Law Firm News

Morgan Lewis Denied Access to Dilworth Docs in Newspaper Row

Gina Passarella | April 29, 2016

A Philadelphia judge has denied Morgan, Lewis & Bockius' bid to obtain documents from Dilworth Paxson to aid in the former firm's defense of a suit filed against it by the publishers of Philadelphia's major daily newspapers.

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Austin Takes Over as PBA President With Focus on Future

By Ben Seal |

As Sara Austin prepares to take the reins as the Pennsylvania Bar Association's newest president on May 13 following the organization's annual meeting in Hershey, she's thinking about ways to increase engagement with the bar, broaden its membership and better serve the needs of attorneys around the state. The York County civil litigator, who is often found scuba diving when outside of the courtroom, said she already has a theme picked out for her year at the helm: dive right in.

Pa. Law Firms Face Challenge in Matching 2015's Real Estate Boom

By Gina Passarella |

Pennsylvania's largest law firms had above-average financial performances in 2015, often driven by blockbuster years for their real estate practices. While real estate lawyers are still largely bullish through at least 2016, there are signs of a slowdown on the horizon, and the question now becomes how to replicate what was at times double-digit growth.

Pepper Hamilton

What Caused 'Abrupt' End to Pepper-Reed Merger Talks?

By Gina Passarella |

Pepper Hamilton and Reed Smith's merger discussions, though still in the early stages, were moving along in a positive direction until, for reasons that remain unclear, they hit an abrupt speed bump the afternoon of April 22, sources familiar with the talks said.

Pepper Hamilton

Pepper Hamilton and Reed Smith End Merger Discussions

By Gina Passarella |

Pepper Hamilton and Reed Smith have ended merger discussions less than two weeks after the firms confirmed they were eyeing the possibility of joining forces.

The Legal's 2016 Firm Financial Coverage: Fox Rothschild Grows Revenue 9.6 Percent, PPP Under 1 Percent

Reports for the Legal’s annual firm finance coverage are coming in. Check back often to this page for the latest insights on firm revenue, net income and other metrics.

Pepper Hamilton

Will Reed Smith-Pepper Hamilton Merger Leave Some Behind?

By Gina Passarella |

By all accounts, Reed Smith is in the driver's seat when it comes to merger discussions with Pepper Hamilton, but the former head of Pepper Hamilton's lucrative health effects litigation practice is said to hold the keys to her colleagues' future in a combined firm.

Harrisburg

Small-Town Firms Drawing Work From Bigger Cities

By Gina Passarella 
and Lizzy McLellan |

Clients' willingness to experiment outside of their typical roster of law firms has led to more legal work spreading from large cities to less-expensive counties.

Merger Creates 28-Lawyer Firm in Montco-Bucks

By Lizzy McLellan |

Two small firms in Montgomery County and Bucks County have merged, creating a 28-lawyer dual-county general practice law firm.

Corporations Are Moving Work to Less Traditional Law Firms

By Gina Passarella |

While convergence is far from new, general counsel have expressed a growing willingness to experiment with smaller firms and a skepticism of some of the techniques used by larger firms to address costs.

Blank Rome Grows Revenue 4.2 Percent, PPP 7.9 Percent

By Gina Passarella |

An increase in demand coupled with improved billing realization resulted in a 4.2 percent increase in gross revenue for Blank Rome in 2015, firm leadership said.

Reed Smith Washington, D.C. offices. November 12, 2014.

McGuireWoods Takes Team of Reed Smith Finance Litigators

By Gina Passarella |

McGuireWoods is set to hire a team of lawyers from Reed Smith's Pittsburgh office led by partner Mary Hackett, a former head of Reed Smith's financial services litigation group, Reed Smith has confirmed.

Duane Morris Revenue Up 1.5 Percent, PPP Flat

By Lizzy McLellan |

In a year when contingency fees did not weigh in its favor, Duane Morris was able to pull through with a slight increase in annual revenue and no change in profits per equity partner.

Former Insurance Regulator Hired by Stradley Ronon

By Lizzy McLellan |

A former member of the Pennsylvania Insurance Department has retired from the world of insurance regulation, joining Stradley Ronon Stevens & Young as an adviser to businesses and insurance departments.

Cozen O'Connor Grows Revenue 9 Percent, PPP 0.7 Percent

By Gina Passarella |

Cozen O'Connor saw a 9 percent bump in gross revenue in 2015, bolstered by the midyear addition of Chicago litigation boutique Meckler Bulger Tilson Marick & Pearson and an overall rise in demand, firm leadership said.

Pennsylvania Firms Surpassing Expectations for Revenue, Profit

By Gina Passarella 
and Lizzy McLellan |

Demand for legal services has ­remained tight in the past few years and consultants predicted law firms would see an average of less than 5 percent growth in revenue for 2015. But many firms have far outpaced that figure, including a number of Pennsylvania firms that had record years last year.

Morgan Lewis Hires New CAO From Dechert

By Gina Passarella |

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius has hired a new chief administrative officer with a ­background in project and pricing management.

