Law Firms

High Firm Rates Lead 5 Neal Gerber Partners to Launch Boutique Practice

The chance to cut hefty overhead costs, and pass those savings onto clients, were some of the driving factors that prompted five Neal Gerber & Eisenberg partners to launch their own law firm counseling trade associations, charitable groups and other non-profits.

The group, led by Jed R. Mandel, announced the new firm today, Chicago Law Partners, reports the Chicago Tribune.

With a smaller platform and the same depth of expertise, the specialized group saw the opportunity to respond to a tough economy with fewer overhead costs and lower billing rates, which are meaningful and tangible to clients, Mandel said in an interview with the ABA Journal. Mandel also added in a statement that the boutique firm’s focused concentration will make it better able to anticipate and respond to client needs.

“It was difficult to leave as I had a good home,” he said,. “But there was a relatively small group of people at the firm that we practiced with, and we were really a boutique within a big law firm.”

Close client relationships also eased the group’s launch of the new practice.

“One of our clients, during discussions of our move, said, ‘Of course we are going with you. We don’t hire law firms; we hire lawyers,’ ” Mandel said. “Many clients never even understood we were part of a larger firm.”

Updated at 1:45 p.m. CST to include comments from Jed Mandel.

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