Business of Law

Bingham reveals $110M revenue drop in 2013; firm is 'by no means an exception'

Revenues dropped by $110 million last year at Bingham McCutchen, a decline of 12.8 percent.

Bingham chairman Jay Zimmerman revealed the numbers before their release by the American Lawyer. In an interview with Reuters Legal (sub. req.), he said Bingham had its most challenging financial year in two decades because of changing conditions and settlements in large cases.

Bingham has lost business in areas that were profitable in the wake of the recession, including restructuring and securities litigation, the story says. Zimmerman also noted settlements in bank cases and litigation over the BP oil spill.

The firm has also been hit by partner defections, including an 11-partner securities enforcement group in 2011 and at least five co-chairs of other practices. Zimmerman told Reuters Legal he was disappointed by some of the departures but partner movement is more prevalent today. More departures are expected, he said, as the firm is “actively managing its business.” Some partners had been asked to leave the firm, a Bingham spokeswoman said.

As of last Friday, the American Lawyer had published financial figures for 13 law firms; none had a revenue drop as high as Bingham’s. But Bingham is “by no means an exception,” Reuters Legal says. “Over the last two years,” the story says, “firms such as Patton Boggs; Weil, Gotshal & Manges; and Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson have been similarly affected.”

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