Law Firm Tie-Ups Getting More Creative, Complex

By Gina Passarella |

Recent law firm acquisitions that fall short of full-scale mergers are an example of the creativity industry consultants expect to see more of when it comes to minimizing the risk of expansion efforts. When Morgan, Lewis & Bockius took on more than 500 lawyers from ailing Bingham McCutchen, it acquired some of the liabilities too, while leaving the shell of Bingham, and a chunk of its lawyers, behind. And Feb. 11's announcement that Blank Rome acquired nearly all of the remaining lawyers of Dickstein Shapiro was accompanied by word that Blank Rome would get the assets of Dickstein Shapiro while seemingly avoiding any substantial liabilities. Bingham and Dickstein Shapiro were left to wind down their own affairs.

Reed Smith's PPP Drops 8.3 Percent, Revenue Falls 2.5 Percent

By Gina Passarella |

In the year leading up to 45 lawyers and additional staff being cut at Reed Smith, the firm saw gross revenue drop 2.5 percent and profits per equity partner (PPP) fall 8.3 percent.

Drinker Biddle Grows Revenue 7.5 Percent, PPP 11 Percent

By Gina Passarella |

Drinker Biddle & Reath boosted gross revenue 7.5 percent and profits per equity partner more than 11 percent in the first year under new leadership.

PI Firm Says Paralegal Fired Over Negative Facebook Posts

By Gina Passarella |

Personal injury firm Messa & Associates denied on Friday wage-and-hour claims levied by a former paralegal, instead saying she was fired because she posted negative things about the firm in public forums.

Montgomery McCracken Names New Chairman

By Gina Passarella |

Montgomery McCracken Walker & Rhoads has elected Louis A. Petroni as its new chairman.

Stradley Ronon Opens in Chicago With K&L Gates Hires

By Gina Passarella |

Stradley Ronon Stevens & Young has brought on a four-partner team from K&L Gates, adding to its Washington, D.C., office and spurring the opening of a Chicago location.

People in the News—March 1, 2016—Montgomery McCracken

Montgomery McCracken Walker & Rhoads partner David S. Blum is set to receive the Drexel University Thomas R. Kline School of Law Diversity Award on Wednesday.

Pepper Hamilton

Pepper Hamilton Grows Revenue 1 Percent, PPP 8.5 Percent

By Lizzy McLellan |

In a year when it experienced lower demand, Pepper Hamilton was able to grow gross revenue 1 percent thanks in large part to an especially strong corporate practice and contingent fees from its intellectual property practice.

People in the News—Feb. 29, 2016—Clark Hill

Christopher J. Day, a member in Clark Hill's Philadelphia office, was selected to speak at the Pennsylvania Bar Institute's Identity Theft CLE on March 9 at the PBI Conference Center in Mechanicsburg.

People in the News—Pa. Law Weekly March 1, 2016—Montgomery Bar Association

Gregory R. Gifford, a partner at Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford, was elected treasurer of the Montgomery Bar Association.

People in the News—Feb. 26, 2016—Montgomery McCracken

Montgomery McCracken Walker & Rhoads partner Mark B. Sheppard was appointed by Gov. Tom Wolf to the Pennsylvania Commission on Sentencing.

Directly above photograph of an application for a visa.

People in the News—Feb. 25, 2016—Las Vegas EB-5 Conference

Klasko Immigration Law Partners attorneys Ronald Klasko and Daniel B. Lundy received awards for their expertise and leadership in the EB-5 industry during the third annual Las Vegas EB-5 Conference sponsored by EB5 Investors Magazine.

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People in the News—Feb. 24, 2016—America Judicial System

James W. Cushing of the Law Office of Faye Riva Cohen is set to lead the 16th annual "America Judicial System" seminar March 3 at Bucks County Technical High School to give social studies students an inside look at the judicial branch of government.

Market Volatility Hampering Demand for Legal Services

By Gina Passarella |

While individual partners may be riding out the waves rippling through the stock market, their clients have made adjustments, holding back on deals and generally slowing the purchase of legal services in an already constrained market for the industry.

People in the News—Feb. 22, 2016—McNees Wallace

McNees Wallace & Nurick attorney Kendra McGuire is set to co-present at the Pennsylvania Conference of State Trial Judges mid-annual meeting, scheduled from Wednesday to Friday in Philadelphia.

People in the News—Pa. Law Weekly Feb. 23, 2016—Marshall Dennehey

The PaLaw Managing Partners Breakfast, The Legal's gathering of Pennsylvania's law firm leaders for a networking and information session filled with useful business intelligence, is scheduled from 8 to 9:30 a.m. March 1 at The Duquesne Club, 325 Sixth Ave., Pittsburgh.

People in the News—Feb. 19, 2016—Drinker Biddle

Drinker Biddle & Reath elected several new partners of the firm.

Protest for the legalization of medical marijuana

Sen. Leach Takes Of Counsel Position At Philadelphia Firm

By Lizzy McLellan |

A Pennsylvania state senator who has taken a leading role in medical marijuana legislation is planning to re-enter the private practice of law at a firm that has lobbied for medical cannabis legalization.

