The Chicago Tribune broke the story earlier today — and apparently was advised of the news even before it was announced to Mayer Brown associates. As one of them bitterly quipped, “Nice of them to tell the Tribune before they told us.”
Anyway, here’s the memo:
March 2, 2007
TO: All Associates and Counsel
FROM: Policy & Planning Committee
Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw LLP is a leading global law firm, with nearly 1,500 highly talented and respected lawyers, distinctively strong practices and a passion for providing clients with the highest quality legal counsel. It is also an extremely successful business. Our 2006 operating performance shows that the firm is not only healthy, but growing strongly, with top-line revenue of $1.1 billion, an increase of 11 percent over 2005 and 19 percent over 2004. Total profits for 2006 also reached an all-time high for the firm. American Lawyer will report that the firm’s profits per equity partner for 2006 will exceed $1 million.
In today’s competitive legal market, Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw cannot rest on its achievements, but must continually work to make sure it is in the best position to achieve its strategic objectives and that it is properly staffed to serve its clients’ needs most efficiently.
Okay, that’s the preliminary, PR-ish-type stuff. The real dirt appears after the jump.
The memo continues:
As one element of a strategic review, Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw has decided to restructure our partnership. Forty-five equity partners (approximately 10% of the worldwide total) have been asked either to leave the firm or to accept other positions within the firm. The affected partners are fine lawyers who have made significant contributions to the firm and our clients. The firm will provide fair and ample transition and placement support to each one of them.
This has been a difficult but necessary adjustment designed to enhance our position among the world’s leading law firms. In an increasingly competitive and consolidating legal market, it is imperative that our firm be among the best managed in the industry. Being a partnership need not be antithetical to being a well-run business. Other large law firms that have undertaken similar restructuring actions over the past years have achieved significantly improved health and competitive position.
Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw is committed to offering clients unparalleled legal counsel and service, and attracting and retaining top legal talent. That will never change. We are confident that the actions we have taken will enhance the firm’s health and success for many years and many generations of lawyers and clients to come.
Please direct all US media inquiries to Doug Kramer, Director of Global Communications, at 312.xxx.xxxx or email [xxxx]@mayerbrownrowe.com. Direct all UK media inquiries to Will Hulbert, Head of Marketing Communications, at 44.207.xxx.xxxx or email [xxxx]@mayerbrownrowe.com.
Translation: “It’s all about the benjamins, baby. Seven-figure PPP, here we come!!!”
If you can shed some more light on these developments, please email us. Thanks.
Mayer Brown cuts 45 partners in restructuring [Chicago Tribune]