The legal market in Seattle is solid but not hot — and that’s just fine with Perkins Coie managing partner Robert Giles.
“We’ve had six or seven quarters that have been pretty consistent,” he said of the firm, which is based in Seattle. “We’re not under threat of layoffs, but we aren’t at that feverish level of work we saw in 2007. Right now, steady is good.”
Gross revenues hit $477 million last year and Giles predicted that they would increase in 2011, although not wildly. The Seattle economy has remained sluggish, in part because of a lack of hiring at The Boeing Co., the slow recovery in the technology sector and the continuing fallout from Washington Mutual Inc.’s failure in 2008. While Perkins Coie has been growing, it has not been adding lawyers in Seattle — another sign that the city’s legal market remains lukewarm.
Still, Giles sees a steady pipeline of work building up. He predicted that investors would start to get off the sidelines in the coming months, which might create work for attorneys in the Seattle and other West Coast offices. The firm has handled a few initial public offerings in the past year, and Giles expects mergers and acquisitions work to continue to be steady, though not robust.