More Law Firm Implosions to Come


The prospect of more law firms imploding is a scary one for both partners and law job seekers, but according to the law firm consultant Bruce MacEwen, who also blogs at AdamSmithEsq.com, there will be more implosions among the Big Law category firms: and some of the names will be brand name firms.

MacEwen’s prediction refers to the collapse of Dewey & LeBeouf, which MacEwen said was doing nothing more or less than what other firms are doing – they just did them to an extreme, he said.

Dewey & LeBeouf, which dissolved in 2012, saw its bankruptcy plan approved by a Manhattan U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge recently and it is the largest U.S. law firm ever to go out of business, with more than 1,400 lawyers on its staff at its peak.

Meanwhile with layoffs and other downsizing continuing among many of the major firms, the law fraternity is becoming increasingly uneasy.  While many large firms have expanded internationally, to Asia, the Mid-East, Europe and Eastern Europe, the competitive nature of the legal world, rising cost structures, fee limitations and competition from new forms of legal service delivery are all contributing to tightening margins.