MacEwen on BigLaw’s ‘Hollow Middle’, Shaky Vereins & Dentons in China
Feb. 18, 2015 (Mimesis Law) — Bruce MacEwen, consultant and publisher at Adam Smith, Esq., tells Lee Pacchia that BigLaw’s “hollow middle” firms – those between 30 and 150 in the Am Law 200 – are going to need to forget about breaking into the top tier of law firms and focus on their own survival. And despite what many law firm leaders suppose, the answer doesn’t necessarily include merging with the competition. “That would be like merging Oldsmobile and Pontiac. I don’t see what that gets you,” he says. Instead, MacEwen thinks firms are better off focusing on core competencies and cutting everything else loose.
MacEwen also predicts that at least one Swiss Verein law firm will fail in coming years, because they lack the cohesive qualities of other business structures. “It’s so easy to pull [Vereins] apart again, they never came together.”