Law firms large and small shuttered in 2019. Some, like LeClairRyan, were done in by mounting expenses and waves of defections. Others, like the intellectual property boutique McCaulley Dowell, were driven to close up shop by pressures that most other firms didn’t face. Meanwhile, a spate of small firms closed after their leading partners split.


Am Law 200 firm LeClairRyan was 2019’s biggest failure. While head count rose in the decade before the firm’s collapse, its profits were stagnant, with costs rising in step with revenues. The firm missed budget in 2011 and several subsequent years. With partner defections mounting— including name partner Gary LeClair, who joined Williams Mullen in July—the firm filed for bankruptcy in September, after having tallied 273 lawyers the year before.

This content has been archived. It is available through our partners, LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law.

To view this content, please continue to their sites.

Not a Lexis Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Not a Bloomberg Law Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Why am I seeing this?

LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law are third party online distributors of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law customers are able to access and use ALM's content, including content from the National Law Journal, The American Lawyer, Legaltech News, The New York Law Journal, and Corporate Counsel, as well as other sources of legal information.

For questions call 1-877-256-2472 or contact us at [email protected]