People in the News—Feb. 18, 2016—Philadelphia Bar Association

This month's Philadelphia Bar Association board of governors meeting is scheduled for 4 p.m. Thursday in the 10th-floor boardroom at the bar association.

Pa. Lawyers in Higher Demand, Citi Survey Shows

By Gina Passarella |

Pennsylvania law firms ranked toward the bottom of regions nationally when it came to key financial metrics in 2015, but there is cause to be optimistic, according to results from Citi Private Bank Law Firm Group's year-end survey.

Pa. Firms Adding in State, Focused Less on Corporate Hires

By Gina Passarella |

While most of Pennsylvania's indigenous firms have focused the majority of their lateral growth outside of the state in recent years, the start of 2016 has shown firms are interested in adding talent within the state as well.

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People in the News—Feb. 15, 2016—Widener Law Journal

The Widener Law Journal is set to host a symposium titled "Ruling the Courts: The Future of Local Rules of Civil Procedure in Pennsylvania."

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People in the News—Feb. 12, 2016—National Court Reporters Association

The National Court Reporters Association designated Feb. 14-20 as the 2016 National Court Reporting and Captioning Week.

People in the News—Feb. 10, 2016—Conrad O'Brien

Patricia Hamill of Conrad O'Brien is set to speak at the second symposium on "Representing Students Accused of Sexual Assault: Due Process, Tort, Contractual, and Title IX Considerations."

People in the News—Feb. 11, 2016—Marshall Dennehey

Dana A. Gittleman, associate in the Philadelphia office of Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin, was named treasurer of the Young Lawyers Division of the Philadelphia Bar Association.

Law Firm Leaders' Books of Business Lend Credibility

By Gina Passarella |

As law firms grew in size and complexity, there was a well-adopted school of thought over the past decade that the firms' leaders should focus 100 percent of their time on managing what had become large-scale businesses. But in Pennsylvania alone, there are a number of firms, including the largest by head count and the most profitable, respectively, whose leaders have some of the largest books of business in the state.

People in the News—Feb. 9, 2016—Barley Snyder

Maria Di Stravolo Elliott of Barley Snyder was selected as the practice group leader for the firm's real estate, environmental and municipal group.

Dechert Bolsters Antitrust Group With Buchanan Hire

By Gina Passarella |

In a rare lateral move for Dechert in Philadelphia, the firm has hired an antitrust partner who has served as a member of Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney's six-person leadership team.

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People in the News—Feb. 8, 2016—High Swartz

High Swartz partner Eric B. Smith was appointed president-elect of the Montgomery Bar Association for a one-year term.

Dechert Grows PPP 8.5 Percent, Revenue 6 Percent

By Gina Passarella |

Dechert grew gross revenue 6 percent in 2015 and bumped up partner profits by 8.5 percent in a year in which the firm's litigation practice saw double-digit increases.

People in the News—Feb. 5, 2016—McCausland Keen & Buckman

Benjamin R. Picker was elected as a shareholder of McCausland Keen & Buckman.

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People in the News—Feb. 4, 2016—Drinker Biddle

Drinker Biddle & Reath added Mark J. Foley to its labor and employment practice group.

People in the News—Feb. 3, 2016—Marshall Dennehey

Butler Buchanan III of Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin was reappointed as chair of the Campaign for Qualified Judges for 2016.

Connections and Flexibility Keys to Representing Startups

By Lizzy McLellan |

As the innovation economy has begun to spread outside of Silicon Valley, several Pennsylvania law firms have taken a shot at appealing to companies that may be the next Google or Facebook.

Survey: Low Demand, Overcapacity to Lead to More Layoffs

By Gina Passarella |

Financial performance in 2015 coupled with indicators for 2016 show law firms will most likely have to add new attorneys to bolster revenue while cutting staff and other lawyers to protect profits, according to a Wells Fargo Legal Specialty Group year-end survey.

Reed Smith Washington, D.C. offices. November 12, 2014.

Appeal Withdrawn Over Reed Smith's Mandatory Arbitration Clause

By Gina Passarella |

A month after a trial judge explained why Reed Smith's mandatory arbitration agreement in a client engagement letter was unenforceable, the law firm withdrew its appeal, dashing the chance for the first-impression issue to reach the state's appellate courts.

Burns White Adds Med Mal Group In Pittsburgh

By Lizzy McLellan |

Further adding to its litigation bench strength, Pittsburgh-based Burns White has added two members and two associates in the areas of professional liability and ­medical malpractice.

Gina F. Rubel

Real-Time Marketing Tools for Lawyers

By Gina F. Rubel |

Real-time marketing (RTM) is a term of art for a type of marketing that many attorneys have been utilizing for more than 20 years. It is a way to respond instantly to consumer legal questions, events and trends.

What Could Seal Deal Between Blank Rome and Dickstein?

