The PA Law 100


Top 100 Law Firms in Pennsylvania

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 89 of 113

Managing Partners Survey (continued from page 85) raising any concerns. In 2011, 25.8 percent of respondents said clients paid without much hassle, whereas only 13.8 percent said the same this year. Rather, 86.7 percent of firms said this year that their clients sometimes asked for reductions. And despite the continuous talk of alterna- tive fee arrangements, it appears clients at nearly 52 percent of firms still prefer hourly billing. When clients do agree to AFAs, they are open to a wider range of fee structures. Last year, 84 percent of respondents said cli- ents preferred paying a flat fee for AFA-based projects. Now clients are also more open to task-based billing and projects done on a fixed fee along with an outcome-based bonus. OTHER SURVEY TAKEAWAYS When asked what practice areas had the most potential for growth in the coming year, 54.8 percent of respondents said intellectual prop- erty — a huge jump from the 29 percent who said the same in 2011. Commercial litigation was also a hot practice area, respondents said. Once again, real estate was the most cited practice area for potential decreases in growth. Fewer firms had fully funded pension plans this year. In 2011, 68 percent of firms had fully funded plans for attorneys, whereas this year that number fell to 53.3 percent. Several firms have partially funded plans and a nearly equal number pay pensions out of current cash flow. The percentage of firms with mandatory retirement policies rose from 25.8 percent to 41.9 percent. The number of firms with leadership suc- cession plans in place — an issue consul- tants have told The Legal firms are struggling with — has fallen from 55.2 percent to 51.6 percent. More firms are providing leadership and business development training for lawyers. Firms that were able to meet the American Bar Association's recommendation of 50 pro bono hours a year per attorney rose in 2012 to 40 percent from 26.7 percent last year. Each year we ask managing partners whether they find their jobs more or less en- joyable than 10 years ago. In 2011, 35.5 per- cent said the job was less enjoyable, while 40.6 percent said so this year. Half of the re- spondents find the job equally as enjoyable as it was 10 years ago. ABOUT THE RESPONDENTS The Managing Partners Survey is sent out to leaders of the 100 largest law firms in Penn- sylvania and some that are close to being on the list. We had 33 respondents this year, with 43.3 percent at firms with more than 125 lawyers. The remaining respondents were fairly evenly split between firms of 11-25 lawyers, 26-50 lawyers, 51-80 lawyers and 81-125 lawyers. A little more than 55 percent of respon- dents were at Philadelphia-based firms and 20.7 percent were in Pittsburgh. More than 70 percent of respondents considered them- selves full-service firms, 20.7 percent were at firms with limited practice areas and nearly 7 percent were boutiques. 86 | PaLaw 2012

Articles in this issue

view archives of The PA Law 100 - 2012