Significant Changes Reported in Attorney Head Count at Major Firms
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Recent numbers show major changes within some of the country’s biggest law firms when it comes to head count.

Summary: Recent numbers show major changes within some of the country’s biggest law firms when it comes to head count.

According to the American Lawyer, the publication compiled data on the number of attorneys at some of the country’s most prominent law firms. Attorney numbers were studied from January 1 through June 10 of 2015, and the most significant percentage changes were reported.


As for the largest negative percent change in lawyers, McKenna Long & Aldridge was down by 29.2 percent. The firm plans to merge with Dentons .

Read about the merger here.

Irell & Manella, down by 22.8 percent, suffered a blow when a 30-lawyer team, roughly 25 percent of the firm’s head count, departed to form Hueston Hennigan.

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Dickstein Shapiro is down by 13.3 percent. The firm has also suffered some negative press due to the criminal indictment of the former co-head of the firm’s public policy group.

Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman, down by 31.1 percent, was forced to implement layoffs earlier this year.

Cahill Gordon & Reindel saw noteworthy attrition from its associate attorneys, and is down by 12.5 percent.

Stevens & Lee’s  headcount has declined by 11.2 percent. In April, 16 lawyers left the firm to form Saxton & Stump.

Herrick, Feinstein is down by 11 percent. A group of seven attorneys left the firm in January.

Ellen Shapiro joined the firm’s New York office in February.

Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft reports that its head count is reduced by 10.2 percent. However, the firm hopes to turn its numbers around, and recently hired a young partner to create an activist practice.

Kenyon & Kenyon is down by 9.4 percent. Some of its attorneys have left for the firm’s rivals.

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Sedgwick’s headcount has dropped by 9.1 percent. It reported losing 12 percent of its attorneys in just a year.

As for positive percent changes, Cozen O’Connor reports that its headcount is up by 7.1 percent. It recently merged with Meckler Bulger Tilson Marick & Pearson, which added 58 attorneys.

Gordon Rees Scully Mansukhani is up 7 percentage points, and added two name partners last year.

Dinsmore & Shohl reports that its headcount has risen by 6.6 percentage points. It absorbed Huddleston Bolen, a 40-attorney law firm, earlier this year.

Foley Hoag reports an increase of 6.4 percent. Last month, it announced it plans to open a New York office.

Martha Coakley recently joined the firm.

Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy added three partners and many associates earlier this year, and is up by 6.4 percent.

Greenspoon Marder reports an increase of 6.3 percent and made the Second Hundred list for the first time this year.

Honigman Miller Schwartz & Cohn, up by 6.1 percent, recently expanded its practice into Chicago.

Smith, Gambrell & Russell made several acquisitions, and increased its headcount by 6.1 percent.

Lewis, Brisbois, Bisgaard & Smith increased by 5.1 percent, and just opened an office in Wichita.

Source: American Lawyer

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