By Gina Passarella 
and Katelyn Polantz |

For Blank Rome, a firm that has long eyed continued growth in Washington, D.C., a combination of some form with ailing Dickstein Shapiro would make sense, if, of course, the price was right, legal observers said.

Babst Calland Opens DC Office

By Lizzy McLellan |

Pittsburgh-based Babst Calland has opened an office in Washington, D.C., the firm announced Monday, bringing a new niche to its energy and natural resources practice.

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Firm Name Partner Layser Jumps to Montco Med Mal Practice

By Lizzy McLellan |

Attorney Derek Layser has departed from the firm he helped found in order to create a medical malpractice presence at a Montgomery County-based firm.

Dickie McCamey Adds New York Office

By Lizzy McLellan |

Pittsburgh-based Dickie, McCamey & Chilcote has added an office in White Plains, New York, to be led by an attorney from its New Jersey office.

Reed Smith Washington, D.C. offices. November 12, 2014.

Reed Smith Lays Off 45 Lawyers, Additional Staff

By Gina Passarella |

Reed Smith has laid off 45 lawyers across its offices in the United States, Europe and the Middle East, along with an unidentified number of staff.

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Ballard Spahr Hires New CMO

By Gina Passarella |

Ballard Spahr has hired a new chief marketing and business development officer with a focus on client development and cross-marketing.

For Merger-Focused Pa. Firms, Where's the Next Hot Spot?

By Gina Passarella |

Coming off a record year for law firm mergers, with the Midwest and southern portions of the country targets of opportunity, Pennsylvania law firms will continue to expand in those markets while eyeing new geographic locations such as the Pacific Northwest, consultants and firm leaders said.

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Montco Bar President to Fight 'Attacks' on Legal Profession

By Max Mitchell |

Protecting the legal profession from taxes on legal services, the rise of discount legal services and declining interest from young leaders will be the focus of the Montgomery Bar Association's newest president.

Louis S. Fine of Fine and Staud Dies

Louis S. Fine, founding partner of Fine and Staud, died Jan. 5.

Lawyers Had Big Hand in Las Vegas Electronics Show

By Gina Passarella |

As technology companies invaded Las Vegas for the annual Consumer Electronics Show this week, touting the ways their new products will make users' lives easier, data privacy lawyers were helping craft the promises those companies could make about what happens to the personal data these products capture.

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Freeh Leaves Pepper Hamilton, Rejoining Freeh Sporkin

By Gina Passarella |

Louis J. Freeh has left Pepper Hamilton to rejoin Freeh Sporkin & Sullivan, the law firm that saw all of its attorneys join Pepper Hamilton in 2012, the latter confirmed.

Pa. Firms Played Big Role in Record Year for Mergers

By Gina Passarella |

The legal community set a new record in 2015 for the number of law firm mergers, with Pennsylvania firms comprising nearly 11 percent of that record-high.

People in the News—Jan. 4, 2016—American Bankruptcy Institute

David L. Pollack, a partner in the real estate department of Ballard Spahr in Philadelphia, spoke at the American Bankruptcy Institute's 2015 Winter Leadership Conference in Phoenix.

Edward W. Mullinix, Retired Schnader Harrison Partner, Dies at 91

Edward W. Mullinix, a retired partner of Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis, died Dec. 9 at age 91.

Stradley Ronon Defeats Santander's $95M Malpractice Suit

By Gina Passarella |

Stradley Ronon Stevens & Young has defeated a long-running malpractice suit filed by former client Santander Bank, which claimed the firm failed to protect the bank's security interest in $95 million it was owed by a bankrupt mortgage servicer.

Fox Rothschild to Acquire Minneapolis Firm

By Lizzy McLellan |

Fox Rothschild has announced its planned merger with Oppenheimer Wolff & Donnelly, a Minneapolis-based firm, which will grow total head count more than 10 percent to over 700 attorneys.

People in the News—Dec. 10, 2015—Real Estate Institute

Robert R. Watson Jr. of Eastburn and Gray is set to serve as a faculty member of the 19th annual Pennsylvania Bar Institute's Real Estate Institute in Philadelphia on Friday.

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Managing Client Expectations: Strike a Good Balance

By Terry Silver |

Does what you say and what your client hears correlate? Is your vision of an outcome in line with your client's vision? Do you maintain sufficient communication with your client so, as the expression goes, you are "on the same page"? The client's view of our level of service often depends on the quality of communication and the similarity or difference in expectations.

Firm Managing Partners Invited to Business Networking Breakfast

The PaLaw Managing Partners Breakfast, The Legal's gathering of Pennsylvania's law firm leaders for a networking and information session filled with useful business intelligence, is scheduled from 8 to 9:30 a.m. Dec. 8 at the Union League, 140 S. Broad St., Philadelphia.

Vorys Sater Expands in Pittsburgh With Burleson Hires

By Gina Passarella |

Two partners in the Pittsburgh office of dissolving energy boutique Burleson LLP, including its managing partner, have joined Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease.

