Law Firms Beef Up For Bankruptcy Work, the Hottest Growth Area
Posted Mar 31, 2008 5:55 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss
A new survey has found that lawyers expect bankruptcy to be the hottest growth area for law firms this year. That’s no secret to law firm managers who are already beefing up bankruptcy practices.
One out of four lawyers surveyed said the fastest area of growth would be in bankruptcy work, exceeding the number who designated corporate governance and litigation as the sectors most likely to see increases, the Wall Street Journal reports (sub. req). More than 300 lawyers from large law firms responded to the survey by Robert Half Legal.
Managers at two law firms told the newspaper they are already adding more lawyers to their bankruptcy and restructuring departments.
Gregory Milmoe, the co-leader of the corporate restructuring department at Skadden, Arps, Slate Meagher & Flom in New York City, said demand for bankruptcy services at his firm has “emphatically increased.” His group has increased by 17 lawyers and he expects three more will be added over the next two months. In January and February, the department billed 45 percent more hours than the same period last year.
Marshall Huebner, who co-chairs the bankruptcy group at Davis Polk & Wardwell, said his lawyers are “extremely busy.” The firm cross-trains lawyers and has moved 15 of them from banking and litigation work over to the bankruptcy department.
The survey results are good news for lawyers with three to five years of experience in bankruptcy practice who want to move to a new job, said Charles Volkert, executive director of Robert Half Legal.
"Hands-on experience really matters,” he told the Wall Street Journal. “Legal professionals who are able to demonstrate a proven track record in that area are in demand."