New York Law Firm Shearman & Sterling Lays off Lawyers and Staff

(Reuters) – New York-founded law firm Shearman & Sterling said Wednesday it has laid off attorneys and business professionals, citing a need to “align our capacity levels with existing client demands.”

Shearman cut 12 associates and 26 business services professionals in the United States, in what a firm spokesperson described as a response to “continuing and growing economic headwinds and market conditions.”

The layoffs follow similar moves by a handful of other large U.S. law firms amid cooling client demand for legal services, especially for work involving corporate deals.

The cuts at Shearman, which has about 850 lawyers globally, “focused mainly on transactional practice areas most affected by current and projected market conditions,” the firm said.

Seattle-founded law firm Davis Wright Tremaine laid off 21 professional staff this week in areas the firm “either had excess capacity or redundancy and misalignment,” according to a Tuesday statement from its managing partner Scott MacCormack. The cuts there did not include any lawyers, a spokesperson said.

Other law firms that have trimmed their lawyer and professional ranks in recent months also cited staffing levels that outmatched demand, including Goodwin Procter, Cooley and Stroock & Stroock & Lavan.

Law firms surveyed by Wells Fargo’s Legal Specialty Group reported a 1.9% drop in demand in 2022. Lawyer headcount was up 4.5% after firms kept on most of the attorneys they hired in 2021 and early 2022 to handle surging M&A work at the time, the report said.

Shearman has recently seen some partner exits to rival firms, including the departure this week of London-based lawyer Phil Cheveley, who was head firm‘s M&A practice for EMEA and Asia. A seven-lawyer team left last month in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, and a group in France including Sami Toutounji, head of Shearman’s European governance and

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How legal finance capital facilities power law firm growth and innovation

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Law firms are cash businesses. When cash flow and liquidity are critical, portfolio financing presents a ready source of capital for firms to manage expenses and mitigate the risk of affirmative litigation.

Corporate clients want increasing their law firms to work on some form of results-based engagement, in which whether, how much and when a law firm is paid tie directly to the ultimate success of the particular engagement. For some firms, this fee model aligns perfectly with their business model of working on high value affirmative commercial litigation and arbitration on a contingency model in exchange for a portion of the often significant upside of a big judgment or award. For other firms, affirmative litigation carries the concomitant unpredictability of cash flow timing, and of course, managing cash flow is fundamental to law firm operations and profitability. Legal finance portfolio facilities provide the working capital necessary for law firms to win new clients, invest in firm growth and manage partner compensation so that litigation lawyers can work on multiyear contingency matters.

Firms that serve clients on contingency encounter two challenges. First, plaintiff-side litigators don’t get paid if the client’s case doesn’t win. Second, even when the client does prevail, the unpredictable timing of cash flow to the law firm impedes that firm’s ability to take on new business and grow. Other law firms—typically bigger, more full-service firms—are frequently unwilling or unable to take on any meaningful risk and prefer to continue to be paid using the standard billable hour model. These firms risk losing work to litigation boutiques and other firms that are willing to take contingent risk. Legal finance can help both types of firms evolve to give clients the results-based engagements they are

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Best Law Firm Types For Different Young Lawyers

Working at a law firm is a great start for young lawyers to gain experience and work their way up to a partnership. Still, this track isn’t always the best fit for every lawyer. Some lawyers will do better on their own as solo practitioners and others will be better served in small or large firms. There are several tracks available to lawyers and it’s important to understand each to make the best decision for their career.

What Is It Like to Work at a Law Firm?

There’s no simple answer to this question. The experience depends on the size and reputation of the firm, the practice area, and other factors. No matter the size of the firm, the legal industry is known for being stressful and often includes long hours that seep into a lawyer’s personal time.

The benefits of working at a law firm include getting training from more experienced lawyers, a guaranteed salary, and experts in different departments to handle specific areas of the law firm’s business like invoicing and billing. Lawyers at law firms simply get to practice law without worrying about running a business, handling their own marketing or accounting, or other hassles. That said, the experienced lawyers will have in a small law firm can vary widely, as can the experience in large firms. Some firms may seek out any case they can, while others may focus solely on class action lawsuits followed by layoffs until the next case comes around.

Mid-sized firms are a good in-between that offer less competition and more stability overall, but they can have their downsides. At the right firm, a young lawyer can learn and grow, eventually becoming a vital part of the team.