Frost Brown Opens in Pittsburgh With 10 Burleson Lawyers

By Gina Passarella |

Cincinnati-based Frost Brown Todd has opened a Pittsburgh office with 10 lawyers from disbanding energy boutique Burleson LLP.

Saul Ewing Opens in Drexel's 'Innovation Neighborhood'

By Gina Passarella |

Saul Ewing has joined a growing number of law firms across the country that are looking to use their legal acumen and business contacts to connect startups with investors, and hopefully get some of the resulting legal work.

Diversified Energy Practices Survive Dip in Prices

By Lizzy McLellan |

Nearing the end of a year when gas prices dropped significantly and oil-and-gas-related title work opportunities became fewer, Pennsylvania energy attorneys said there is still work to be had in the market.

More Focus Expected on Individual Firm Performance

By Hank Grezlak |

The latest data from national banks and consultants show revenue and demand lagging nationally in 2015 compared with 2014, and many are warning of a legal industry slowdown in the fourth quarter that could make for a rough start to 2016. That contrasts with the optimism found in The Legal Intelligencer's most recent Managing Partners Survey.

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Lamb McErlane Bolsters Chester County Municipal Practice

By Lizzy McLellan |

Lamb McErlane, a West Chester-based boutique firm, has hired two municipal attorneys from Philadelphia-based Conrad O'Brien, allowing it to reach a broader swath of clients throughout Chester County.

On the Rise: Rates, Revenues, Profits and Salaries Booming at Pa. Firms

By Gina Passarella |

Despite the consistent drumbeat of a low-growth market for legal services, Pennsylvania law firms appear to have found a way to improve their financial performance while paying associates more and resorting to layoffs less.

Burleson to Close at End of Year

By Gina Passarella |

Texas-based energy boutique Burleson LLP is set to close by year's end, the firm confirmed Monday.

New Foreclosure Climate Brings Law Firm Casualties

By Lizzy McLellan and David Gialanella |

Nearly eight years after the subprime mortgage crisis violently shook the U.S. economy, law firms representing lenders and servicers in foreclosure actions are continuing to feel aftershocks that are sometimes fatal.

Attorney General Kathleen Kane

Kane Hires Private Counsel in Suit by Ex-Appeals Chief

By Gina Passarella |

Attorney General Kathleen Kane has hired lawyers from Littler Mendelson in Philadelphia to represent her in a civil suit filed by a former deputy in her office who alleged he was fired after testifying before the grand jury investigating Kane.

Midsize Firms Confident as End-of-Year Approaches

By Lizzy McLellan |

In a year they described as “strong” or “consistent,” a number of midsize firm leaders in Pennsylvania seem optimistic about their year-end results for 2015, and have an even brighter outlook for the year to come.

Anapol Weiss Looks to Bolster Class Action Practice

By Lizzy McLellan |

Philadelphia plaintiffs' firm Anapol Weiss has brought on the former Philadelphia office leader of a Pittsburgh-based plaintiffs' firm.

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Firms Have Opportunities in GC Shuffle

By Gina Passarella |

If in-house legal departments are holding tighter to their company's legal work and going to fewer law firms when they do send out work, the best time to get an "in" with a legal department may be when they switch general counsel. And that is also when existing firms need to fight to keep their relationships.

Pa. Firms Missing the Mark on Rate Increases, Survey Shows

By Gina Passarella |

Pennsylvania law firms are trailing nearly every other region in some key financial metrics through the first nine months of the year, with bright spots coming in the form of improved collection cycles and an increase in attorney demand.

Firm Managing Partners Invited to Business Networking Breakfast

The PaLaw Managing Partners Breakfast, The Legal's gathering of Pennsylvania's law firm leaders for a networking and information session filled with useful business intelligence, is scheduled from 8 to 9:30 a.m. Dec. 8 at the Union League, 140 S. Broad St., Philadelphia.

MCCA CEO to Lead Duane Morris' Diversity Initiatives

By Gina Passarella |

The outgoing CEO of the Minority Corporate Counsel Association will be joining Duane Morris as the co-chief diversity and inclusion officer in January 2016.

Duane Morris Partner Elected Chair of Multilaw

By Alex Carpenter |

Hope Krebs, a partner in Duane Morris, has been elected the first woman and second U.S.-based lawyer to lead Multilaw, an international network of law firms.

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Jones Day Makes Pittsburgh Leadership Changes

By Gina Passarella |

The Pittsburgh office of Jones Day will have new leadership for the first time in 12 years as the current managing partner takes over as head of the firm’s global rule of law initiatives.

Ex-Partner Sues PI Firm After Contentious Departure

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A personal injury lawyer claimed in a lawsuit filed in federal court that his former firm broke its employment agreement with him, demanded reimbursement for case expenses, and threatened to sue his clients.

Five-Lawyer Team Rejoins Post & Schell Months After Departure

By Gina Passarella |

A five-lawyer insurance coverage group whose departure from Post & Schell in January spurred their new firm to change its name has now returned to Post & Schell.

