In Memoriam: Brick Susko

June 10, 2017

The lawyers and staff of Cleary Gottlieb are sorry to announce that our retired partner, Brick Susko, passed away on June 10.

Brick joined the firm in 1974, became a partner in 1982 and became senior counsel in 2013. His practice focused on employee benefits and executive compensation, including work on fiduciary and tax aspects of pension fund investment, employment agreements and golden parachutes, stock options, and other executive incentive compensation plans. He also had extensive experience in the benefit aspects of mergers and acquisitions, ESOPs, plan terminations and interplay of the bankruptcy laws and benefit-related obligations.

He was known throughout the legal field for his experience on ERISA work, a specialty that was timely: the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 passed into law the same week Brick joined Cleary. Brick was also known for his dedication to training and mentoring younger lawyers, including many years of teaching at Yale Law School and the NYU School of Law.

In addition to his years of dedicated work for the firm and his clients, Brick was an avid cyclist, an activity that he sometimes chronicled in his blogs, Brick’s Ride, Brick’s Ride Across the UK, Brick’s Ride Across Ireland and Hail Caesar! London to Rome. He saw the world on his bike, and was in France for a bicycle touring trip the week of his passing.

In an interview with Pensions & Investments that focused on a 51-day cross-country ride he took in 2013, he said, “People often ask: ‘How could you walk away from your career?’ I loved my career, loved my firm, loved my practice area, loved the pension community, but at some point you got to do things on a bucket list while you can and before you can’t.”

Partner Les Silverman says he’s grateful that his friend and colleague Brick was able to pursue his passions for cycling and yoga after retiring. “For the last few years he was able to enjoy his life outside the firm with the same intensity that he brought to his work within the firm. Brick lived life fully until the last moment, and he will be greatly missed by all those who knew him.”