HK – Sonberg discount fees

In HK on December 27, 2008 at 9:25 pm

Holland & Knight Tries Success Fees, Considers Ousting Unproductive Partners

Posted Jul 16, 2008, 09:44 am CST
Debra Cassens Weiss

The new managing partner of Holland & Knight is making some changes. Some clients may be pleased but unproductive partners may not.

The firm’s new managing partner, Steven Sonberg, says his primary goal is keeping the law firm on sound financial footing, the National Law Journal reports. Toward that end, he oversaw the layoffs of 70 legal secretaries and support staffers who “frankly … weren't very productive," he told the newspaper.

Now the firm is responding to client demands for lower fees and increasingly accessible partners with a couple initiatives, the article says.

The first: Holland & Knight will offer discount fees for some clients in exchange for success fees if the firm wins their cases. The firm is offering the fees in response to complaints that came mostly from midsize, entrepreneurial companies.

The other initiative concerns partner expectations.

Holland & Knight traditionally has lower profits per partner and lower associate salaries, but the tradeoff is a pleasant work environment. That environment may change as Sonberg continues a push to increase partner productivity in response to client demands for instant responses and lawyers who are always on call. Partners who can’t meet billable hour requirements may be fired, he said.

"The days of partners 50 and older playing golf on Wednesdays are long gone," he told the newspaper. "There is no tenure here."

Posted via email from Case Investigation


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