Client Transition Vexing Law Firm Leaders

By Gina Passarella |

Perhaps the biggest challenge currently facing law firms is the transition of client matters from the baby boomer generation to younger partners, Pennsylvania law firm leaders said.

Dechert

Dechert Hires Head of Baker Botts' White-Collar Team

By Gina Passarella |

Dechert has grown its Washington, D.C., office with the addition of the chairman of Baker Botts' white-collar crime and corporate investigations group, continuing a years-long trend for Dechert of hiring practice area leaders away from other Am Law 100 firms.

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Barley Snyder Grabs Education Group From Closing Firm

By Lizzy McLellan |

In the midst of a hiring boom, Lancaster-based Barley Snyder has acquired a total of six attorneys from a dissolving Lancaster firm, including four education lawyers with a focus on representing public-school districts.

Candidates: High Court Too Involved in Judicial Discipline

By Lizzy McLellan |

The seven candidates for Supreme Court justice come from different regions and political parties, but they all think the state’s high court should take a step back from the ongoing offensive email scandal and allow an independent investigation to proceed.

School BUs

School Officials' Racist Texts Allowed as Evidence

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A federal judge has denied a request by Coatesville School District officials to keep racist text messages from being admitted into evidence in a former teacher’s discrimination suit.

Justice Eakin Apologizes for Emails

By Max Mitchell and Ben Seal |

Justice J. Michael Eakin, speaking for the first time in any detail about offensive email chains he was involved in, apologized for any insensitive content and said he is fully cooperating with multiple reviews of his conduct.

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Firms Hiring Nonattorneys for More Specialized Roles

By Lizzy McLellan |

While the number of support staff at law firms has generally decreased over the past decade or so, observers said, some firms are hiring nonattorneys with special skills in areas such as marketing, business development, administration and specific industries.

Pa. Bar Passage Rates, Applicant Pool Lowest in 13 Years

By Gina Passarella |

The passage rate for first-time takers of the Pennsylvania bar was at its lowest since 2003, the first year for which data was available from the state Board of Law Examiners.

Burleson Sheds MP, Five Associates in Pittsburgh

By Lizzy McLellan |

Houston-based energy law firm Burleson LLP has laid off six attorneys in its Pittsburgh office, including the office managing partner.

Outside Firms Benefiting From Pittsburgh Lateral Activity

By Gina Passarella |

Out-of-town firms with offices in Pittsburgh are beginning to bolster their attorney ranks thanks to a confluence of factors including both client opportunities and the focus by some indigenous firms on trimming lawyer head count in the city.

Wolf Block

Wolf Block Loses Coverage Suit Over Partner Severance Payments

By Gina Passarella |

The insurance company for defunct law firm Wolf Block does not have to indemnify the firm over its failure to pay a former partner severance payments, a Philadelphia judge has ruled.

Credit: photogl/iStockphoto.com.

Drexel Law Student's ADA Claims Against Firms Dismissed

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A federal judge has tossed three complaints filed against Pepper Hamilton, Blank Rome and Dechert filed by a law student who claimed the firms' decision not to hire him for a summer position violated the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Insider-Trading Trial Date Set for Ex-Fox Rothschild Partner

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A trial has been scheduled for the former Fox Rothschild lawyer hit with insider-trading charges stemming from the 2012 Harleysville-Nationwide insurance merger.

business man with pen drawing graphics on world map

Most Pa. IP Boutiques Unlikely to Expand Overseas

By Lizzy McLellan |

In response to Valley Forge-based RatnerPrestia announcing a new office in Munich, leaders of other intellectual-property boutique firms in Pennsylvania said the move is unique and unlikely to start a trend.

Chartwell Law Offices to Acquire Florida Boutique

By Gina Passarella |

Chartwell Law Offices is set to acquire the 22-lawyer Florida law firm Wadsworth Huott, bringing Valley Forge-based Chartwell to more than 110 attorneys, including 40 in the Sunshine State. The merger is expected to go into effect Oct. 5.

RatnerPrestia to Open Munich Office

By Gina Passarella |

In a rare move for a firm of its size, intellectual property boutique RatnerPrestia is set to expand abroad with the Jan. 1 opening of an office in Munich.

Cleanup was underway and traffic was light along Market Street Monday morning.

Day After Pope's Visit a 'Nonevent' for Many Firms

By Gina Passarella |

Pope Francis' visit to Philadelphia this past weekend meant law firm closures and, for some, more hype than proved necessary.

Group of happy business people in a meeting at office

Summer Associates Give Pa. Firms High Marks for Places to Work

By Gina Passarella |

Pennsylvania law firms were split down the middle when it came to how well received their summer associate programs were this year as compared to last year.

Fox Rothschild Creates Chief Privacy Officer Role

By Gina Passarella |

Fox Rothschild appears to be the first Pennsylvania firm, and possibly only second firm nationwide, to elevate a partner to the role of chief privacy officer.

Mass Torts Attorney Leaves Beasley Firm for More Focused Work

By Lizzy McLellan |

A mass torts attorney for The Beasley Firm has departed to start his own firm and serve as of counsel to a Midwest firm, seemingly leaving his former firm with no mass torts lawyers.

