Monday, April 28, 2014

Large N.J. Firms Sluggish in Revenue, Profits | New Jersey Law Journal

The 20 largest law firms in New Jersey showed almost no growth last year. - gwc
Large N.J. Firms Sluggish in Revenue, Profits | New Jersey Law Journal:
by Ron Fleury

"New Jersey's bellwether firms continued in 2013 the retrenchment that began a year earlier, as revenues stayed virtually flat while profits abated slightly. Firms held back on new hires and kept equity partnership ranks tight, in some cases thinning the herd. In so doing, they guarded against higher overhead and stretched profits but also made a decision—perhaps a calculated one—not to grow. It was the second straight year that New Jersey's top-grossing firms drew back from the rebound they had enjoyed after the doldrums of the 2008-09 recession."
Last year was the third straight period of lack of lawyer growth. As in 2012, 12 firms saw decreases in attorney ranks. McElroy Deutsch was down by 14 lawyers, Day Pitney by 12, Gibbons by nine and Wilentz by eight.
Perhaps even more telling was that lawyers showed a net increase at only four firms and there only in handfuls, with Lowenstein's seven the most. Four other firms kept their numbers flat.
Equity partner attrition was also fairly distributed across the field. Nine firms saw a net loss and seven kept the books closed. Only four firms showed growth—scant at that. Connell Foley added five, Cole Schotz two and Drinker Biddle & Reath and Norris, McLaughlin & Marcus one each.
Nonequity partner growth was the one positive. Eleven firms added NEPs, six lost and three stayed flat. The biggest gains were six NEPs each at Cole Schotz, Gibbons and Sills Cummis. The largest losses were six at Drinker Biddle and five at Norris McLaughlin.

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