Saul Ewing saw its gross revenue grow by 6.5 percent and its revenue per lawyer (RPL) rise by 4.3 percent in 2014—a year in which the firm said it beat its budget by 19 percent.
Law Firm News
You have successfully survived your first year of law school. You've spent countless hours reading case law, researching and writing your first brief, typing and memorizing outlines, and furiously typing as you regurgitate as much information as you can muster on your final exams.
A hearing over whether state Attorney General Kathleen Kane violated a court order by firing an employee who provided grand jury testimony throws the ongoing dispute once again into a legal gray area, according to attorneys who spoke with The Legal.
The associate compensation landscape in Pennsylvania is slowly evolving and, in the wake of Dechert's local salary bump, could see more changes as a number of law firms say they are evaluating their compensation programs.
Seven shareholders, including the head of the health care risk management and litigation department, are leaving Stevens & Lee to form a boutique law firm, Stevens & Lee announced April 10.
The former heads of the subrogation unit of what is now Nelson Brown Hamilton & Krekstein ran the department like a "frat house" and discriminated against the female attorneys working there, a former associate at the firm has alleged in a lawsuit.
A businessman and attorney suing Reed Smith for legal malpractice said his status as a former practicing lawyer should have nothing to do with whether the firm fully informed him of the rights he was giving up by signing a mandatory arbitration clause.
Dechert took the Philadelphia market-high for associate compensation to a new level for dozens of junior lawyers when it announced Monday that it would increase salaries to between $160,000 and $280,000 for first- through eighth-year associates.
Several U.S. attorneys have begun courting False Claims Act litigation in recent years, according to lawyers who practice in the area, chipping away at the dominance that Philadelphia and Boston once had on whistleblower cases.
Competition among law firms for market share is fierce, and so too, it seems, is the competition for associates. In the past two years, Pennsylvania law firms have been bumping up, sometimes quietly, associate salaries.
Drinker Biddle & Reath saw its gross revenue and net income dip slightly in 2014, but profits per equity partner (PPP) and revenue per lawyer (RPL) both saw slight upticks.
The Commonwealth Court has ruled that personal injury lawyer Larry Pitt can't collect fees from a settlement negotiated by another attorney for Pitt's former client of 26 years.
Reed Smith has taken issue with a former client's characterization of Pennsylvania's law on the use of mandatory arbitration agreements in client engagement letters.
A Pennsylvania federal judge has thrown out a legal malpractice case against Spector Gadon & Rosen and its partner, Alan Epstein, over the firm's handling of an employment contract dispute.
Widener University has officially split its Wilmington, Delaware, and Harrisburg law school campuses into two law schools, each with different names and different deans.
Cozen O'Connor leadership said as recently as last week that it was looking to grow in the Midwest this year, and, according to one media report, that may happen sooner rather than later if merger talks with Chicago's Meckler Bulger Tilson Marick & Pearson result in a union.
The EEOC has tapped a Philadelphia law firm partner to be part of a 16-member national task force charged with studying workplace harassment.
Cozen O'Connor grew revenue 2.1 percent and boosted profits per equity partner (PPP) 2.8 percent on a year driven by growth in the firm's corporate, real estate and commercial litigation practices, the firm's CEO said.
Two of the country's largest food companies have agreed to merge in a deal put into place with the help of dozens of lawyers across four law firms.
The owner of a destroyed Main Line mansion who is suing Reed Smith for its advice on insurance claims argues the firm's mandatory arbitration clause contained in client engagement letters is unenforceable.
A media report earlier this month about law firm emails that purport to show former Justice Seamus P. McCaffery, and not his wife, may have been the one to refer out certain cases while on the bench, has again raised questions about Pennsylvania's comparatively lax referral-fee rules.
Pepper Hamilton grew gross revenue nearly 3 percent in 2014 thanks to double-digit revenue gains in the intellectual property and white-collar litigation and investigations practices along with strong growth in its health effects and corporate practices, firm leaders said.
In a year of strong litigation work, Duane Morris saw a nearly 3 percent bump in its profits per equity partner (PPP) in 2014, and both the gross revenue and revenue per lawyer (RPL) had slight increases as well.
Alfred James Johnston has been elected president and CEO of Philadelphia-based Post & Schell, the firm announced Tuesday.
The slowdown in litigation facing the country's largest law firms has not only raised the specter of layoffs, but has also revealed that firms have made some of the same old hiring decisions in building back from the recession and may need to once again restructure.