Firms Still Weighing Whether to Close Monday After Papal Visit

By Gina Passarella |

With less than a week before the World Meeting of Families kicks off the pope's visit to Philadelphia, law firms are still making decisions on whether and when to close down in a Center City that will largely be barricaded from Sept. 25-28.

Stradley Ronon in Fee Dispute With Rapist Lawyer

By Gina Passarella |

Stradley Ronon Stevens & Young is in the midst of a fee dispute with an attorney and his parents over fees the firm claims it is owed for work representing the attorney in a civil suit filed by a Russian boy the lawyer was convicted of raping.

Business handshake and business people

Post & Schell Hires Principal to Co-Lead Tax Practice

By Lizzy McLellan |

In hiring a Philadelphia tax lawyer from his solo firm, Post & Schell has launched a new practice group focused on tax disputes with federal, state and local authorities.

U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission building in Washington, D.C. August 21, 2013. Photo by Diego M. Radzinschi/THE NATIONAL LAW JOURNAL.

Attorney Facing SEC Fraud Charges 'Shocked' by Allegations

By Gina Passarella |

William Uchimoto, who spent time running the China practice groups for Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney and Stevens & Lee, said he was "shocked" to learn of the SEC's civil securities fraud charges leveled against him Sept. 10.

Comcast Live Events Division Names New General Counsel

By Gina Passarella |

Comcast Spectacor has named Brian Rothenberg as the new general counsel of its live events unit, Spectra, the company announced Tuesday.

Title Attorneys Face Layoffs, Furloughs After Low Gas Prices

By Max Mitchell |

With the height of the initial Marcellus Shale bonanza several years out and gas prices remaining low, oil-and-gas-related title work has dropped off significantly, leaving some firms and companies facing cutbacks, furloughs and layoffs.

Group of happy business people in a meeting at office

Morale Rises as Firms Give Associates a Voice, Technology

By Gina Passarella |

The majority of Pennsylvania law firms on this year's rankings of associate satisfaction by Legal affiliate The American Lawyer saw strong improvement, thanks in large part to both investments in technology and paying closer attention to what the associate committees had to say.

Dilworth Closing DC Office, Not Staffing NY Locale

By Gina Passarella |

Dilworth Paxson is closing its Washington, D.C., location and choosing not to rebuild its New York office after a lateral defection that left that location without any attorneys, the firm's CEO has confirmed.

Dechert

Dechert Forms Association With Saudi Arabia Firm

By Gina Passarella |

Dechert has expanded its reach in the Middle East through an association with the Law Firm of Hassan Mahassni in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Pa. Firms See Rates, Demand Rise Above National Averages

By Gina Passarella |

Pennsylvania law firms are outperforming their national counterparts when it comes to demand, profitability and rate increases, according to a survey from the Legal Specialty Group at Wells Fargo Private Bank, which also shows a promising trend toward revenue growth at year's end.

Vector illustration of an increasing graphic bar statistics.

First-Year Salaries Hit $160K Mark at More Pa. Firms

By Gina Passarella |

The average starting pay for first-year associates in Pennsylvania will be noticeably higher for this fall's class, with several firms increasing pay to $160,000 or just below, according to the National Association for Law Placement and data submitted by the firms.

Business handshake and business people

Pittsburgh Hires Grow Cohen Seglias Energy Practice

By Lizzy McLellan and Max Mitchell |

Cohen Seglias Pallas Greenhall & Furman has added two attorneys to its Pittsburgh office, the firm announced Monday, doubling the office's head count and expanding the firm's oil and gas practice.

Ex-Client's Suit Against Squire Patton Is Ended

By Gina Passarella |

A multimillion-dollar malpractice and fraud suit against Squire Patton Boggs over its 17-year relationship with client Alliance Holdings was withdrawn Wednesday, a few months after a settlement agreement appears to have been reached, court documents show.

Spate of Succession Plans at Firms Driven by Age, Innovation

By Gina Passarella |

Reading the legal press over the last two or so years could lead to the natural assumption that law firms are getting better at succession planning, particularly the planning part. A growing number of firms have announced new firm leadership and many have done so upward of a year in advance.

merger

Morgan Lewis Hires Ex-Head of US Attorney's Office in Trenton

By Gina Passarella |

Morgan Lewis & Bockius has been focused on deepening its white-collar defense bench over the past several months, most recently adding Harvey Bartle IV as a partner in the firm's Philadelphia and Princeton, New Jersey, offices.

Law Firms Have Reined in Partner Board Memberships

By Gina Passarella 
And Lizzy McLellan |

Board memberships have often been touted as great ways for attorneys to give back to the community and generate business contacts, but a recent situation involving Bill Cosby's defense counsel doubling as the chairman of Temple University's board highlighted why some firms have put tighter scrutiny on board affiliations.

