Is the Practice of Law Big Business?

Big Law Firms Try New Idea: The True CEO New Style of Leader Focuses On Managing Business — Leaving Others to Log Billable Hours

By NATHAN KOPPEL
January 22, 2007

Do big law firms need full-time managers at the helm?

The question arises following the recent breakdown of merger talks between Dewey Ballantine LLP and Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP. The proposed marriage failed for many reasons, but their contrasting leadership styles were one factor.

Dewey, a 526-lawyer firm based in New York, follows law-firm tradition with a chairman who is an active, and successful, practicing lawyer. Morton Pierce last year spent 3,300 hours on billable work for clients — or about 12.6 hours, on average, every weekday. That left relatively little time for management and administrative issues. “Management is not my passion,” he said in a recent interview.

For full article see Wall Street Online Journal


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