Archive for March 2007

Midsized and Small Firm Marketing Successes… We Know You Are Out There

March 13, 2007

Recently, I wrote an article about midsized and small firms’ marketing plans – or lack thereof. The consensus I reported was the general lack of a strategic plan, despite most firms doing activities they consider marketing.

The reasons were numerous: caution on the part of firms to do anything new; undefined firm identity; temptation to copy other firms; the list goes on.

I stand behind what my sources told me, but to be honest, I was disappointed by what I heard. I talk to midsized and small firms all the time who have dynamic, capable attorneys, and I know many firms are trying new marketing techniques.

And I’m betting there were a number of small and midsized firm attorneys who read my article and disagreed with the implication that their marketing isn’t strategic. To every trend there is an exception (or many exceptions) and I want to hear from you.

If your firm has a marketing technique that has yielded clear results, please contact me. I can be reached at 215.557.2493 or slovett@alm.com.

–Stephanie Lovett, Staff Reporter 

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My Lowly Case

March 12, 2007

I’ve been given almost free reign to talk to TLI blog readers about what I’ve been hearing and thinking about and the first topic that comes to mind is… none other than capitalization.

Every day my job is made easier by the wonderful attorneys, marketing professionals and public relations practitioners who send me press releases outlining the latest legal happenings. I’m not one of those reporters who takes a look at the first line and throws it out, or who gets angry when after five pages the fax machine is still humming. I have to admit I actually appreciate longer releases with plenty of background information and fun statistics. What I have found somewhat troublesome  – – and I’m fairly certain I’m not alone in this here ––  is the use of capitalization. It Seems That Law Firms Love To Capitalize. 

While I am far from a grammarian ––  thank goodness for copy editors ––  I’m fairly certain that in the world of proper nouns practice areas, executive committees and certainly the words “law” and “firm” are not, on their own, worthy of the not-so-elusive capital letter.

If firms are hoping that reporters will cut and paste portions of press releases for direct use… placing as many capital letters as possible will not help accomplish this goal. Reporters just get aggravated when we constantly have to use the left arrow, delete, shift combo to replace the capital. This post certainly is not meant to offend, although I fear I will now find words like “joined” and “lawyer” looking more like Joined and Lawyer as punishment for my petty complaints. Oh well. If You Can’t Beat ‘Em…

~Gina Passarella, Staff Reporter

Schnader Chairman Re-elected to Another Term

March 6, 2007

Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis Chairman Ralph G. Wellington was unanimously re-elected by the firm’s partnership for another three-year term. He has already served in the role for 9 years.

Wellington said he views part of his responsibility to be succession planning and will probably be ready to hand over his role by the end of this term.

For the next three years, Wellington said he wants to continue to grow the firm’s offices incrementally and would “quite likely” be opening an office in a new market.

The firm, he said, learned its lesson from its failed merger with Boston firm Goldstein & Manello in 2000 and would be open to another merger attempt.

He said a firm of his size can’t be in this business and not look to grow.

Overall, Wellington said he wants to ensure that Schnader Harrison continues as a “successful, first-class law firm.”

-Gina Passarella, Staff Reporter

Reed Smith Makes Chicago Merger Official

March 2, 2007

The merger between Reed Smith and Chicago-based Sachnoff & Weaver went into effect March 1. With the addition of Sachnoff & Weaver’s 130 Chicago lawyers, Reed Smith now has more than 1,500 lawyers firmwide and is projecting annual revenues of approximately $900 million.

 

In Chicago, the firm will operate as Reed Smith Sachnoff & Weaver for a period of time.

 

This combination follows the Jan. 1 completion of Reed Smith’s Merger with London-based Richards Butler.

 

“We are delighted to have a significant presence in the Midwest, where many of our existing clients are headquartered or conduct business,” Gregory B. Jordan, Reed Smith’s firmwide managing partner, said. “We are confident that our presence in Chicago will be a major benefit for many clients.”

 

Several Sachnoff & Weaver partners were named to firmwide Leadership roles in Reed Smith. These include Sarah R. Wolff, head of the firmwide securities litigation and enforcement group; Stewart Dolin, new co-leader of the corporate and securities practice with John M. Iino in the firm’s Los Angeles market; Jonathan S. Quinn, head of the new Midwest commercial litigation group; Jeffrey L. London, co-chairman of the benefits practice and David C. Fuechtman, co-chairman of the wealth planning practice, both of the tax, benefits and wealth planning group.In addition, Austin L. Hirsch, Carolyn H. Rosenberg and Mark A. Brand are new members of the Reed Smith executive committee.

 

The integration effort is headed by Hirsch, Sachnoff & Weaver’s former CEO, and Eugene Tillman, director of legal personnel and a partner in Reed Smith’s Washington, D.C. office.

 

W. Thomas McGough Jr., former head of the Reed Smith’s litigation department, relocated to Chicago from Pittsburgh for at least a year to help facilitate the combination.

— Gina Passarella, Staff Reporter

DLA Piper Picked to Represent Linde Group

March 1, 2007

The Linde Group, an international gas and engineering company, has chosen DLA Piper as its main legal provider for global work with the exception of strategic corporate matters.

The company had used 150 outside law firms after a September 2006 merger with the BOC Group and has since whittled that number down to five.

After a four-month review process, Chief Legal Officer Nick Deeming selected two European firms, two U.S. firms and DLA Piper to manage global issues. Linklaters will advise on all corporate issues outside of the United States, and German firm Hengeler Muller will act as an adviser on company legal issues. Simpson Thacher will advise the company on U.S. strategic corporate work and Shearman & Sterling will handle the company’s antitrust matters.

DLA Piper will handle more of the day-to-day issues that arise in just about any jurisdiction. The firm said its work represents about 80 percent of Linde’s legal needs.

— Gina Passarella, Staff Reporter