best firm growth for the future?

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best firm growth for the future?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Dec 07, 2017 5:22 pm

Hi, what firm do you think is best positioned for the next 10 years based on previous growth etc? Some say Kirkland just based on huge growth last year? What do people think

jhett

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Re: best firm growth for the future?

Postby jhett » Thu Dec 07, 2017 5:27 pm

Hold on, let me invent that time machine and I'll get back to you.

Seriously, no answer anyone can give will be accurate beyond 1-2 years. There's just too many variables involved.

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Johann

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Re: best firm growth for the future?

Postby Johann » Thu Dec 07, 2017 5:55 pm

outside the mega firms, there is probably some debate. but i dont think theres any debate the mega-firms at a general level will continue separating from the pack -- Kirkland, Latham, Skadden, should continue crushing. The other top NY based firms will always be steady since its the legal capitol of the world.

lit boutiques, IP boutiques, and other non-powerhouses are anyone's best guess and will be dependent on where the legal market heads and whcih firms have the right groups/partners.

DougEvans789

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Re: best firm growth for the future?

Postby DougEvans789 » Thu Dec 07, 2017 5:58 pm

Out of curiosity, why would it be a good thing to work at the firm with the most aggressive growth? That doesn't seem obvious to me.

ghostoftraynor

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Re: best firm growth for the future?

Postby ghostoftraynor » Fri Dec 08, 2017 2:45 am

Lol I like how in the law people shit on firms for gaining market share as "aggressive growth." Neither Latham or Kirkland are rapidly spreading their footprint--just gaining a greater share of work. Hard to see how that is a negative.

It's amazing how much "old money" sensibilities pervade in big law.

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notDINGBAT

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Re: best firm growth for the future?

Postby notDINGBAT » Fri Dec 08, 2017 12:55 pm

That's a really bad question. At one point, Dewey was the fastest growing firm

The better question is how stable is a firm, and how is it growing.
If a firm is growing too aggressively, there's a risk they can't handle it.
If growth is coming from poaching partners, those partners could leave at a moment's notice

If a firm is growing organically and slowly, turning associates into partners rather than adding outside partners, that's far better

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nealric

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Re: best firm growth for the future?

Postby nealric » Fri Dec 08, 2017 1:54 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Hi, what firm do you think is best positioned for the next 10 years based on previous growth etc? Some say Kirkland just based on huge growth last year? What do people think


Your odds of doing this are a going to be about as successful as choosing the next hot stock. Actually worse, because at least public companies have to publish audited financials.

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rpupkin

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Re: best firm growth for the future?

Postby rpupkin » Fri Dec 08, 2017 2:16 pm

ghostoftraynor wrote:Lol I like how in the law people shit on firms for gaining market share as "aggressive growth." Neither Latham or Kirkland are rapidly spreading their footprint--just gaining a greater share of work.

They're both adding attorneys, as you would expect. What do you mean by "footprint"?

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Lincoln

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Re: best firm growth for the future?

Postby Lincoln » Fri Dec 08, 2017 2:37 pm

notDINGBAT wrote:That's a really bad question. At one point, Dewey was the fastest growing firm

The better question is how stable is a firm, and how is it growing.
If a firm is growing too aggressively, there's a risk they can't handle it.
If growth is coming from poaching partners, those partners could leave at a moment's notice


If a firm is growing organically and slowly, turning associates into partners rather than adding outside partners, that's far better


The bolded is especially true if the growth is built on giving lateral partners distribution guarantees. That's often what is happening when rainmakers leave pure lockstep firms.

When times are tough, the non-lockstep firm has to take from other partners to satisfy the guarantees promised to new laterals. Those other partners then feel (rightly) they are not getting their fair share, and leave (to the extent they have a book of business) for somewhere where they will. And all of sudden, Dewey.

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notDINGBAT

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Re: best firm growth for the future?

Postby notDINGBAT » Fri Dec 08, 2017 2:45 pm

Lincoln wrote:
notDINGBAT wrote:That's a really bad question. At one point, Dewey was the fastest growing firm

The better question is how stable is a firm, and how is it growing.
If a firm is growing too aggressively, there's a risk they can't handle it.
If growth is coming from poaching partners, those partners could leave at a moment's notice


If a firm is growing organically and slowly, turning associates into partners rather than adding outside partners, that's far better


The bolded is especially true if the growth is built on giving lateral partners distribution guarantees. That's often what is happening when rainmakers leave pure lockstep firms.

