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Business of Law

Midsize firms are getting a bigger share of high-revenue work, study shows

Posted Oct 22, 2013 7:26 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Midsize law firms are taking on a bigger share of high-revenue-producing litigation, according to an analysis of $10 billion in legal fees.

The study by CounselLink found that midsize law firms have increased their share of big-ticket litigation from 22 percent to 41 percent over the last three years, the Wall Street Journal (sub. req.) reports. The shift “spotlights how clients' relentless hunt for savings continues to upend a profession in which marquee firms have long dominated lucrative corporate work,” the story says.

Firms with 201-500 lawyers were classified as midsize, while big ticket litigation was work that generates more than $1 million in legal bills.

Firms with more than 750 lawyers, meanwhile, saw their share of overall billings drop from 26 percent to 20 percent during the same time period. Midsize firms increased their overall market share from 18 percent to 22 percent.

BigLaw firms are still getting hired to handle the most important and complex matters for corporations, the story says. Many of the largest law firms are still the most profitable. The losers will be the large firms that don’t migrate to high-rate work, Chicago-based legal consultant Kent Zimmerman told the Wall Street Journal.

More information is available in this press release.

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