Chicago’s 75-attorney Levenfeld Pearlstein dismissed two associates and one partner this month, citing difficult economic conditions, but hired four new lawyers in other practice areas.
The firm hired two new partners and an associate in its litigation group, plus another partner in its corporate practice group. The partners who were hired are Michael J. Kelly, who focuses on construction litigation; Laura Friedel, an employment litigator; and David Solomon, who focuses on transactional and finance work. The associate who was hired is Lisa Vandesteeg.
Levenfeld Pearlstein won’t raise billing rates for clients this year, because corporate legal departments are under pressure to reduce costs. In the past, the firm typically boosted rates by 7.5% annually.
Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg and Wildman, Harrold, Allen & Dixon, two other Chicago law firms with about 200 lawyers each, are also cutting a handful of attorneys as a result of annual performance reviews. Wildman eliminated 10 lawyer positions, and Neal Gerber cut fewer than ten.