US briefing: Leap of faith
At the height of the securities boom in 2006, Seyfarth Shaw real estate partner Andrew Pearlstein was feeling the pressure. His client, Merrill Lynch, was awash in mortgage-backed securities and insisting that the law firms working on these transactions cut their rates. "We were doing 60-70 real estate finance closings a year," Pearlstein says. "Our clients were these financial institutions; and we were getting squeezed tighter and tighter. [They were demanding,] 'Can't you get your fees down? Can't you get your fees down?'" At the time, securitisation work was plentiful, but there was stiff competition among law firms. So Seyfarth began looking for novel ways to improve its turnaround time and cut costs on these deals. Stephen Poor, the firm's managing partner, and Lisa Damon, national chair of Seyfarth's employment practice, had recently been talking to each other about Six Sigma, a method by which business processes are broken into discrete tasks and each step is carefully examined. The methodology had never been formally adopted at a law firm before, but some in-house lawyers had been using it for years.
How much will Six Sigma pay off for Seyfarth Shaw? DM Levine reports
This premium content is reserved for
Legal Week Subscribers.
Subscribe today and get 10% off.
A PREMIUM SUBSCRIPTION PROVIDES:
- Trusted insight, news and analysis from the UK and across the globe
- Connections to senior business lawyers within the leading law firms and legal departments
- Unique access to ALM's unrivalled, market-leading reporting in the US and Asia and cutting-edge research, including Legal Week's UK Top 50 and Global 100 rankings
- The Legal Week Daily News Alert, Editor's Highlights, and Breaking News digital newsletters and more, plus a choice of over 70 ALM newsletters
- Optimized access on all of your devices: desktop, tablet and mobile
- Complete access to the site's full archive of more than 56,000 articles
Already have an account? Sign In Now
For enterprise-wide or corporate enquiries, please contact Paul Reeves on Preeves@alm.com or call on +44 (0) 203 875 0651