Radical change is not easy to pull off at large or even midsize firms, which often are weighed down by bulky staffs, layers of bureaucracy and decades of tradition.
Law Firm News
Law firms in 2016 looked to scoop up practice groups or industry-specific brain power in making their lateral moves.
Pennsylvania law firms have been beefing up their construction practices, as the construction industry experiences an uptick and industry observers predict more activity on the horizon.
Even with cost-conscious clients keeping industrywide demand in check, Duane Morris edged forward in 2016, hitting new highs for revenue and profits per equity partner.
Revenue and profits suffered in 2016 as litigation activity slowed and two contingency fees came in later than expected.
Blank Rome hit the accelerator in 2016, posting big revenue gains as it added more than 100 lawyers from a failing firm and lured lateral hires from several competitors.
Big law firms based in Pennsylvania faced a reality check in 2016, as weak demand for legal services took its toll.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court is giving Pittsburgh-based Meyer, Darragh, Buckler, Bebenek & Eck a second chance at recovering damages for attorney fees under quantum meruit, in a case where multiple justices acknowledged that court precedent had muddied the waters on what the firm could argue.
A federal judge ruled Amil Minora and his co-defendants must face allegations that they abused the legal process to extort a settlement from a businessman.
Firm leaders said double-digit declines were misleading, but there are signs that partners are unsettled.
Government and corporate lawyer Kevin Greenberg has left Flaster Greenberg, taking his practice to 1,800-lawyer Greenberg Traurig.
Ballard Spahr has mined the Rocky Mountain foothills for its latest outpost, adding three corporate partners in Boulder, Colorado, focused on emerging growth companies.
Luke and Allison Sizemore see advantages in the personal and professional crossover as attorneys at Reed Smith.
Central Pennsylvania isn't exactly the Silicon Valley of the East. But a group of Harrisburg lawyers has left Rhoads & Sinon with a mission to bring some startup style to their newly formed law firm.
Further prolonging a discovery dispute that dates back to 2011, the Pennsylvania Superior Court has remanded for the second time in three years a Dragonetti Act lawsuit against Blue Bell-based Kaplin Stewart Meloff Reiter & Stein with instructions for a Philadelphia trial judge to better explain why privileged documents were deemed discoverable.
Sen. Daylin Leach went viral this week with his Twitter tirade against President Donald Trump, earning cheers from some quarters and anger from others. But what about his colleagues at eight-lawyer Philadelphia firm Sacks Weston Diamond, where Leach is of counsel?
Even for highly experienced firms, Title IX and sexual assault investigations pose special challenges. Just ask Pepper Hamilton.
Cozen O'Connor debuted a new practice group focused on institutional responses to sexual and gender-based harassment and violence, hiring five Philadelphia lawyers, including four attorneys from Pepper Hamilton.
The hires bolster Blank Rome's corporate and securities practice in Pittsburgh and its energy and finance practices in Washington, D.C.
Two Kline & Specter partners, Andy Youman and David Caputo, are leaving to form their own shop, Youman & Caputo.
Montgomery County solo attorney Raymond J. Quaglia has been disbarred for misusing client money in multiple cases and taking excessive fees for himself.
The firm added Philadelphia litigator Timothy Katsiff as a partner in its Philadelphia office.
Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott is combining with a small trusts and estates law firm in Pittsburgh, Tener, Van Kirk, Wolf & Moore.
Paul Legaard, who joined Stradley Ronon Stevens & Young this month, said Philadelphia could soon catch up with Boston as a life sciences hub.
Cozen O'Connor has brought on corporate partner Roy Carrasquillo, adding to a team of recent Fox Rothschild hires focused on international business and immigration issues.
Ronald Schiller, who joined Hangley Aronchick with a group of DLA Piper lawyers eight years ago, is the firm's first chairman who isn't also a founding partner.
After two stints serving Pennsylvania's eighth district in Washington, Michael Fitzpatrick is returning to private practice in the Philadelphia office of Obermayer Rebmann Maxwell & Hippel.
The president's decision to push forward with two major pipeline projects could signal busy times ahead for energy practices.
Blank Rome welcomed two new energy partners in Pittsburgh this week, capitalizing on the closure of Norton Rose Fulbright's office in the city earlier this month.
Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney has boosted its health care practice with two Reed Smith partners in Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., while Reed Smith snagged a notable hire from Dentons in D.C.
National and regional law firms have recently looked to Philadelphia as a source for legal talent and access to clients on a quest to beef up their core practices.
Class action pro Joe Nguyen joined Stradley Ronon's Philadelphia office Jan. 3, the firm announced Monday.
Cozen O'Connor has lured three immigration attorneys from Fox Rothschild to its Miami office, continuing its growth in South Florida and adding a new practice area to the mix.
Ballard Spahr has a new office leader in Wilmington as the current head of the Delaware practice is taking a broader leadership position overseeing the firm's public finance practice.
Duane Morris is facing a $625 million lawsuit for allegedly failing to file an appellate brief, but contends that the plaintiff was never a client of the firm.
Baltimore-based Offit Kurman is opening its first office in the suburbs of Philadelphia with the hire of two lawyers from Blue Bell-based Kaplin Stewart Meloff Reiter & Stein.
For Pennsylvania's largest law firms, 2016 waffled like an indecisive kid in a candy store, with news of mergers that almost were, finances that looked bad to start but perked up by year's end, unexpected choices to be had on salaries and bonuses, and layoffs coupled with streams of large acquisitions.
Barton Winokur, the former head of Dechert and a longtime member of the board of directors at Philadelphia-based CDI Corp., is facing a public call for his resignation from the company's board by two shareholders.
For Pennsylvania's small and midsize law firm market, 2016 was a year of geographic expansion.
Michael J. Engle, a longtime Philadelphia-area white-collar defense lawyer and name partner at Greenblatt, Pierce, Engle, Funt & Flores, has joined the litigation department at Stradley Ronon Stevens & Young.
Cooley has grabbed groups from Chadbourne & Parke and Pepper Hamilton to bolster its life sciences and international arbitration practice on the East Coast.
Pepper Hamilton is experiencing the backlash of its Title IX internal investigations work at Baylor University, as a former associate athletics director who blames the firm for his abrupt firing has filed a lawsuit.
Harry Reagan, a labor lawyer at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, died Nov. 28 after a long illness. Reagan was 76.
A female lawyer given partnership interest in Wayne-based Saltz Matkov has sued the firm for Equal Pay Act violations as well as retaliation ranging from alleged verbal assault to being locked in her office by other lawyers who put a couch in front of her door.
Pennsylvania law firms have spent the last year adjusting their attorney and staff complement in the face of rising costs and shrinking demand, and according to many indicators, it seems to be paying off.
Pennsylvania attorneys are giving a collective sigh of relief in the wake of the state Supreme Court's decision last week to block efforts aimed at reinstating a nearly $1 million sanction against a Philadelphia-area defense attorney.
Firms that know their clients well and tailor their strategies to each client will be the most financially successful, the head of BTI Consulting said.
As the usual suspects roll out their 2016 bonus announcements, midsize law firms based in Pennsylvania are abstaining from the competition, finding themselves in a separate league for rates and compensation.
At a time when the political winds across the country are shifting, the incoming chancellor of the Philadelphia Bar Association wants the organization to take a leading role in ensuring that those in need can access legal aid.
Murray H. Shusterman, a longtime partner at Fox Rothschild, died Monday at the age of 104, after an 80-year career.
Cohen Seglias Pallas Greenhall & Furman has selected a new firmwide managing partner, George Pallas.
Central Pennsylvania-based McNees, Wallace & Nurick has opened an office in Frederick, Maryland, in response to clients moving south from Pennsylvania.
Pennsylvania law firm leaders are cautiously optimistic as they work through collections season, in slightly better shape than the overall industry.
Pennsylvania law firms are on pace for a stellar year financially, according to the latest report from Wells Fargo Private Bank's Legal Specialty Group.
Dechert has matched the bonus scale announced this week by Cravath, Swaine & Moore, the firm announced in a memo Wednesday afternoon and confirmed to The Legal.
While the impending shift to a Republican-led federal government and the expected rollback of environmental regulations would seem to be clear cause for celebration in the struggling oil and gas industry, the post-election mood among Pennsylvania's energy and environmental lawyers ranged from optimism to apprehension.
The six lawyers to be promoted at Pepper Hamilton in January all have one thing in common—they are women.
