Bingham McCutchen’s Revenue Drops: Business of Law

Bingham McCutchen LLP’s revenue dropped $110 million in 2013 to $762 million, the first decrease in 20 years.

“The restructuring and financial services practices were less busy and the corporate side was also a little soft,” Jay Zimmerman, the chairman and chief executive officer of the 800-attorney firm, said yesterday in a telephone interview. Compounding the pressure, he said, were financial-services clients who have been “very aggressive in negotiating fee arrangements.”

“The firm is rebalancing where we think our business is moving” as well as “encouraging some partners to look for other opportunities,” he said.

Bingham isn’t alone in its reversal of fortune. A survey of 180 law firms by Citi Private Bank found that 40 percent of them had a decline in revenue, even as overall revenue was up 2.5 percent in 2013.

In contrast, in 2011 Citi found that only 23 percent of the firms surveyed experienced a drop in revenue.

While some firms have seen a “bounce back” from the recession, “there were a number that had declines in demand and revenue,” Dan DiPietro, the chairman of Citi’s law firm group, said in a telephone interview.

Last year’s “positive outliers are pushing the average up” for the revenue numbers, DiPietro said

Reuters reported the Bingham results earlier.

Deals

Cravath, Debevoise, Squire Sanders on Ashland Deal

In its $1.8 billion purchase of Ashland Inc. (ASH)’s water-technologies unit, Clayton Dubilier & Rice LLC turned to outside counsel Debevoise & Plimpton LLP. Ashland relied on Cravath Swaine & Moore LLP as well as Squire Sanders LLP.

The Debevoise team is led by partners Paul S. Bird and Michael A. Diz, corporate, and includes partners David A. Brittenham, finance and corporate; Jonathan F. Lewis, executive compensation; and David H. Schnabel, tax; and counsel Brandon C. Gruner, corporate and intellectual property; and Stuart Hammer, corporate and environmental.

From Cravath are partners Susan Webster and Thomas E. Dunn, mergers and acquisitions; Stephen L. Gordon and Lauren Angelilli, tax; Eric W. Hilfers, executive compensation and benefits; and George E. Zobitz, banking.

The Squire Sanders team was led by partner Carolyn Buller, corporate, and included Carl Draucker, benefits; Janette Lucas, labor and employment; and Oliver Geiss, antitrust.

The transaction should close by Sept. 30, New York-based Clayton Dubilier said Feb. 18 in a statement.

For more on the deal, click here.

Law Firm News

Plaintiffs’ Firms Cohen Milstein, Leopold Law Announce Merger

Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC, a national plaintiffs’ firm, and Leopold Law, a regional firm based in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, are merging.

Theodore J. Leopold and Leslie M. Kroeger have been named Cohen Milstein partners. They join the firm along with Florida attorneys Wallace B. McCall, Diana L. Martin and Adam J. Langino.

Cohen Milstein and Leopold Law have worked together litigating complex cases, including a regional class-action gender discrimination complaint filed against Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT) which was dismissed last year.

“Both firms share a common commitment to providing assistance to victims of widespread and major fraud and abuse and to curbing the conduct that caused that harm,” Joseph M. Sellers, chairman of Cohen Milstein’s executive committee, said in a statement.

McDermott Will, Quarles & Brady, Shearman Make Lateral Hires

Karen Owen Gibbs has joined the Chicago office of McDermott Will & Emery LLP as a partner in the health industry advisory practice group.

Prior to joining McDermott, Gibbs was vice president and senior counsel at CVS Caremark Corp. (CVS), the largest provider of prescription drugs in the U.S.

Quarles & Brady LLP is adding Laura M. Holm as a partner in the corporate services practice group in its Naples, Florida, office. Before joining the firm, Holm was a partner at Akerman LLP.

George Borovas joined the Tokyo office of Shearman & Sterling LLP as a partner. Borovas specializes in the nuclear industry and will lead the firm’s global nuclear practice. He previously was a partner in the Tokyo office of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP, where he led international nuclear projects efforts.

Quinn Emanuel Brussels Office Is Its Seventh in Europe

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP announced the opening of an office in Brussels. The new office is the firm’s seventh in Europe.

According to a statement from the firm, the Brussels office will focus on European Union and member-state competition litigation and investigations. Nadine Herrmann, head of Quinn Emanuel’s European competition practice, will be managing partner of the Brussels office and will divide her time between the Hamburg and Brussels offices.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ellen Rosen in New York at erosen14@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net.

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