K&L Gates Partners Dropping Like Flies
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K&L Gates Dallas office

Summary: Law firm K&L Gates LLP has lost over 100 partners this year to other firms with the Texas offices being hit the hardest.

For some reason no one wants to work for K&L Gates anymore. The Texas area lawyers blame a Dallas merger for some of the frustration with the firm but one wonders what is going to make so many leave. Around 24 have left since January in Texas to join firms like McDermott Will & Emery LLP, Holland & Knight LLP, Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP, and more.


In 2008, the Dallas office had around 150 lawyers after they acquired the smaller firm of Hughes & Luce’s Dallas office. Now they have 57 lawyers. One recent departee described it as “I don’t think the sky is falling in Texas for K&L but it’s definitely cracked.” Many of the former Hughes & Luce partners miss the small, more personable firm environment they once had.

The most recent departure was of employment litigator Ann Marie Arcadi to Morgan Lewis. Since the recession, Chairman Peter Kalis has employed a top-down style of management that many don’t appreciate, especially in Texas.

For other law firms, Texas has been a place of booming growth, stealing some of K&L Gates partners. K&L Gates has seen a mostly flat growth in the state, even reporting a 1.2 percent fall in gross revenue. Kalis sent out a memo addressing the head count, stating that the firm was only 2 percent down from the year’s business plan.

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