I was named valedictorian.”

Sam and wife Emily, both Watertown natives, moved back home, where Sam began working for a small, general practice firm of 10 attorneys.

“I did corporate, real estate, estate work, a little bit of everything,” he says. “And during one of the deals I worked on, the lawyer on the other side hired me afterward.”

That move brought him to Syracuse, where he has been for the past eight years. He joined Bond in 2019 as senior counsel and was named a member (partner) last year.

As part of the firm’s business and transactions practice, Sam works with entities owned by professionals, including many physicians, dentists, physical therapists and design professionals. He assists them with a wide variety of transactions, from business formation and governance issues to mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures, to financing and succession planning.

“I enjoy helping clients transition their business, whether they’re retiring or just need an exit strategy,” he says.

For example, he helped a physician practice sell its assets to a hospital; represented a dentist who wanted to take over the business from a retiring colleague; and represented a veterinarian in the sale of a practice to a national group.

“Sam Burgess has been the main legal representation for the Lattimore Physical Therapy Group for the past several years,” says Dustin Maracle, an owner of the Rochester-based group. “And with his expertise, our group has grown to 30 clinics within the greater Rochester area. Sam’s positive energy, passion for our profession and professional guidance has been paramount in our success. We are very thankful to have him as a part of our team.” 

Robert Li, chief executive officer of Liland Global in East Syracuse, agrees.

“Sam is amazing. He follows up and gets back to me very fast,” he says.

For his part, Sam says he enjoys the constant change his job brings.

“It’s fast-paced, and there are a lot of different moving parts that I like to keep organized,” he says. “From one deal to the next, no two days are the same.”

In his downtime, Sam helps coach his kids’ soccer teams, skis in winter, travels in summer and spends quality time with family and friends.