Infrastructure law practices focusing on public-private partnerships are readying for major growth in the next few years, which could be further stimulated if President-elect Donald Trump delivers on his campaign and post-election promises.
Members of Pennsylvania's legal community have expressed misgivings about President-elect Donald Trump's nomination of Alabama senator and conservative hard-liner Jeff Sessions as the nation's 84th attorney general.
Lancaster attorney Kiandra Bair has become the first member of the National Bar Association to file a successful petition for clemency on behalf of an inmate.
A couple who rented residential property from a Pepper Hamilton partner has sued the partner and the firm for violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, alleging the lawyer tried to intimidate the couple by writing letters seeking payment on the firm's letterhead.
Law firms Dilworth Paxson and Greenberg Traurig are facing legal malpractice and ERISA claims over their alleged role in what the SEC has called a fraudulent scheme to divert investment funds using a fake annuity purported to benefit a Native American tribe.
Pennsylvania law firms outpaced the rest of the legal industry for revenue in the first three quarters of 2016, according to new survey results from Citi Private Bank, even as demand was relatively flat in the state.
Kevin Washo, formerly the executive director of the Philadelphia 2016 Host Committee for the DNC, has joined Cozen O'Connor Public Strategies in Philadelphia.
Anthony S. Volpe, a veteran intellectual property litigator and co-founder of intellectual property boutique firm Volpe and Koenig, is backing away from litigation and taking on another approach to business disputes, establishing BusinessMediation.com.
A legal malpractice suit against Reed Smith over a $20.5 million settlement has been stayed while a federal appeals court considers whether a related case against an insurer was properly decided.
In a survey released last week, consulting firm Altman Weil asked chief legal officers whether their top 10 law firms provide useful spend analysis to the law department. Of those surveyed, 73 percent of CLOs said none of their top firms provide useful data.
Philadelphia may not be the first city that comes to mind when thinking of top asset management markets, but a group of lawyers and industry professionals are working to change that perception.
As Veterans Day is upon us, The Legal checked in with Pepper Hamilton chairman Thomas M. Gallagher about his military service, its similarities with the law, what veterans bring to an organization and the many ways Pepper Hamilton is looking out for veterans in and outside of the firm.
With Donald Trump as the president-elect and a Republican majority elected to the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, Pennsylvania law firm leaders said they are expecting an increase in work for some practice areas, even though it remains unclear what to expect in terms of specific policies.
A Miami-Dade County judge has allowed a multimillion-dollar lawsuit against Florida's Wadsworth Huott by Pennsylvania firm Chartwell Law Offices to proceed.
As Pittsburgh's technology and startup community experiences a growth spurt, area law firms are looking to get in on the action by forging relationships with local players in the technology industry.
With several of these supplements under our belts, we've decided to try a few new things this year.
A Philadelphia bankruptcy attorney has joined Gordon & Rees, coming from Flaster Greenberg.
A long-awaited rule change adopted last week by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court removed an ethical risk at the state level for lawyers who handle matters related to medical marijuana.
Keeping pace with national law firm real estate trends, law offices in the city are learning how to do more with less.
The Philadelphia Bar Association is sending a message to Pennsylvania's highest court and state lawmakers, seeking a rule change to expressly prohibit harassment by lawyers and legislation to advance equal pay for women.
An arbitrator has found in favor of Offit Kurman in a fee dispute involving a Philadelphia lawyer who was dismissed from the firm in 2012.
Recently released data on partner compensation and origination seem to paint a bleak picture for Philadelphia's legal market, but they may just be reflecting a return to normal after a particularly strong rebound from the recession.
In a legal market still plagued by gender-based pay inequity, midsize and small firms have the ability, and some say responsibility, to carefully track how partner compensation is determined and make sure it is not affected by gender bias.
Nearly a decade ago, Offit Kurman planted a flag in Philadelphia, opening an office with one lawyer. Now, the Baltimore-born firm has 30 lawyers in Pennsylvania, after adding three principals to the Philadelphia office in six weeks, and says Philadelphia could become its largest office.
A Philadelphia judge said he would have awarded a lawyer $900,000 in a malpractice suit against her divorce attorneys, but he found the claim was time-barred under a theory he said the Pennsylvania Superior Court may well reverse.
