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Credit: Daniel Liévano

When LeClairRyan reached the point of no return in August, finally acknowledging its plans to dissolve after months spent bleeding partners, it came into focus that the firm’s aggressive expansion had actually contributed to its demise.

The firm had promised partners more than they were worth and signed expensive leases on understaffed offices. It missed budget in 2011 for the first time, but not the last. When new leadership took over in 2016, there was talk of “righting the ship,” a former shareholder recalls. Any attempts to do so were too late.

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Lizzy McLellan

Lizzy McLellan is a senior editor on ALM's business of law desk. Contact her at [email protected] On Twitter: @LizzyMcLell

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Gina Passarella Cipriani

Gina Passarella is editor-in-chief of The American Lawyer. She has covered the business of law for her entire career, first as a reporter and special projects editor with The Legal Intelligencer in Pennsylvania and then as senior editor for business of law in ALM's global newsroom. She took over as editor-in-chief of The American Lawyer in January 2017.

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