Business of Law

3 Ruden McClosky Partners in Miami to Form Own Firm After 20 Staff Layoffs

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Three partners in the dwindling Miami office of Ruden McClosky are leaving the firm at the end of the month to start their own law partnership, including bankruptcy and creditors’ rights practice group chair Lawrence Gordich.

An associate is also leaving, and a fourth partner has accepted an in-house counsel job but will remain of counsel to the firm, reports the Daily Business Review in an article reprinted in New York Lawyer (reg. req.). Another partner, Elliot Abbott, departed Ruden McClosky last month to join Hinshaw Culbertson.

Based in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., the 50-year-old firm cut 20 members of its support staff within the past month, managing partner Carl Schuster tells the publication, explaining that the layoffs establish a standard 3-to-1 ratio of lawyers to staff.

There are now only six lawyers in the Miami office, which at one point had as many as 30 lawyers, but Schuster says it is looking to bring in more lawyers.

Schuster describes the pending departure of the Gordich group as amicable and says it was prompted by a conflict between his many debtor clients and the firm’s many banking clients. Sources, however, say that a call for partners to personal guarantees last month when a line of credit was renewed led Gordich to feel he could do better elsewhere, the Business Review reports.

Other departures in recent months included the takeover of Ruden McClosky’s entire St. Petersburg and Sarasota, Fla., offices by Adams and Reese, as detailed in an earlier post.

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