In the first year under its new strategic plan, Blank Rome grew gross revenue 3.3 percent in 2014 on head count growth of 5.6 percent. The firm's revenue rose from $320.5 million in 2013 to $331 million in 2014. Revenue per lawyer (RPL) fell 2.1 percent from $715,000 to $700,000 and profits per equity partner (PPP) rose less than 1 percent from $820,000 to $825,000.
As the pressures of an increasingly competitive legal market have forced firms to play with alternative rate structures and business models, firms have also increasingly begun challenging the traditional notion of needing a single firm leader, according to some legal consultants.
The lawyers in the North Carolina branch of Nelson Brown Hamilton & Krekstein are leaving the firm to open an office for Goldberg Segalla.
Reed Smith has hired former Dechert Chief Marketing Officer Wendy W. Taylor to fill the spot left vacant last October when its longtime CMO left the firm.
The majority of Am Law 200 firms have revamped their websites in the last couple of years, with one consultant putting a price range on those projects of anywhere from $25,000 to $1 million. But regardless of the cost, many of the sites, consultants say, look largely the same.
A lawyer's acknowledgment of a litigation funding lien binds him to the forum selection clause contained in the contract between the funder and the lawyer's client, a federal judge in Pennsylvania has ruled.
A federal jury on March 6 returned a verdict in favor of a police officer in the first of several similar cases brought by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of citizens who were arrested after photographing or observing police behavior.
Nikki Johnson-Huston was trying to help. She saw a man outside a convenience store asking for change and offered him $5 to get something to eat. When she stepped inside, he followed behind and turned her small gesture into a pack of cigarettes. The exchange left her unsatisfied.
A mostly sealed case in front of the state Supreme Court is raising questions—not just on the parties and circumstances involved—but on the ethical implications of attorney-client privilege when the client is a public charity.
The state Supreme Court has declined to hear a law firm's appeal of an arbitration award requiring the firm to pay a former associate referral fees even though that associate was disciplined for diverting fees from the firm.
After four years of building a new leadership structure, Chester County-based Gawthrop Greenwood has chosen a new leader to take on the firm's next set of goals.
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius wants an $880,000 fee dispute with the owners of The Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News moved from Philadelphia to the Delaware Court of Chancery.
Four attorneys, including name partner Michael A. Hamilton, will be leaving insurance boutique Nelson Brown Hamilton & Krekstein, sources have told The Legal.
Reed Smith grew its revenue by 7 percent in 2014 on what firm leadership said was better performance in project management and the strength of the firm's five core industry groups.
The new managing partner of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius' Pittsburgh office said he is looking to build on the office's steady growth and capitalize on the expanding oil-and-gas-related legal work in the region.
When the Dodd-Frank Act was passed in 2010, the sweeping financial industry regulations got a lot of attention from the scores of entities under its reach and the law firms that represented those institutions. But five years later, a sometimes-overlooked section of the law now has employment lawyers busy and some clients behind the compliance 8-ball.
The validity of a mandatory arbitration agreement in a law firm engagement letter has again become a core issue in a legal malpractice case.
Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin's motion to dismiss a suit filed by a lawyer who had worked at the firm failed to persuade a federal judge to toss the case.
For Ballard Spahr, after seeing a slight decline in revenue in 2013, 2014 was about discipline. And it seemed to pay off, with the firm posting healthy gains in revenue and profits per equity partner.
K&L Gates saw modest changes in its key financial metrics in 2014, with gross revenue and average head count each dropping by about 1.2 percent.
The state Superior Court has affirmed nearly $35,000 in sanctions leveled against a White and Williams attorney over his actions in a medical malpractice arbitration.
In a little more than the past year, insurance boutique Nelson Brown Hamilton & Krekstein has gone from roughly 75 attorneys to now around 25, leading to questions about the firm's long-term future.
Editor's note: This is the third installment of a series on cybersecurity published in conjunction with Legal affiliate New Jersey Law Journal.
The Pennsylvania region had a tougher time than the industry as a whole when it came to improving their financial performance in 2014, according to Citi Private Bank's full-year survey of the legal industry.
Several attorneys who left Nelson Brown about a year ago have sued the firm for recovery of allegedly unpaid bonuses.
A dispute has arisen over whether the gay lawyer suing Anapol Schwartz for allegedly scuttling his lateral move should be able to introduce evidence regarding discrimination he allegedly experienced while at the firm.
Editor's note: This is the second installment in a series done by The Legal and affiliate New Jersey Law Journal on how general counsel and law firms are tackling the issue of cybersecurity.
