New MP Says Saul Ewing Will Increase Industry Focus

, The Legal Intelligencer

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Just over six months after Saul Ewing announced the leadership change, Baltimore-based partner Barry F. Levin officially took over as managing partner of the firm Jan. 21.

Coming off a fiscal year in which he said the firm beat its budget by 19 percent, Levin said his vision for Saul Ewing going forward is to "continue doing more of the same, just a little bit better on all fronts."

One of the strategic focal points for the firm, Levin said, is a heightened emphasis on industry groups.

While Saul Ewing still has traditional practice groups, Levin explained, the firm is moving more toward a model where lawyers from several practice areas are pooled together into groups aimed at serving specific industries.

Levin said Saul Ewing has six main industry groups that "we think align with what exists in the economy at large": complex commercial litigation, life sciences, higher education, insurance, energy and utilities, and private equity.

According to Levin, these groups are a response to both the post-recession drop in demand for legal services and the increased legal budget constraints clients are facing.

It's more important than ever, Levin said, for firms to provide clients with the most value possible.

According to Levin, targeted industry groups allow the firm to staff matters with experienced attorneys who can do quality work efficiently and with a deep understanding of clients' businesses.

So, for example, the firm's energy and utilities group is composed of a mix of traditional energy lawyers and environmental, business and real estate transactional, trusts and estates and general corporate lawyers, all of whom are well versed in how their respective practices apply to the energy and utilities industry.

"These attorneys are not doing their first land lease or property acquisition for a utility or energy company," Levin said, adding that many of the attorneys at Saul Ewing have previously had careers on the business side of the industries they now serve as attorneys.

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