A tax controversy partner from Pepper Hamilton has left to join Baker & Hostetler's growing Philadelphia office.
Dilworth Paxson has brought in new leadership for its patent practice with the hire of a Barnes & Thornburg partner.
A partner in McCarter & English's Philadelphia office has joined Post & Schell as a principal and chairman of the firm's corporate practice group.
After a ruling in the Pennsylvania Supreme Court last week sent an unfriendly message to the energy industry, energy law practices in the state will be tasked with explaining Pennsylvania's ever-changing legal requirements for the industry, and challenging the new local rules that will likely take shape.
Michael Saile Jr. and John Cordisco are forming their own firm.
In a client-driven legal market, law firms are constantly seeking ways to stand out as providing unique services and better value, even if it requires a long-term investment. And for some firms, that means pulling in skilled professionals with training and experience in other industries.
Archer & Greiner has added another former member of Philadelphia's Law Department to its ranks, bringing on former Philadelphia city solicitor Shelley R. Smith as a partner.
Pennsylvania Attorney General Bruce Beemer has continued building out the leadership team that will advise him for the four or so months he is slated to have the job.
As law firms look to staffing adjustments as a way to maintain or fatten their profit margins, and young lawyers seek alternate employment routes in lieu of the traditional partner track, the role of contract attorneys is likely to gain prominence, legal industry observers said.
In a fee dispute involving a Philadelphia lawyer it dismissed in 2012, Offit Kurman has been allowed to file certain information regarding the firm under seal, but was not granted the blanket seal on discovery materials it sought. The firm is facing allegations that it failed to comply with its promise to pay origination fees to an attorney after he left the firm.
In a first-impression issue, the Pennsylvania Superior Court has affirmed the dismissal of a lawyer's unjust enrichment claim against litigation funders, ruling that the fee agreement between them and the plaintiff could not be enforced.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has agreed to give a second chance at recovering damages for attorney fees to a law firm that was denied breach of contract damages because the lawyer who entered the agreement was not a partner.
After languishing on the docket for months, a largely sealed lawsuit between Morgan, Lewis & Bockius and a former partner who left the firm after allegations he shared confidential client information has settled.
Energy companies and the state Department of Environmental Protection are seen as the biggest and most likely targets of litigation that attorneys anticipate will flow from a series of much-anticipated oil and gas regulations expected to take effect this fall.
As Pennsylvania's energy industry prepares for a new set of regulations, expected to take effect this fall, law firms with energy and environmental practices in the state are gearing up to provide guidance about what those regulations will require.
There are many different types of litigators, but they all share one common trait: adaptability.
Ballard Spahr has rehired a data privacy and intellectual property attorney from the University of Pennsylvania, where she spent two years working in data privacy issues related to HIPAA compliance.
A former Post & Schell shareholder who was most recently in-house at an energy company has returned to the firm as a principal in its environmental, energy and utilities and Marcellus Shale practice.
White and Williams has added to its litigation bench in Philadelphia, bringing in veteran trial attorney David H. Marion as senior counsel.
The former chief legal counsel for Aria Health, Rafael Villalobos, has joined Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott as a member, allowing the firm to offer a greater variety of health law services.
Almost three years after Duane Morris developed a proprietary system for analyzing the anatomy of its cases for pricing purposes, the firm has trademarked its logo for the tool, DNA.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has declined to take up a case over an alleged improper referral, rejecting Bochetto & Lentz's appeal and finalizing a summary judgment order in favor of defendant and attorney A. Harold Datz.
Pennsylvania midlevel associates generally reported high levels of satisfaction, with a few firms making major jumps in national rankings, in a recent survey conducted by Legal affiliate The American Lawyer. But some firms showed noteworthy declines in associate satisfaction, with survey responses revealing complaints about compensation or workload.
Pennsylvania firms are not immune from a nationwide dip in demand, which industry observers predict will lead to layoffs, but the impact in Pennsylvania may not be as severe as in other regions, where more firms have raised first-year associate salaries to $180,000.
James J. Eisenhower, a longtime white-collar defense lawyer with roots in federal prosecution, has joined Dilworth Paxson as a partner in Philadelphia.
While Philadelphia-area firms were looking better than the rest in the first half of 2016, based on revenue data collected by Wells Fargo Private Bank's Legal Specialty Group, the second half of the year is likely to show a drop-off.