Obermayer Rebmann Maxwell &; Hippel partner Walter M. Phillips died Feb. 7 at age 76.
A man who lost his sight because of prolonged back surgery has been awarded $21.8 million in his medical malpractice case by a Delaware County jury.
An insurer was years too late in filing its legal malpractice claim against a Margolis Edelstein attorney who advised the carrier during settlement negotiations in a suit that eventually led to a $2 million bad-faith settlement, a federal judge has ruled.
The owner of a Villanova, Pa., mansion that burned to the ground has sued Reed Smith for legal malpractice regarding the firm's negotiation of a $20.5 million insurance settlement that was disputed by the tenants of the home.
Dechert finished out 2014 with an 8 percent rise in gross revenue and a 7.7 percent increase in partner profits on what firm leadership said was a year driven by a rise in demand and an improved practice mix.
As general counsel combat the constant threat of data breaches, their companies' information security officers are the most likely colleagues on speed dial.
The legal industry finished out 2014 strong, thanks in large part to a return of high-end corporate work, with Pennsylvania firms often doing better than their national counterparts on key financial metrics, according to a recent bank survey.
Shifting a law firm's practice focus might be a necessity in today's legal market, but for small and midsize firms, it could be one of the most difficult processes a firm faces.
Attorney Bayard M. Graf died Jan. 16 at the age of 88.
A gay attorney suing personal injury firms for alleged discrimination is pointing to a confidential settlement to help establish the value of lost compensation he claims to have sustained because of the firms' allegedly scuttling his lateral move.
Plaintiffs firm Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro said there was no evidence to suggest its deal to dismiss 28 thalidomide cases against GSK in exchange for the drug company's agreement not to seek sanctions against the firm was in conflict with its clients' interests.
A Dauphin County judge has denied the bid by three former Penn State administrators charged with covering up the crimes of convicted child molester Jerry Sandusky to have the cases against them dropped.
Longtime Post & Schell appellate attorney Teresa Ficken Sachs has joined Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin as vice chairwoman of the firm's appellate practice.
Former Philadelphia Traffic Court Judge Michael Lowry has been sentenced to 20 months in prison for lying to the grand jury in the ticket-fixing case.
The estate of former Pennsylvania Superior Court Judge Robert C. Daniels, who died after a fall during a party at Berger & Montague shareholder Sherrie Savett's home in 2011, has settled with Savett and others, but the defense has not been able to execute judgment.
Jon A. Baughman, a trial lawyer who served as chairman of Pepper Hamilton's executive committee from 1992-94, died Monday following a long illness.
The Pennsylvania ACLU and several media outlets, including the Philadelphia City Paper, are challenging a state law they claim is aimed at silencing convicted felons and those who publish the words of felons.
Brian M. Peters, president and CEO of Philadelphia-based Post & Schell, has stepped down from that position, the firm announced Jan. 9.
One of the defendants in a cluster of thalidomide lawsuits in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania is seeking nearly $177,000 in fees as a sanction against the plaintiffs' counsel, Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro.
Two doctors who were sued by a woman who claimed they failed to promptly diagnose her with Hodgkin's lymphoma have been dismissed from the litigation because of the statute of limitations, a Lackawanna County judge has ruled.
Despite being one of the last Philadelphia firms to enter an increasingly crowded Pittsburgh market, the city's fit with Blank Rome's energy practice and proximity to a number of other existing firm clients made creating a foothold in Pittsburgh a top priority for the firm.
About six months after being hired by Nelson Brown Hamilton & Krekstein as executive vice president and chief operations and strategic officer, attorney Kevin Toth has left the firm.
Even if Pepper Hamilton violated a former client's confidentiality by disclosing an FBI affidavit of probable cause to search that client's home, the firm can't be sued considering the affidavit was made public prior to the firm's disclosure, a Philadelphia trial judge has ruled.
The latter part of 2014 brought with it not only the biggest business of law news for Pennsylvania, but perhaps for the country. All eyes watched during the second half of the year as Morgan, Lewis & Bockius entertained merger discussions with struggling Boston-based firm Bingham McCutchen. A full-on acquisition of the more than 700 lawyers at Bingham would have been a big departure for Morgan Lewis' typical growth strategy of acquiring groups of attorneys from firms that are disbanding.
Among the most significant developments to come out of the Philadelphia Bar Association this year was its hosting of a conference that brought bar leaders from across the globe together in Philadelphia.
