How Pa.'s Investment Management Practice Shrank

, The Legal Intelligencer


Montgomery McCracken Chairman Richard L. Scheff said that while he wishes Corsell and Felice well at McCarter & English, the investment management practice continues to be one "we're looking to grow and are growing."

"I love where we stand in the investment management world, I really do," Scheff said, explaining that the firm's practice services middle-market clients in Philadelphia, New York and Princeton.

Scheff did note that there are very few other law firms in Philadelphia that do investment management work.

Recruiter Frank Michael D'Amore, who writes a regular column for The Legal, described investment management work as "high-rate" and "very profitable" but said few firms in Philadelphia have been willing to dedicate themselves to the practice.

"It's regulated, highly particularized work," D'Amore said. "Firms are very careful not to dabble in it because you really have to know what you're doing. As a result, you've got to really jump in and make an investment or you tend to refer the work away."

Scheff agreed.

"The potential regulatory impact of giving somebody bad advice is significant," he said.

D'Amore said it's a "long, tough slog" for firms looking to make a name for themselves in the investment management space without acquiring a large group of lawyers or a boutique firm that does that type of work.

"The top 10 firms in investment management [nationwide] are either really big or have a significant number of people or a deep bench of clients and have been in it for awhile," D'Amore said.

Michael O'Hare, a partner in Stradley Ronon's investment management practice, said his firm competes for investment management work on a national level with the Washington-based practices of Dechert, K&L Gates, Bingham McCutchen and Goodwin Procter.

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