Despite excitement over the recent spike in M&A activity, 2011 could still be a year that sees firms struggling not to lose ground, according to the 2011 Client Advisory released Jan. 14 by consultants at Hildebrandt Baker Robbins and the Citi Private Bank division of Citigroup Inc.

The report predicts that firms will enjoy only modest gains — “lower single-digit rates” — in profits per equity partner in the wake of a two-year lull in demand for legal services. While there could also be modest growth in demand this year, James Jones, senior vice president at Hildebrandt and principal author of the advisory, tells The Am Law Daily that he does not see the industry returning to pre-recession revenue levels anytime soon.

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