One of our sessions during the ILN’s 2010 Regional Meeting of the Americas in Houston focused on the always popular topic of law firm management. The panel was moderated by our Chairman, Peter Altieri of Epstein Becker & Green in New York. On the panel were Steve Arthur of Harrison & Moberly in Indianapolis, Indiana, Carlos Rodriguez-Vidal of Goldman Antonetti & Cordova in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Doug Winthrop of Howard Rice in San Francisco, California, Bill O’Neill from McDonald Hopkins in Cleveland, Ohio and Anders Lundberg from Hellstrom in Stockholm, Sweden.
Altieri began by saying that one of the challenges in the current economy for firms is creating demand. In the past, they had much more pipeline work than there is now, in part because clients are trying to do more in-house. He added that even the big firms are coming in and being price-competitive, and asked the panelists to comment on this.
Winthrop said that his firm has been seeing a tremendous rebound in the litigation sector of the firm, which has them quite busy. Now, they’re facing the issue of whether to hire more attorneys on the litigation side, or ask the business lawyers to chip in. He said they’re concerned that they’ll find themselves with overcapacity, so they’ve addressed the issue by doing both.