Business of Law

Patton Boggs to cut equity partner roster from 98 to 80; firm's income soared after earlier layoffs

Two rounds of layoffs this year in which Patton Boggs has let go 40 attorneys and 70 staff members have left the Washington, D.C.-based lobbying powerhouse on-budget and poised for growth and a strong financial performance, a leader says.

But although recent layoffs of 10 lawyers and 35 staffers represented “the last piece of the restructuring initiatives,” there are still a few more changes looming for the 450-attorney firm, managing partner Ed Newberry tells the Washington Post.

Among them: Patton Boggs, which has 98 equity partners and 119 non-equity partners, plans to reduce its equity-partner roster to about 80 by the end of the year. And starting in 2015, the law firm will be operated with a more corporation-like management structure, including a new compensation committee to set partner pay. The Post article doesn’t explain exactly how Patton Boggs plans to trim its equity-partner ranks.

Meanwhile, the firm’s financial performance has been on the upswing since declining revenue in 2012 prompted the layoff of 30 lawyers and 35 staff members at the end of February, Newberry tells the newspaper. Over the past two months, Patton Boggs has hired 10 new partners and 18 associates and, after bringing in average monthly net income of $1.7 million during the first five months of the year, the firm has seen that figure shoot up to $5.1 million for the next four months and rise to $11 million in October.

As previously reported, Patton Boggs is currently mulling a possible merger with Texas-based Locke Lord. Newberry said his firm is also currently in the due diligence phase of a possible merger with a smaller New York-based law firm that he did not identity, the Post reports.

See also: (Feb. 2009): “Patton Boggs Changes Partner Compensation to Reward Cooperation” (Aug. 2013): “Patton Boggs tells idle partners to shape up or ship out, WSJ reports”

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