Even before the coronavirus pandemic unleashed market turmoil, many of New York’s elite law firms were struggling to match their performance from the prior two years. And their rate of growth in many ways fell below industry averages last year.

Cross-border M&A volume declined in the first half of 2019 while premium fees on M&A work slowed down for some. Realization on fees for New York firms declined more than the industry average. For some Wall Street firms, it was simply hard to match the success of 2018, which was a banner year for much of the industry.

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