Law Firms

Weil Gotshal Grows Nearly 24% in DC, While Most NY Firms Lose DC Lawyers

Updated: Eleven out of 19 New York law firms had smaller lawyer rosters in their Washington, D.C., offices for the year ending in April 2009, according to a survey of the District’s top 150 law firms.

One law firm was a notable exception, the Legal Times 150 survey found. The D.C. office of New York-based Weil, Gotshal & Manges grew by 16 lawyers, an increase of 23.9 percent, the National Law Journal reports. Weil’s D.C. managing partner Michael Lyle told the NLJ his firm done well because of a combination of three practices, in corporate, litigation and bankruptcy work.

“When our corporate practice takes a hit, our bankruptcy practice kicks in and allows us to compensate,” Lyle said. The firm has advised Lehman Brothers, General Motors Corp. and Washington Mutual Inc.

The story says the New York law firms with the biggest decreases in their D.C. offices are Chadbourne & Parke, down 16.1 percent; Kaye Scholer, down 13.3 percent; Epstein Becker & Green, down 13 percent; Kelley Drye & Warren, down 10.1 percent; and White & Case, down 9.1 percent.

Kaye Scholer, however, says the numbers are incorrect. Peter Columbus, head of business development for the law firm, told the ABA Journal that the overall number of lawyers in its D.C. office remained exactly the same. In April 2008, the firm had 14 partners, seven counsel and 20 associates in D.C. In April 2009, the firm had 12 partners, six counsel and 23 associates.

Updated at 10:08 a.m. on Oct. 27 to include the Kaye Scholer statement.

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