Wednesday, January 31, 2007
Peter Lattman at the Wall Street Journal's Law Blog is the latest blogger to weigh in on the demise of Trusts & Estates as a big-firm practice area:
With profitability a top priority at Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal, one practice group is under the microscope: trusts and estates. Four T&E partners at Sonnenschein in recent weeks have either left or announced plans to leave the 660-lawyer firm. ...
The departures come at a time when Elliott Portnoy, the firm’s 41-year-old chairman-elect, has said he is bent on taking a hard look at the economics of Sonnenschein’s various departments. T&E may be vulnerable because it is a low “leverage” practice — fewer junior lawyers generally are needed, say, to draft a will than to complete a merger agreement.
Robert Cockren, the new chair of Sonnenschein’s T&E practice, says the firm remains committed to T&E and still has about 28 lawyers in the practice across seven offices. But he acknowledges that it is “difficult for T&E practices to meet the same sort of” profitability and productivity targets that other practice groups may achieve.
Other blogosphere commentary:
- Death & Taxes Blog: Sonnenschein and the Demise of Big Firm Estate Planning Groups
- Trusts and Wealth Management Marketing: Is Estate Planning Becoming a Niche Specialty?