Despite the enormous market uncertainty ahead, we are hopeful that our Congress will agree on a budget in the nick of time and our economy will be spared free-fall and the consequent unfathomable market casualties. On the flip side, if the storm is even nearly as dramatic as many fear, our strongest, most agile and best managed firms will enjoy a lateral feeding frenzy the likes of which the legal market has never before witnessed.
No matter how severe or not 2013 turns out to be, we promise to stay by your side offering our assessments and advice as we have done continuously since our founding in 2000 and during each and every market cataclysm we've encountered along the way.
May good karma be with us in 2013 and our market gods gentle. With that, please accept our warmest wishes for a happy, healthy and prosperous 2013!
When Dewey Ballantine and LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene &
MacRae decided in 2007 to join forces to become Dewey & LeBoeuf, mortgage backed securities were still the rage, business was booming and few appreciated the intensity of the storm on the horizon. A mere one year later however, Dewey & LeBoeuf as well as every other major law firm had seen virtually all of its structured finance work disappear and some of those firms were soon to be history.
Thankfully, the tsunami that claimed so many BigLaw casualties in 2009 and 2010 is increasingly a distant memory as the waters of 2011 have remained relatively tranquil. We are certainly not only leaner and more efficient but also more circumspect as we venture further into the heart of 2011, major American and British firms focusing more of their attention outward and exploring opportunities especially in the emerging foreign markets of the so-called BRIC countries - namely Brazil, Russia, India and China. Francis B. Burch, Jr., global chairman of DLA Piper explained: "If you look at where the large multinationals and the most attractive emerging technology companies are generating their revenue and their net income and where they expect to see the most growth, it's in the BRIC countries."
As predicted, our law firms are now by and large leaner, meaner, and more competitive and also more focused on creating healthy, fair and diverse workplaces flexible enough to meet the needs of increasingly empowered personnel and clients alike. Layoffs are no longer the issue of the day and firms are taking advantage of the best buyer's market in years to plug holes in practice capacity and acquire rare talent. Moreover, firms are continuing to branch out into emerging markets recognized as necessary hedges to the traditional bread and butter major-market corporate work that has sustained BigLaw for decades.
With 2009 -- the most tumltuous year in the history of major law firms since the Great Depression -- now a full quarter behind us, we are poised to assess the extent to which the myriad changes then implemented in the universe of BigLaw seem to have taken root, and prognosticate a bit as to what we are likely to see in the three quarters to come.