Law Firms

9-Lawyer Team Departs Becker Firm, Citing 'Mismanagement'

A nine-lawyer team has defected from the West Palm Beach office of Florida’s Becker & Poliakoff, citing mismanagement, and has opened a new office there for another law firm.

Commercial litigator Dan Rosenbaum, who led the group from the 115-attorney firm known for its real estate work to Katzman Garfinkel, says that his now-former firm has suffered more from “mismanagement” than the bad economy, reports the Daily Business Review, in an article reprinted by New York Lawyer (reg. req.).

He cited Becker firm decisions to open a new office in the Bahamas and an “overbudgeted” marketing department, the Daily Business Review reports.

Managing shareholder Alan Becker of Becker & Poliakoff says a 12 percent pay deferral he imposed on shareholders in May to compensate for slow-paying clients has been successful and was recently lifted. Shareholders are again receiving full pay, which included a 16 percent increase this year, so overall they are still ahead despite the holdback, he says.

The Katzman firm is based in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and has about 35 attorneys, not counting the new team from Becker & Poliakoff. The nine lawyers reportedly comprised most of the Becker firm’s litigation group in West Palm Beach.

Becker says his firm doesn’t plan to replace the nine attorneys immediately, but will shift lawyers to West Palm Beach from other offices to make sure clients are properly serviced.

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