I have a client who was contacted by a top partner at one of the leading intellectual property law firms in Los Angeles. The attorney reviewed the new complaint filing in federal court on trademark issues, researches the defendant companies online, and then sends them an email with the complaint attached before they are officially served. He then starts marketing his services as a trademark litigator to the client.
Does anyone else think that partners at large firms are starting to get desperate? What happens when you are steeped in debt, have a mortgage that is a multiple higher in debt than the worth of your house and all the partners are pushing for client origination? There is a general sense that business at the larger law firms has been light. Certainly, there are practice groups within large law firms that are seriously struggling. The practice groups that are doing well don’t like to subsidize the ones that don’t. I predict that there will be some major shake-ups in the legal market as large firms break up into smaller pieces and individual lawyers from large firms split off to start their own solo or small group practices. The best lawyers at the largest firms have no reason to subsidize intractable overhead and diminishing profits.
So what firms will be left standing in the next one to three years? Far fewer than you might think.
Will your firm still be standing 12-36 months from now? You had better start looking for the signs of tight financial times in the eyes of those administering the business side of your firm.