Mr. Lawrence Cohen

Mr. Lawrence Cohen

CPA, Partner-in-Charge, Business Management and Family Office Group, Marks Paneth LLP

Lawrence Cohen, CPA, is the Partner-in-Charge of the Business Management and Family Office Group at Marks Paneth LLP. He also serves as the firm’s Hospitality Group Leader. He rejoined the firm in 2009 after having served for many years as the President and Chief Executive Officer of The Griffin Group, the private equity investment and management company of the late Merv Griffin that invested in a variety of industries including media, entertainment and hospitality.

In his role leading the Business Management and Family Office Group, Mr. Cohen draws on his deep experience running Merv Griffin’s Family Office as well as advising high-net-worth individuals, entrepreneurs, CEOs and CFOs on business strategy.

Mr. Cohen has strong roots in the hospitality industry. The Griffin Group and its affiliates owned and managed properties that ranged from high-end resorts to limited service properties. Mr. Cohen spearheaded all aspects of the business including acquisition, development and redevelopment, financing, management team hiring, supervision of operations and eventual sale. Today, Mr. Cohen’s practice includes a wide variety of hotels (independent and flagged), management companies, restaurants and vendors to the industry. Mr. Cohen’s practice includes clients throughout the United States, most particularly in New York, California, Florida, Illinois, Ohio, Texas and Washington.

Mr. Cohen’s practice includes several companies in the technology industry.  He has also served on the Boards of several Software as a Service (SAS) companies.  Mr. Cohen is also intimately familiar with the capital raising process having been involved, as either CPA, consultant, or principal, in transactions ranging from $250,000 venture capital funding to $1 billion casino transactions.

At Marks Paneth, Mr. Cohen also draws on his deep experience and serves certain clients as a business “coach.” Often, he will advise family offices, entrepreneurs, CEOs and CFOs on strategies to reposition their companies in the current business environment. In addition, Mr. Cohen has had business interests in the Los Angeles area for more than 25 years and shares responsibility for the firm’s operations on the West Coast.

Mr. Cohen’s first association with Marks Paneth began in the 1980s at Paneth, Haber & Zimmerman, a predecessor of today’s firm.  He later joined The Coca-Cola Company as a financial executive in its entertainment division and was intimately involved in its spin-out as Columbia Pictures Entertainment, Inc., a NYSE-traded company. In 1988, Mr. Cohen left The Coca-Cola Company to serve as the Chief Financial Officer of The Griffin Group. He became the company’s Chief Executive Officer in 1997.  He has also served on the boards and audit committees of both privately held and publicly traded entities and was an Executive Producer of the DVD retrospective of The Merv Griffin Show.

Mr. Cohen has a passion for addressing children’s needs. He has served on the Arizona steering committee of Childhelp USA, an institution dedicated to abused children. He has also been instrumental in the formation of a treatment center for children and young adults afflicted with autism in New York and serves on the Board of Directors of the Ascent School for Individuals with Autism on Long Island.

Areas of Practice:

High-Net-Worth Individuals, Entrepreneurs, Entertainers and Athletes


Theater, Media and Entertainment

Real Estate


Mergers and Acquisitions

Workout Services


Operational Management