Attorney General Kathleen Kane

Kane Is Done as Pa. Attorney General, One Way or Another

By hank grezlak |

Indicted Attorney General Kathleen Kane's tenure as Pennsylvania's top prosecutor is over whether she wants to acknowledge that or not. It's not a matter of if, but how and when, and how much more damage she's willing to inflict on herself and the state.

Lawyer's ADA Suit Against Marshall Dennehey to Be Arbitrated

By Gina Passarella |

A federal judge has sent to arbitration an ADA case against Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin involving an attorney who said the firm didn't make accommodations for her fear of taking the elevator to her 24th-floor office.

Montco Attorney John Paul Knox Dies

Longtime Montgomery County attorney John Paul Knox died July 21 at age 87.

Could Law License Of Attorney General Be in Jeopardy?

By Gina Passarella |

While Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane has said she has no intentions of resigning in the wake of the criminal charges filed against her Thursday, the state attorney disciplinary system could impact her ability to practice law.

Dechert

Dechert Expands Arbitration Practice With Weil Gotshal Duo

By Gina Passarella |

Dechert has expanded its international arbitration capabilities to the United States with the hire of two Weil, Gotshal & Manges partners in Washington, D.C.

Bayer Agrees to $56.9M Settlement Program for Yaz Claims

By Max Mitchell |

The makers of Yaz, Yasmin and Ocella have agreed to provide nearly $56.9 million to establish a settlement program for plaintiffs claiming they suffered arterial blood clots as a result of taking the birth-control drugs.

Chicken Suit Involving Pfizer Stays in Pennsylvania

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A lawsuit filed by Mexican chicken breeders against pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and Zoetis for producing faulty chicken vaccines will be litigated in Pennsylvania, a federal judge has ruled.

K&L GATES

Where Have All the K&L Gates Partners Gone?

By Gina Passarella |

Large law firms have been quietly trimming partners, and many of those attorneys are not able to find new or similar positions given the premium placed on books of business, consultants have repeatedly said in recent months.

St. Joe's Hires Lawyers in Softball Hazing Suits

By Gina Passarella |

Saint Joseph's University has hired lawyers at Saul Ewing to represent it in two lawsuits filed over allegations of hazing in the women's softball program.

K&L GATES

Firm Partnership Ranks at K&L Gates Being Trimmed

By Gina Passarella |

When more than 90 partners in seven months leave a law firm, no matter how large, eyebrows are raised and at least 91 different stories can be had about the cause. For K&L Gates, those stories have played out publicly across legal media in recent weeks as former partners and the firm's chairman offer up their explanations for departures across the 2,000-lawyer firm's increasingly global platform.

Reed Smith Partner to Lead Pitt Law Energy Institute

By Gina Passarella |

The University of Pittsburgh School of Law has formed the Energy Law and Policy Institute, which will be led to start by Reed Smith partner and law school alumnus Kevin Abbott.

Hospital CMO's Malpractice Case Against Duane Morris Settles

By Gina Passarella |

Duane Morris has settled a legal malpractice case filed against it by the former chief medical officer of Aria Health, who argued the firm's representation of him in an underlying suit caused his termination.

Buchanan Hires Leave Novak Druce Lawyerless in Phila.

By Gina Passarella |

Part of a string of lateral hires by Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney in Philadelphia appears to have left Novak Druce Connolly Bove + Quigg's year-old office in the city without any attorneys.

Buchanan Ingersoll Names Phila. MP as Next CEO

By Gina Passarella |

Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney has set a leadership transition plan in place, naming Philadelphia office managing shareholder Joseph Dougherty as the CEO-elect.

Court Nixes Strict Liability Claims For Spinal Implant

By Max Mitchell |

A federal judge has rejected a plaintiff's strict liability claims against the manufacturer of an allegedly defective spinal implant that failed and led to a broken back.

merger

General Counsel Say They Want Law Firms to Personalize the Pitch

By Gina Passarella |

Lawyers need to differentiate themselves through relationship-building and personalized pitches that demonstrate a deep understanding of the client's specific business, a panel of general counsel in Philadelphia said Thursday in explaining how to win and keep their business.

Lawyers Cautioned on 'Cashing In' on Gay Marriage Ruling

By Gina Passarella |

Last week, a Philadelphia judge denied the dissolution of an out-of-state civil union between two women who have been separated for more than a decade, dashing the pair's hopes that Pennsylvania's legalization of same-sex marriage last year would pave the way for their divorce. It's issues like those that have family law lawyers warning against just any attorney claiming expertise in the area of LGBT legal affairs.

Close up of human hands pushing keys of laptop

Online Rebranding 'Not Just for the Big Guys'

By Lizzy McLellan |

At midsize firms, rebranding may not require a large marketing team with a wealth of resources, but should center on a unified message that sets the firm apart from its competition, legal marketing professionals said.

Female Lawyers Less Likely to Be First Chair, Study Finds

By Gina Passarella |

Women comprise a disproportionately low percentage of lead trial counsel compared to their representation in the overall legal profession, a study for the American Bar Association's Commission on Women in the Profession has found.