The passing year began with a flurry of changes for small and midsized firms across the state, with leadership transitions, group laterals, additions and splits continuing throughout the year.
The state Supreme Court has agreed to hear arguments over whether an attorney, who declined to undergo a chemical test following his arrest for allegedly driving under the influence but offered to alternatively take breathalyzer and urinalysis tests, should have his driver's license suspended for one year.
Squire Patton Boggs has said the bulk of the claims in a multimillion-dollar malpractice and fraud suit against the firm over its 17-year relationship with client Alliance Holdings should be dismissed because the firm was simply giving legal advice and was not in possession of any of the funds allegedly misappropriated by Alliance's founder.
The lawyers who represented a junior-high girl when she challenged her school district for barring her from the boys' wrestling team have gotten an additional $30,000 in attorney fees and a reprimand from the judge.
The legal expenses racked up in fighting a 2007 mayoral ballot challenge were not incurred to influence the outcome of an election, so forgiving that debt is not bound by campaign finance limits, the state Supreme Court has ruled.
The collective weight of the season is upon law firm managing partners this month, with the season of course being that of collections, partner compensation and rate-setting. And the latter has proven a bit vexing for firm leaders this year as they grapple with setting rates in an era where firms span multiple markets and practice concentrations, clients aren't willing to pay the published rates and alternative fee deals are a growing part of firm revenue.
The former director of records at the Philadelphia Traffic Court, William "Billy" Hird, has been sentenced to two years in prison for his part in the court's ticket-fixing scandal.
How are law firms dealing with the issue of data security? Explore the technology of staying cyber-safe in this collection of articles.
Pennsylvania's rule waiving the requirement that out-of-state lawyers take the bar exam in order to join the state's bar only for those who come from a state that allows the same admission to Pennsylvania lawyers is constitutional, although not necessarily prudent, a federal judge has ruled.
A former Blue Bell, Pa., attorney, suspended since 2009 over criminal convictions stemming from incidents involving stalking and child pornography, has resigned from practicing law.
It's a Friday afternoon in November and Rogers Stevens is in the wrong city. A few hours ago he was in Ballard Spahr's Philadelphia office on Market Street and all was well, but now he's in a car at the airport, rushing to change out of his suit because he's got a plane to catch and a show to play and that show is in Calgary. He's not even in the right country.
The NCAA is citing its ongoing spat with state officials in a separate case as evidence that a protection order in Paterno v. NCAA should limit pretrial disclosure.
In the last 10 years, there has been no movement in the percentage of women lawyers practicing in the Pennsylvania offices of the state's 100 largest law firms.
Declining prices at the gas pump are good for consumers, but they can also potentially reduce demand for shale-based products.
Incoming Philadelphia Bar Association Chancellor Albert S. Dandridge III said getting lawyers more involved with helping the poor and veterans, as well as promoting diversity, will be top priorities during his tenure.
The head of Burns White's white-collar and government enforcement practice has left the firm and gone out on his own, taking with him a number of high-profile matters.
The parent company of Philadelphia's two major daily newspapers has sued Morgan, Lewis & Bockius over the firm's alleged "disloyalty" in siding with one faction of two feuding ownership groups while the firm was supposed to be acting more neutrally as counsel for the parent entity.
General counsel of companies undergoing international expansion are finding implementation of global ethics and compliance programs presents an array of challenges that law firms and compliance consulting firms can't always solve.
Philadelphia became home Monday to the largest firm in the United States based on domestic-attorney head count with the addition of 510 lawyers to Morgan, Lewis & Bockius.
Scott Green, one of the first nonlawyer CEOs of an Am Law 100 or 200 firm, is leaving Pepper Hamilton to "pursue other interests," the firm said in a brief statement.
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius has extended offers of full-time employment to more than 300 legal professionals at Bingham McCutchen, a source close to Morgan Lewis said.
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius has grown over the years to one of the largest law firms in the world in terms of both revenue and attorney head count and has done so without adopting the merger-focused strategy of some of its fellow global brethren.
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius partners voted in the early afternoon of Nov. 14 to admit 227 Bingham McCutchen partners into their partnership. The firm confirmed the mass lateral move, which a trio of sources briefed on the matter say is not a merger, in a press release.
Pennsylvania and Delaware law firms could have a banner year if the 2014 collections cycle goes well, according to another survey that shows area law firms have strong inventory along with revenue projections that are outpacing expense growth. But the firms still lag when it comes to rate increases and come in above the national average when it comes to attorney head count growth in what one banker described as an industry that continues to deal with overcapacity.