The big established law firms offer career opportunities, but they can be the most

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How aspiring lawyers can make QWE work for them

Speakers from Flex Legal, Accutrainee and Reed Smith joined a legal education expert from BARBRI to discuss how qualifying work experience is presenting a new and exciting pathway into the profession

The Solicitors Qualifying Exam (SQE) came into force on September 1, 2021. Though in its infancy, it has masses of potential for the legal profession. At Legal Check’s latest virtual event, ‘How to use QWE to qualify as a solicitor’, members from Legal FlexAccutrainee and Reed Smith joined a legal education expert from BARBRI to discuss the changes brought by qualifying work experience (QWE), and the opportunities it brings for aspiring lawyers and the wider legal profession.

The speakers

Robert DudleyVice President of Strategy & Marketing at BARBRI
Will LongFlex Legal’s Head of Client Partnerships and Flex trainee
Meera Fergusonsolicitor and Accutrainee’s Director of Operations
Rebecca SchrodGraduate Recruitment Manager at Reed Smith

1. Gain QWE at multiple firms

Aspiring lawyers can acquire their two years of QWE at up to four different organisations. And they don’t necessarily need to be law firms, with in-house teams, law clinics and unregulated providers of legal services, all now available to offer work that makes the grade. This is cause for celebration according to Meera Ferguson, solicitor and Accutrainee’s Director of Operations. At Accutrainee, which employs trainees who are then seconded out to in-house teams and law firms, “the building blocks had already been set and relationships had been built” for trainees and its client businesses and law firms, she explained.

Will Long, Flex Legal’s Head of Client Partnerships, also shared the same sentiment. Though newer in its inception and with a unique social mobility angle, Flex Legal has been able to capitalize on this shake-up by offering its Flex trainees experiences

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SKO grows via merger with Katz Korin Cunningham of Indianapolis

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Two well-respected law firms have joined as one. Kentucky and Indiana-based Stoll Keenon Ogden PLLC (“SKO”) has merged with Indianapolis-based Katz Korin Cunningham, effective July 1, 2022.

Pre-merger, SKO had 145 lawyers in offices in Louisville, Lexington and Frankfort, Kentucky and Indianapolis and Evansville, Ind. With the addition of Katz Korin Cunningham, SKO has more than 180 attorneys and approximately 130 professional staff. With this move, SKO increases its presence in Indianapolis from 7 lawyers to 45 and, in combination with its substantial and growing number of lawyers in Evansville (20), has a total of 65 Indiana-based lawyers and 118 Kentucky-based lawyers. P. Douglas Barr (Lexington/Louisville) remains as the Managing Director of SKO.

The increased presence in the Indianapolis market reflects SKO’s dedication to adding excellent legal services capabilities to serve an increasing regional client base in more than 40 practice areas in a range of industries. SKO serves hundreds of clients in its geographic footprint and represents clients in nearly every state and other countries.

“In a rapidly changing world and business environment, we believe our success has been the product of being nimble enough to anticipate and adapt to change while remaining doggedly determined to hold on to SKO’s primary values ​​– the pursuit of professional excellence and outstanding service to our clients and our communities. We are our clients’ trusted advisors and our clients’ needs have never stopped at state borders,” said Barr, managing director of the merged firm. “The abundant economic connections between Indianapolis, southwest Indiana and Kentucky have meant it has long been part of our strategic plan to grow in Indianapolis. We could not have been luckier to find a partner like Katz Korin Cunningham that shares our values ​​and goals. Katz Korin Cunningham has experienced and highly skilled attorneys who

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Successful traits for law firm profitability

A lot has happened globally over the last two years, but law firm profitability in the US has remained stable. Even as the legal needs of clients shift and evolve in this new environment, legal buyers are primed to purchase, recognizing even more than ever the value of solid legal advice. They are also emerging from the pandemic-era zeroed in on belt tightening with a new focus on value and efficiency.

Whether it was increasing compensation or providing an optimum work culture, law firms in the US kept going in the face of a global pandemic. Learn what the most profitable law firms did and what they’re doing now to remain at the top of their field as reported in the Thomson Reuters 2022 Dynamic Law Firms reports.

What is a dynamic law firm?

For the purposes of the 2022 Dynamic Law Firms report, a Dynamic firm is one that is in the top quartile of firms in metrics such as revenue per lawyer, total profit, profit margin, and profits per equity partner (PPEP). Despite the challenges presented over the last two years, Dynamic law firms grew their total profit margin and PPEP at rate as fast (and in some cases faster) than they did in 2017-2020. Static firms, on the other hand, were actively reducing the number of equity partners in the firm while increasing the number of non-equity partners.

By the end of 2021, most Static firms had grown their PPEP nearly a full percentage point faster than Dynamic firms, a statistic which would cause 60% of those firms to be reclassified as Dynamic firms. With PPEP being a key driving success factor, the main difference between Dynamic and Static law firms is how they distribute firm profits to their lawyers.

What are the most profitable law firms

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