Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
Continuing to slim down, Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison has axed office administrators in Austin, Texas, and Irvine; a third administrator in the Dallas office has voluntarily resigned. The Jan. 3 departures come as the firm continues merger discussions with Philadelphia’s thousand-lawyer Morgan, Lewis & Bockius. More cuts from the firm’s staff of 600 are possible, say several sources close to the firm, and another wave of partner defections may be in the offing in the next several weeks. As one of the sources that spoke on condition of anonymity put it, Brobeck is “working vigorously on restructuring an agreement with banks.” The agreement, the source said, is expected to be finalized by the end of the week, and it could clear up some of the financial obligations that partners have with the firm. Until the agreement is inked, the source said, “It’s probably going to be difficult for most people to leave.” The firm’s vigorous expansion during the technology boom has left it with a significant debt load and a glut of unused office space. Reducing such overhead is likely a key to a smooth merger with Morgan, Lewis or any other firm. Brobeck, however, isn’t talking about the merger, its overhead issues — or much of anything else, for that matter. Firm spokesman John Pachtner, when asked about further layoffs and partner departures, said Brobeck wouldn’t be revealing specifics. “With respect to departures or layoffs — whether staff, associates or partners — we consider those personnel matters and we aren’t going to be announcing them,” he said. Pachtner did confirm that the trio of administrators had left, and said that as Brobeck assessed work in those offices, “we determined we didn’t need high-level people in those positions.” Last month, Brobeck laid off several staffers from its San Francisco office, primarily from its information technology department. At the time, Pachtner said that “fewer than 20″ employees were laid off. He refused to comment on whether more staffers had been cut since then. Peter Zeughauser, a legal consultant with Newport Beach-based Zeughauser Group, said the reduction in office administrative positions may reflect Brobeck’s desire to consolidate. “They’re still right-sizing,” he said. “They went through a big metamorphosis.” Brobeck had more than 900 lawyers in September 2000 and now has 493. The firm lost about 60 partners last year, but in November instituted measures to stem the tide by making it financially difficult for partners to resign. At least one partner has left, however. Real estate partner Margo Bradish, who joined Brobeck in 1993 after graduating from Boalt Hall School of Law, left the firm on Dec. 31 after being a partner there for two years. Bradish could not be reached for comment. Pachtner said she left the firm “to spend more time with her family.” In addition to Bradish, Brobeck senior counsel Sean Prosser jumped to the San Diego office of Fish & Richardson on Dec. 31. A securities litigator, Prosser joined Brobeck as an associate in 1997 and worked in the firm’s San Diego office.

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 Advance® 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]

Reprints & Licensing
Mentioned in a Law.com story?

License our industry-leading legal content to extend your thought leadership and build your brand.


ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2021 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.