Law Firms

Patton Boggs tells idle partners to shape up or ship out, WSJ reports

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As many U.S. law firms struggle to find their footing in the post-recession era marked by seismic change, Washington, D.C.-based Patton Boggs has drawn up a new game plan.

It’s one that includes trimming less productive partners, reworking compensation plans, and refocusing the firm’s growth on practices that support its core strength of government expertise, the Wall Street Journal reports (sub. req.) this week in a profile of the firm.

“We don’t have unlimited resources,” Patton Boggs managing partner Edward Newberry told the WSJ in a recent interview. “It is a period of significant change for the firm. That requires some hard decisions.”

More than 20 partners left the firm this summer, following the layoff of 65 lawyers and staff earlier this year, the WSJ reports. Now at 100 equity partners, the lobbying powerhouse hopes to reverse its 2012 revenue decline, which the firm attributed to collection issues, the WSJ reports. A quick settlement of a World Trade Center case and two other matters also impacted projected revenue.

Newberry became the firm’s first full-time managing partner in 2011. He, along with other key partners, are focused on improving client service and offering alternative billing arrangements, according to the WSJ.

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