Pennsylvania law firms outperformed the national averages for revenue and profit growth in the first half of 2016 thanks to strong inventory coming into the year along with improved collection cycles and significant expense management, according to a recent report by Citi Private Bank's Law Firm Group.
While Pennsylvania's natural gas production is on the rise, energy lawyers in the state said that will not have an immediate impact on their practices. But, they said, the numbers forecast a bright future for multidisciplinary energy practices in Pennsylvania, as well as the overall state economy.
In the midst of a jarring decline in demand for legal services nationwide, some Pennsylvania firm leaders said transactional practices are suffering, as corporate clients become more selective in their work with outside law firms.
Obermayer Rebmann Maxwell & Hippel has lost its bid to arbitrate a lawsuit filed against the firm by a former associate who alleged its billing rate allocation denied associates their fair share of bonuses.
A western Pennsylvania bankruptcy firm that changed hands in the midst of a now-suspended principal's disciplinary troubles has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
Bennett Bricklin & Saltzburg is opening an office in Wilkes-Barre, with the addition of a defense litigator from Thomas, Thomas & Hafer.
Ken Trujillo, a Philadelphia litigator from Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis and a player in the local political scene, has left the firm to join Houston-based Chamberlain Hrdlicka and grow its Philadelphia presence.
Clients of Ballard Spahr want the firm's suit against them thrown out, arguing the law firm has no claim to a cut of the proceeds from a merger that resolved antitrust litigation Ballard filed on their behalf.
While certain firms made individual gains in attorney diversity since last year, improvement in the number of minority and female trial attorneys remained sluggish from 2015 to 2016, based on The Legal's ninth annual survey examining diversity at the largest plaintiffs firms in the state.
Kimberly Kitchen's past began to unspool two years ago. Kitchen was, by all accounts, a generous member of the Huntingdon community whose volunteer work with charitable organizations made her a familiar face around town. She was also a forger who practiced law without a license, for which she was found guilty in March of two misdemeanors and a felony. As she prepares to be sentenced Tuesday, the Huntingdon County bar is picking up the pieces left behind by her ruse.
In the wake of last month's Brexit vote, and in preparation for the United Kingdom's exit from the European Union, some large Pennsylvania firms are looking to expand operations in Germany.
Fox Rothschild has hired two longtime partners from Blank Rome who were conflicted out of their former firm after it acquired more than 100 partners and new practices from Dickstein Shapiro earlier this year.
As evidenced by a recent Pennsylvania Superior Court ruling invalidating an alleged fee-splitting arrangement between a law firm and an outside consultant, questions about the proper way for attorneys to pay nonlawyers who help generate business still arise frequently.
Dilworth Paxson's attorney head count has taken some noticeable hits in recent months, leading some to express concern for the firm's future, but its leader said he is encouraged by the shape Dilworth has taken since he began implementing a new strategy more than two years ago.
While Pennsylvania's largest law firms maintained a steady head count overall in 2015, a number of firms experienced noticeable gains and decreases due to mergers, strings of departures or group moves, according to data reported by Legal affiliate The National Law Journal.
As law firms nationwide experience a record pace for mergers and acquisitions, Philadelphia-area firms have accounted for a significant share of the activity.
We asked several prominent Pennsylvania lawyers how they managed the stress of studying for the bar exam.
Two medical malpractice attorneys from Obermayer Rebmann Maxwell & Hippel, including the co-chair of that practice, have joined Burns White, further adding to the latter firm's growing litigation bench.
Gregory P. Miller, a former managing partner at Drinker Biddle & Reath, has joined JAMS.
While Reed Smith has seen departures from its Pittsburgh office in recent months, the firm has been growing in Philadelphia where it brought on two new litigators last week.
The future will be the focus for Ezra Wohlgelernter, the incoming head of the Philadelphia Trial Lawyers Association
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Longtime Dilworth Paxson attorney Richard L. Fox has been hired by Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney.
As large firms across the country beef up their intellectual property practices, Pennsylvania firms have played a major role in the lateral and acquisition activity, and firm leaders expect these hires and deals to continue in the near future.
Stacey Meadows, who served Thomas Jefferson University Health System as senior vice president and general counsel for 16 years, has joined legal and consulting firm Saxton & Stump.