When times are tough, the non-lockstep firm has to take from other partners to satisfy the guarantees promised to new laterals. Those other partners then feel (rightly) they are not getting their fair share, and leave (to the extent they have a book of business) for somewhere where they will. And all of sudden, Dewey.

a lot of firms provide some king of origination bonus beyond lock-step, which is reasonable. But the guaranteed distributions are a huge problem.
Mergers are also interesting - some firm mergers are great, others are a disaster. It really depends on the synergies and competing interests

lolwat

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Re: best firm growth for the future?

Postby lolwat » Fri Dec 08, 2017 4:56 pm

That's a really bad question. At one point, Dewey was the fastest growing firm

The better question is how stable is a firm, and how is it growing.
If a firm is growing too aggressively, there's a risk they can't handle it.
If growth is coming from poaching partners, those partners could leave at a moment's notice

If a firm is growing organically and slowly, turning associates into partners rather than adding outside partners, that's far better


Generally agree with all of this.

charliekelly33

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Re: best firm growth for the future?

Postby charliekelly33 » Fri Dec 08, 2017 5:09 pm

lolwat wrote:
That's a really bad question. At one point, Dewey was the fastest growing firm

The better question is how stable is a firm, and how is it growing.
If a firm is growing too aggressively, there's a risk they can't handle it.
If growth is coming from poaching partners, those partners could leave at a moment's notice

If a firm is growing organically and slowly, turning associates into partners rather than adding outside partners, that's far better


Generally agree with all of this.


To be fair though, OP's question was broad -- best positioned firm based on prior growth. The question was not: who's the fastest grower and that's a good thing full stop. Obviously, Dewey-style growth is a bad thing, but Kirkland/Latham growth numbers are not dangerous just because they're big. Nobody on this thread really has the information to argue that their growth is not sustainable/healthy.

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Desert Fox

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Re: best firm growth for the future?

Postby Desert Fox » Fri Dec 08, 2017 5:18 pm

A partner I worked with lateraled to a new firm last year. I dunno how. He had literally no book of business, just scamming work off firm clients. He brought over one case from a firm client that settled in two months. And then literally hasn't gotten a case in 18 months. I hope that firm didn't prepay him for that shit lol.

One of the associates who went with has billed 200 hours in 18 months. lulz.
Last edited by Desert Fox on Fri Jan 26, 2018 11:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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notDINGBAT

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Re: best firm growth for the future?

Postby notDINGBAT » Sat Dec 09, 2017 6:32 pm

Desert Fox wrote:A partner I worked with lateraled to a new firm last year. I dunno how. He had literally no book of business, just scamming work off firm clients. He brought over one case from a firm client that settled in two months. And then literally hasn't gotten a case in 18 months. I hope that firm didn't prepay him for that shit lol.

One of the associates who went with has billed 200 hours in 18 months. lulz.

I hope that associate bails before s/he gets shitcanned

lolwat

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Re: best firm growth for the future?

Postby lolwat » Sun Dec 10, 2017 4:56 pm

charliekelly33 wrote:
lolwat wrote:
That's a really bad question. At one point, Dewey was the fastest growing firm

The better question is how stable is a firm, and how is it growing.
If a firm is growing too aggressively, there's a risk they can't handle it.
If growth is coming from poaching partners, those partners could leave at a moment's notice

If a firm is growing organically and slowly, turning associates into partners rather than adding outside partners, that's far better


Generally agree with all of this.


To be fair though, OP's question was broad -- best positioned firm based on prior growth. The question was not: who's the fastest grower and that's a good thing full stop. Obviously, Dewey-style growth is a bad thing, but Kirkland/Latham growth numbers are not dangerous just because they're big. Nobody on this thread really has the information to argue that their growth is not sustainable/healthy.


Yeah. I get it. I just think it's the wrong thing to ask, unless the OP is trying to decide between a few firms that had huge growth or something.



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